The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris


A foolish king who hides his children in an impenetrable maze. A vengeful queen weaving strange magic. Brothers turned into swans, and a sister on a desperate journey to set them free. A prince who does not understand his beloved. Everywhere the Wildwood, haunted by beauty and by darkness.

The danger and enchantment at the heart of this fairy tale is lyrically revealed by Jackie Morris, and it is entirely fascinating to read her re-telling of one of Hans Andersen's most resonant stories. Characters are no longer archetypes, but real people with motives rooted firmly in their complex humanity. At every turn of the page the reader is presented with new wonders; each painting adds a layer of meaning to the unfolding narrative.

Those who love the darkness which co-exists with the magic in fairy tales will be delighted by this small jewel of a book. It would make a beautiful present for an older child or for an adult who still understands the uses of enchantment.

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