Hey lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Christy Nicholas and her new book, “The Enchanted Swans”! For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!! Also, come back daily to interact with Christy and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!
The Enchanted Swansby Christy Nicholas
In pre-Celtic Ireland, Fionnuala was a fae princess, born to a life of luxury. She knew her duty and loved her family. She missed her mother, who died in childbirth when Fionnuala was but ten years old. Still, she had hopes and dreams of love and a full life.
All her dreams were stolen from her, ripped away in a torrent of envy and magic.
It was a good training session. It left me sweaty and tired, and I hadn’t thought of Mother for a full hour. Mistress Scuida was gentle at first, but soon realized I needed to vent my fury, so she increased her efforts. At one point, I snarled and roared at the weapons mistress, while she parried my attacks with grim determination. Aed still practiced on the pells, but I heard several good whacks from his direction.
I could never get inside Scuida’s guard unless she let me, of course. She was Father’s best warrior, a student of the Morrigan herself. She allowed my frustrations free reign with no damage to either me or her. I thanked her when I was exhausted and panting.
The thick bronze sword was not my favorite weapon. I did better with the bow. The bow, however, didn’t allow one to push their anger through blows as the sword did. I wanted to learn the spear, but Scuida didn’t believe I was ready yet for the large weapon. I occasionally practiced in the woods with my father’s fosterling, Tadhg. Just a few times, mind, but enough to enjoy it.
Aed, however, had great skill at the bow. He could hit a mark from twice the distance I could, despite being two winters younger. His skill ranked as high as many young adult warriors. Not the older ones, those with several hundred winters’ worth of experience and the physical strength needed to pull the great bows, but still, not bad for his mere eight winters. Maybe that’s why he didn’t argue as much with Scuida as he did with everyone else.
My people, the Tuatha Dè, the People of the Gods, lived much longer than the recent Milesian invaders. The humans lived a mayfly’s life, a mere fifty winters or so. We, however, might live a thousand winters, though we may still die through violence or disease. Mother had been barely thirty winters old.
After I wiped the betraying tears from my cheeks and choked down the knot in my throat, I changed from my practice breeches back into my simple dress. With a splash of clean water on my face, I took a deep breath and cleared my head. I must get control over this. My duty lay in being presentable at all times. As the eldest, I must be a credit to my mother.
It became easier this time to push the tears away. A good swallow, and they retreated. Could I dismiss grief so simply, then? I didn’t think so.
I headed toward the great hall. A quick meal and my afternoon lessons awaited me.
Aed grabbed two apples from the kitchen and scampered by me.
“Aed, where are you going?”
“I can’t enter the great hall now. You must think me a great fool.”
“I think you are the son of a king. Am I mistaken?”
He shrugged and ran to his room
Father sat silent on his chair. He stared into the middle distance. No one sat nearby or spoke to him, though at least twenty of the guards ate their midday meal in the hall. What conversation there was remained muted and strained.
I now wished I’d done the same as Aed.
This book starts out in pre-Celtic Ireland in 460 BCE which is approximately 2,500 years ago.
This book is broken into four parts and twenty-three chapters, with just under 195 ebook pages.
This book is about Fionnuala, also known as Nuala, and her three siblings, Aed, Fiachra, and Conn. These children have had a terrible childhood and an even more unfortunate life.
The children’s mom dies in childbirth with the twins, Fiachra and Conn. The father eventually remarries and the children’s new stepmom is pure evil. Think Cinderella, but way worse! Their stepmom curses the children and turns them into swans for 900 years.
This book tells the story of the children, their family, their life as swans, and their continued search to find a way to have the curse removed.
A top reason I love reading fairytales is because I want to be whisked away and taken to another world. More importantly, a better, happier, peaceful world where dreams come true and happy endings not only exist, but is the norm. Sadly, I didn’t really get any of that with this book.
This book is not a happy fairytale book – not even close. This book is dark and sad filled with sorrow, loss, heartache, torment, and tragedy.
The author’s writing is so detailed it was easy to picture the story in my head, as if it were a movie that was playing.
The research is top-notch and it is clear that the author knows Ireland, it’s culture, heritage, and customs.
This author shows great promise with such an intriguing and fascinating imagination and a true passion for storytelling!
So, I, like most reviewers on here, cried – a lot! I was emotionally invested in this story and the characters.
You don’t really relate to the characters as I’m sure not many of us are royalty or have ever been turned into a swan lol. However, you connect and sympathize with the children and have hope, love, and courage for them and their chance to return back into human form.
There are a lot of raw emotions in this book. I’m glad I read this book at home since I don’t really enjoy crying in public.
I loved that at the beginning of the book there was a map of Ireland. It was nice to be able to see where the locations were in this book and see the distance between the spots.
I also loved that at the end of the book there was a glossary of Irish terms and pronunciations. There were names, places, and such included in this glossary. This was very helpful and overly utilized as the Irish lore and heavy Irish and Scottish Gaelic names were difficult to pronounce. Maybe it was just me, but I definitely kept flipping to the back and googling terms I didn’t quite recognize or understand. However, I am not very familiar with Irish terms in the first place so perhaps I had to rely on these helpful tools more so.
In addition, at the end of this book, there is an author notes section that provides more insight into Irish lore and background info. It was interesting to read and provided understanding to the author’s writing style.
Another helpful and unique feature in this book is that at the beginning of a new chapter the year featured is listed. This definitely helps for following and understanding the story and the timeline.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend this book to readers that like fairytales, Irish lore, and fantasy books. Just beware – you might need a box of tissues on hand!
**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**
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My name is Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon. I do many things, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing and photography. In real life I'm a CPA, but having grown up with art and around me (my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected me, as it were. I love to draw and to create things. It's more of an obsession than a hobby. I like looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or a fragrant blossom, a dramatic seaside. I then wish to take a picture or create a piece of jewelry to share this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus I write. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. I do local art and craft shows, as well as sending my art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.
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This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.