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A Wild Winter Swan: A Novel Paperback – September 14, 2021

4.3 out of 5 stars 132 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Maguire (Wicked) continues his fabulist fairy tale remixes with this enchanting story, . . . Maguire parallels the swan boy’s story of brokenness to Laura’s own struggles overcoming class and cultural differences. Fans of Maguire’s retellings will love this simple, elegant story.” -- Publishers Weekly

“As Maguire has so often done before with books like Wicked and Mirror Mirror, A Wild Winter Swan is a delight of fantasy and the grotesquely beautiful in all of us.” -- San Francisco Book Review

“A comical, entertaining, heartfelt, and rare story, A Wild Winter Swan is the highbrow fairy tale your fall yearns for.” -- Shondaland

“Maguire, whose gift for transforming children’s stories is most famously on display in Wicked, works his magic once again with this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale 'The Wild Swans.' An enchanting, tender, often funny coming-of-age story whose perceptive truths about the human condition surprise and delight.” -- Library Journal (starred review)

“This is a novel that is meant to be read in a book nook with thick socks and a winter sweater. It is a very comfortable read, where moments of stress and sadness bloom into scenes of real mystery and beauty . . . A Wild Winter Swan is unlike anything I have read in a long time--in its intimacy, simplicity and welcoming solace.” --

“Sensitive depictions of generational and coming-of-age conflicts intertwine with whimsy as Maguire touchingly shows how people invoke stories to help elucidate their complicated world.” -- Booklist

“In a masterful meld of fantasy, longing, and troublesome relationships, Maguire’s A Wild Winter Swan shows us, and its young protagonist, that heartfelt connections with other people—and with animals—can lay for us a bridge between life’s sorrows and its wonder.” -- Historical Novel Society

“Gregory Maguire still has the magic touch . . . Maguire tells Laura’s story in lush prose, laced with humor and poignancy, weaving the fabulous into the quotidian world. It’s a spell you’ll be happy to have cast upon you.” -- Tampa Bay Times

About the Author

Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of A Wild Winter Swan; HiddenseeAfter AliceConfessions of an Ugly StepsisterLostMirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked—the beloved classic that is the basis for the blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical of the same name—Son of a WitchA Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family in New England and in France.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow Paperbacks (September 14, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062980793
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062980793
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 0.61 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 132 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
132 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different pace for Maguire
By Paper paige on October 8, 2020
This story is more reserved compared to some of his other stories, but still captivating. Comparatively, there is little action, low steam, and less sensuality. After the swan boy falls from her roof, his scenes/appearances are nothing too dramatic. The swan boy doesn't fall from her roof until chapter 11 (there are 29 chapters total). Until that point when he falls from her roof, it is mostly Laura's day to day musings and her background.

The classic story, The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, is only used as a soft medium. Although the title would denote a focus similar to the original tale, Laura drives this story in her own original direction. The classic fairy tale is not directly retold, rather it is pieced into Laura's story.

Some of my questions about the swan-boy remain unanswered. I might find closure with this at a later time.

As expected, MaGuire's rhetoric is engaging and delightful. Because of the infatuating literary techniques used, it is not meant to be read quickly although it is only 239 pages long.
Overall, I enjoyed it.
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Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2021
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