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There was an interesting question underneath the story. Could Doucette have both love and her magic? Does she have to choose or is there room for compromise? This mirrors the thoughts and struggles of many young women starting out in life. It would have been a compelling component if Doucette had been in any way sympathetic. Her behavior was too childish for this to be explored fully.

For a wonderful book that explores this conflict thoroughly and amazingly well read Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. All that being said, the language of the book is beautifully descriptive and definitely conveys the old French setting well. If I had gone into reading this expecting nothing more than a longer form fairy tale I may not have been as disappointed. View all 5 comments. Sep 06, Camille rated it it was ok.

This book started off catchy, if a bit cliche. Two mean-hearted sisters who have everything the kind, third sister wants. Good looking peasant to fall in love with.

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Yet, that was where the good bit ends. After that, the main character becomes a selfish brat that only thinks of herself and how she's going to prove to everyone that she's a wonderful sorceress. Sure, I could see that going somewhere interesting. Only, it doesn't go anywhere.

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She ends up leaving the guy that went through three tortu This book started off catchy, if a bit cliche. She ends up leaving the guy that went through three torturous, impossible trials just because she thought she had to choose between him and magic. So she just leaves. No goodbyes, no explanation, she's just gone. Then, she shows up at his wedding and wants to be his again. That upset me! You can't just leave and then come back, then leave and come back at his wedding. Sure, the author made it seem okay because the brother really wanted to marry the would be fiance, but I still think it's wrong.

Naturally, he forgives her and loves her again. I have no idea. He said he loved her because she'd never said anything unkind to anyone, yet she breaks his heart multiple times and he still loves her back. Some of you will be saying "true love" but I say stupidity. So, yeah, I didn't really care for this book. Awesome cover, though! Aug 27, E. Reading through reviews on Goodreads, I can understand why so many people dislike this book, and dislike Doucette. For me, though, she was absolutely believable and very sympathetic: that someone who has been bullied and squelched her entire life particularly when one form of that abuse has come under the guise of "oh, but you're special, that's why I'm completely controlling everything you ever do and refusing to let you fulfill your potential" would be very, very confused when she finally es Reading through reviews on Goodreads, I can understand why so many people dislike this book, and dislike Doucette.

For me, though, she was absolutely believable and very sympathetic: that someone who has been bullied and squelched her entire life particularly when one form of that abuse has come under the guise of "oh, but you're special, that's why I'm completely controlling everything you ever do and refusing to let you fulfill your potential" would be very, very confused when she finally escapes that abuse. First she thinks of magic as her "savior," then she thinks that everything will be "perfect" with Jaume, away from her family, and when real life intervenes, she breaks down.

It's only after a time spend alone that she is able to find balance between her magic, her love, and her independence or rather, non-dependence on Jaume. The only thing keeping me from giving this a higher rating is that the ending felt rushed, and Jaume was a little too perfect to be believable and Doucette's excuse for justifying leaving him was too thin even for someone searching for an excuse, even for a fairy tale.

Overall, though, I found this a thoughtful, bittersweet, ultimately hopeful tale. Feb 03, Allison rated it liked it Shelves: ya-fantasy. Doucette is the youngest sister. Her two older sisters are mysterious and powerful swan maidens, who can transform themselves into swans at will. Sorcery is their birthright, and Doucette longs to be like them. She may have more magic than she ever imagined Heather Tomlinson once again shamlessly uses French as a crutch in her fantasy world, but this time it is not so painful because she claims to have based her story off of a French fairy tale to begin with.

If so, it doesn't have the continu Doucette is the youngest sister. If so, it doesn't have the continuity of any French fairy tale that I've ever read. The story starts off strong, and has great discriptions throughout the book, regardless. The story though It was better than Auralie, and entertaining enough. Jul 03, Jennifer Heise rated it liked it Shelves: ya-fantasy , fantasy. Her sisters are swan maidens, but she is not; magicless and condemned to learn to be a castle chatelaine under her mother's stern eye, and to marry well at her parents' command, unlike her sisters who have free choice.

But what if everything she has been taught is a lie? What of the young shepherd who is so kind to her? What will she make of her future, and will she succumb to the temptations of power? This was actually quite well-written and I enjoyed the characters, especially as they were much Her sisters are swan maidens, but she is not; magicless and condemned to learn to be a castle chatelaine under her mother's stern eye, and to marry well at her parents' command, unlike her sisters who have free choice.

This was actually quite well-written and I enjoyed the characters, especially as they were much more nuanced than one would expect. The story has a solid core of third-wave feminism, though like all fairy tales there is a strong emphasis on peirbonding. I enjoyed it, though I think the author could do more with the characters, and more depth of the background. Jan 02, Alli Saleh-Goad rated it it was ok Shelves: fantasy , retellings , general-fiction , young-adult , , pleasant.

This was pleasant. Originally I picked this up thinking of the 90's cartoon "The Swan Princess. Doulcette is a young noble, teased by her older, soceress sisters due to her lack of "swan skin. Doulcette is a sweet girl and clearly appreciated and respected by the castle employees for her respecting them. Her mother inte This was pleasant. Her mother intends for Doulcette to be a chastlaine- a perfect nobleman's housewife. She wanted Doulcette to be unsullied by her father's side of the family, who just happens to be magical.

Doulcette dreams of having her own swan-skin and having her own magic. Meanwhile, an unlikely romance begins with a local shepherd and he completes 3 challenges to win her hand- being a low-born. In the meantime, Doulcette finds her swan-skin hidden by her mother and achieves magical abilities. However, her mother finds her out and burns the skin, removing Doulcette's powers.

She helps her beloved Jaume complete the final task by entering a magical spirit's cauldron and regaining her magic at the price of her toe. Jaume wins her hand-against her spiteful mother's wishes- and they set off as newly weds. Doulcette is torn between her love for Jaume and her love of magic. Eventually, she leaves him on the journey to his home and constructs a castle of magic where she abides in freedom.

A season later, she learns Jaume is to be married. Realizing the selfishness and folly of her decision, she returns to claim Jaume as her husband. Basically, they live happily ever after. I gave this 3 stars because it was simply pleasant. I loved Jaume's love for Doulcette and up until she leaves him, I think his love is well-placed.

I did cringe when she left though. Up until that point, I very much enjoy her as a character. Doulcette longed for freedom and magic- she wanted to be a free-bird, but couldn't shake her love for Jaume. I thought she was an absolute spoiled brat. Jaume literally moved heaven and earth and his very life to become her husband.

I guess what did I expect? She was born a noble Anywho, I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did initially. I knew this was going to be a rather easy read and it was. It reads just like a Disney fairytale It's not a complex book, but it's enjoyable if you like fairytales. This is appropriate for any aged reader due to the innocence and simplicity of the story. Apr 12, Holli rated it liked it Shelves: ya , fairy-stories , research.

This is a very straightforward tale that feels plucked straight from an old book of fairy tales. The magic is fun and interesting and I enjoyed the transformation descriptions. The romance starts out feeling shallow but gains depth through the characters actions. There is something in this tale about the corrupting nature of power and the power of love but it's done a bit hamfisted and without a lot of time to explore it. Doucette changes her personality twice in a very short span in the third a This is a very straightforward tale that feels plucked straight from an old book of fairy tales.

Doucette changes her personality twice in a very short span in the third act and it's both jarring and feels unearned magic transformations notwithstanding. I think perhaps this is a product of the original fairy tale it was adapted from and trying to keep the same events even if they didn't make sense from a character standpoint. Overall I enjoyed the book.

That said, I definitely recommend it to fans of the genre. I may do a fuller review later on. I also have a book blog Mar 11, Jes rated it liked it. This was a good book. I liked how well developed the characters were. I was able to see everything being played out. It had a good plot but was a bit fast for my liking. I would see this book as a romance YA. Jan 26, Rebekah rated it it was ok. I like this book, but it was obviously her first book.

The pacing was bad, skimming over the climax and the development of the romance. Thankfully the author improved, her Toads and Diamonds is very good, I recommend that. Aug 23, Mary-Kathryn rated it it was ok. Doucette is the youngest of three royal sisters and the only one born without a magic swan skin. While her sisters don their magic skins and fly away each summer to learn magic from their aunt, Doucette is bullied by them relentlessly as she is trapped at the castle and taught the running of a kingdom.

But when she discovers that she has some magic after all she does everything in her newfound power to live her life the way she's dreamed. A good book with some really great set-ups that falls flat Doucette is the youngest of three royal sisters and the only one born without a magic swan skin. A good book with some really great set-ups that falls flat at the end. It dips and dots from traditional fairy tale tropes and turns into a wonderfully fascinating story with several interesting side roads, but ends suddenly with a traditional fairy tale wrap up and no climax.

I mean, what the hell happened? It was going so well, then it changed genres so fast you got Reader's Whiplash. Doucette was pretty childish and vindictive, and petty, etc. But then the elder is given a huge and powerful position over billions of minions all over the world, leaving the thoughtless middle sister as next in line for their father's throne, and nothing about them is ever mentioned again.

It is revealed that the King has destroyed the kingdom's economy and reputation by paying bills and debts in magic gold which eventually returns to rock or what-have-you and it is never followed up on. Doucette's reliance on and reactions to her newer, more powerful magic are beautifully paralleled to substance abuse, until the day she decides to get over it and just does.

But all these annoying loose ends that I would have killed to have gotten fleshed out are outdone by the ending. And they go off and get married and completely block out the townspeople's hatred of her and the brewing royal shitstorm. The end. That's it. That's the ending. All these things build to a glorious fantasy adventure climax and instead the author skips the climax entirely and slaps on a half-assed fairy tale happily ever after, only not.

The verdict? I will never understand how such awesome plot bunnies could be turned into something like this. There were so many SO MANY avenues handed to this author and she honestly felt that this was the direction she should go in? If you're in the mood for fantasy go pick up The School for Good and Evil and leave this one on the shelf.

I've always loved fairy tales. Their full of hope, conquer, despair, hatred and obviously love. There is always a villain, a damsel in distress, a prince or someone type of boy who is deeply in love with the damsel , something to overcome, and finally the happy ending. I think that pretty much sums up what a fairy tale consists of. The Swan Maiden has all these concepts.

It is, like I've read in other reviews, one long fairy tale. Actually, I think it's a mash up of fairy tales. We have mag I've always loved fairy tales. We have magic, swans, someone locked in a tower, people flying about and the pauper in love with the princess. Yup, definitely a mash up. I loved this book nonetheless. This book was NOT realistic.

I think one reason so many people were turned off by this book was because of how unrealistic it was. It's a fairy tale, people! The guy gets the girl, the bad guy loses, people fall in love really fast and the characters don't make wise decisions. That is what fairy tale stories do. We are all so used to vivid, air-breathing characters that we forgot how fairy tales are written. The main character's make stupid mistakes and she always falls in love really fast.

Red ridding hood went into the forest. Snow white ate an apple from a stranger. Cinderella let her step mother boss her around. Their all young and naive. That is exactly how our swan maiden, Doucette, acts. Doucette is a six-teen year old girl who is born of the Aiglorn's, a very powerful kingdom. Her two sisters are swan maidens.

SurLaLune Fairy Tales: Tales Similar To Swan Maidens

They have magical powers and can do anything they please with them. People fear them and don't dare talk down to them. You just might get turned into a toad if you do! Doucette longs to be one of them instead of a Chastaline. However, one day she discovers her very own swan skin. She also falls in love with Jaum, a shepherd. Of course, her father and mother completely disagree. The couple run a way, but that's not all, something happens, I'm just not telling you what. This was a cute story. Like I said it was not realistic. You never get a feel for the characters.

Their as thin as paper, no, more like rice paper. Doucette makes some naive decisions, she doesn't follow her gut to often. I liked Jaum though. I pictured him very handsome in my mind. He was the perfect example of a man we ladies all wish for. Someone to carry us when our feet hurt. Clear a hillside, dig a pond, retrieve the golden bird, just so he can have our hand. Yeah right, in what life time? Overall, I am happy with this book. The writing was beautiful, sounded exactly like that of a fairy tale.

Fairy tales always have that special tone, the tone that really stand out amongst non fairy tale stories. The plot was original and creative. I loved the new story about the swan. Crafted so much like the power Doucette manipulates. Prepare to take flight and soar into a magical fairy tale. May 03, Alana Kelly rated it liked it. As the summary says, The Swan Maiden is about a girl named Doucette. The youngest of three and the daughter of a Comte, Doucette dreams of being a Swan Maiden and weaving spells like her sisters.

Unfortunately for her, Doucette is instead doomed to be a Chastelaine. Stuck cleaning and running the household while her sisters run wild with magic, Doucette envies their beauty and confidence. But most of all she envies their swan cloaks, because it's with these coats that her sisters are able to tur As the summary says, The Swan Maiden is about a girl named Doucette. But most of all she envies their swan cloaks, because it's with these coats that her sisters are able to turn into swans and fly.

On top of having no magic and being plain looking, Doucette's sisters also enjoy using their magic to humiliate Doucette with cruel pranks. As with all fairy tales or fairy tale retellings, The Swan Maiden starts by showing the reader just how unfair things are for Doucette. Not only is Doucette not as attractive as her sisters, but she also isn't a sorceress. To make matter worse, her sisters play a mean trick on Doucette and embarrass her in front of Jaume, her crush.

Jaume also happens to be a sheppard, which follows the standard noble girl and pauper boy meme fairy tales seem to love or vice versa. Of course their circumstance means they're doomed to never be together and Doucette will likely be married to a man she doesn't love for political reasons, but then something unexpected happens. While helping her mother prepare for an upcoming party, Doucette stumbles across a grey cloak of feathers.

It turns out Doucette is a Swan Maiden and her parents have kept her from her magical birthright on purpose. It's at this point Doucette seems to have the power to grasp everything she's ever wanted. The question then becomes, "is it worth the cost? The reader gets to follow Doucette as she struggles to accept the simple life she doesn't feel happy in, embraces her magical abilities, and then has to decide whether to chose love or freedom. While the story may be pretty expected, The Swan Maiden still has enough charm to make it interesting.

Love stories tend to be pretty unimaginative in fairy tales, but the struggle between Doucette and Jaume was actually pretty satisfying. My biggest complaint about the book was how rushed the latter part of the book felt. It lacked the depth the first half had and instead felt a bit hallow.

The thing I love about fairy tale retellings though is their familiarity. The Swan Maiden feels familiar while also being wholly its own. Jan 11, Lydia rated it liked it. However, that was about all I liked; though the actually writing was good, the characters themselves were too convincing in their flaws, and not very convincing in their virtues Doucette's family in particular! But, a strong, likable, lead can cover a multitude of sins, and at the beginning of the story, Doucette seems to be that character and becomes more and more likable until the middle of the book, when she becomes less and less likable until she's as bad as the rest of her family.

At the very end, redemption is hinted, but it felt very shallow. Pop quiz! Yeah, guess which one; and that's the end. Nov 26, Chelsea rated it did not like it Shelves: read-in , fiction , relationship-centered. At first, everything seemed okay: a few characters were introduced that sparked enough interest in me to keep reading, and the premise seemed intriguing. It was like the book couldn't decide what it wanted to be. The plot seemed incredibly contrived, characters existing merely to fill their role and then go away.

And even the main characters I read a whole book about these people and I still have no idea who they are!

Swan Maidens

Doucette had little to no personality besides a few basi Augh. Doucette had little to no personality besides a few basic character traits until the very end, and even then, she seemed to change at the drop of a hat, no thought process to it whatsoever. Like I said: contrived. And the sad part is, the characters intrigued me at first - but only enough to keep me reading in the hope that they'd get more development. They didn't. Plot-wise, it felt like nothing ever really happened. I mean, I guess things did, but there were never any real consequences for anyone's actions.

Swan Maiden

Even when she goes through the Rassemblement, which has been lauded as incredibly dangerous with potentially disastrous consequences, blah blah blah No, seriously. A pinkie toe. And when she deserts her lover for no good reason and returns months later, out of the blue, when he's about to be married to someone else? He's annoyed at her for all of two seconds. Then they kiss and make up and everyone gets married and all is sunshine and joy. God, please, just shoot me now. It would almost have been better, for me, if the book had been wholly horrible from beginning to end.

Then I wouldn't have the urge to take it and rewrite it so as to salvage what little there is that's worthy of salvaging. It could have been good. It just wasn't. At all. The best thing about this book, actually, was that it assured me for the umpteenth time that getting published must not be as hard as I think it is, if this sort of thing makes it into bookstores. I'd give it one and a half stars, if I could. I think we'll just settle for one. Jul 19, K. McCabe rated it liked it.

The Swan Maiden by Heather Tomlinson 3. Trapped by her mother, trapped by her position but, most of all, trapped because she has no wings. Her two sisters, Cecilia and Azelais, are swan maidens: Sorceresses who can use their swan feathers to change into swans as well as perform many kinds of magic.

Each year Doucette must stay home and learn how to run a household while her sisters fly off to their aunt, the Queen of Birds, to learn the magical arts. Everything in Doucette cries for freedom, but she sees no way to get until discovering her own swan skin, hidden since her birth. She uses the swan skin to escape and runs into her secret love Jaume who begs her to marry him. Thinking he mocks her, Doucette leaves in a fit of anger to join her sisters and her aunt in their pursuit of magic.

The arts she learns there change the way she views life forever. I borrowed The Swan Maiden from my local library after reading the book jacket and thinking I might enjoy the read. The tale told by Heather Tomlinson is traditional --but with a few twists. I enjoyed reading of the trials Doucette and Jaume go through to find their love, but was a little disappointed with the last quarter of the book.

The folktales usually adhere to the following basic plot.


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A young, unmarried man steals a magic robe made of swan feathers from a swan maiden so that she will not fly away, and marries her. Usually she bears his children. When the children are older they sing a song about where their father has hidden their mother's robe, or one asks why the mother always weeps, and finds the cloak for her, or they otherwise betray the secret. The swan maiden immediately gets her robe and disappears to where she came from.

Although the children may grieve her, she does not take them with her. If the husband is able to find her again, it is an arduous quest, and often the impossibility is clear enough so that he does not even try. The stories of Wayland the Smith describe him as falling in love with Swanhilde, a Swan Maiden, who is the daughter of a marriage between a mortal woman and a fairy king, who forbids his wife to ask about his origins; on her asking him he vanishes.

Swanhilde and her sisters are however able to fly as swans. But wounded by a spear, Swanhilde falls to earth and is rescued by the master-craftsman Wieland, and marries him, putting aside her wings and her magic ring of power. Wieland's enemies, the Neidings, under Princess Bathilde, steal the ring, kidnap Swanhilde and destroy Wieland's home.

When Wieland searches for Swanhilde, they entrap and cripple him. However he fashions wings for himself and escapes with Swanhilde as the house of the Neidings is destroyed.

The swan maiden has appeared in numerous items of fiction, including the ballet Swan Lake , in which a young princess, Odette and her maidens are under the spell of an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, transforming them into swans by day. By night, they regain their human forms and can only be rescued if a young man swears eternal love and faithfulness to the Princess.

When Prince Siegfried swears his love for Odette, the spell can be broken, but Siegfried is tricked into declaring his love for Von Rothbart's daughter, Odile, disguised by magic as Odette, and all seems lost. But the spell is finally broken when Siegfried and Odette drown themselves in a lake of tears, uniting them in death for all eternity. While the ballet's revival of depicted the swan-maidens as mortal women cursed to turn into swans, the original libretto of depicted them as true swan-maidens: fairies who could transform into swans at will. Established folkloristics does not formally recognize "Swan Maidens" as a single Aarne-Thompson tale type.

Rather, one must speak of tales that exhibit Stith Thompson motif index "D Each of them using different methods, ie observation of the distribution area of the Swan Maiden type or use of phylogenetic methods to reconstruct the evolutioon of the tale, Gudmund Hatt, Yuri Berezkin and Julien d'Huy independantly showed that this folktale would have appeared during the Paleolithic period, in the Pacific Asia, before spreading in two successive waves in America.

In addition, Yuri Berezkin and Julien d'Huy showed that there was no mention of migratory birds in the early versions of this tale this motif seems to appear very late [10]. AT "The Animal Bride" group of folktales are found across the world, though the animals vary. The Italian fairy tale " The Dove Girl " features a dove.

There are the Orcadian and Shetlandic selkies , that alternate between seal and human shape. A Croatian tale features a she-wolf. In Africa , the same motif is shown through buffalo maidens. In East Asia , it is also known featuring maidens who transform into various bird species. In Russian fairy-tales there are also several characters, connected with the Swan-maiden.

In the Japanese legend of Hagoromo , it is a heavenly spirit, or Tennin , whose robe is stolen. Another related tale is the Chinese myth of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl , in which one of seven fairy sisters is taken as a wife by a cowherd who hid the seven sisters' robes; she becomes his wife because he sees her naked, and not so much due to his taking her robe. One notably similar Japanese story, "The crane wife", is about a man who marries a woman who is in fact a crane Tsuru no Ongaeshi disguised as a human.

To make money the crane-woman plucks her own feathers to weave silk brocade which the man sells, but she became increasingly ill as she does so.