Title:  A Throne of Swans (A Throne of Swans #1)

Author: Katharine Corr & Elizabeth Corr
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication date: January 2020
Hardcover: 352 pages


In a world where the flightless are ruled by those who can fly...

When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn's ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother - ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors. 

With the benevolent shelter of her mother and her father now lost, Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. Driven by revenge and love, she must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that so nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.




My Rating: ★★★★

New to me authors Katharine &Elizabeth Corr have managed to pleasantly surprise me with this well crafted high fantasy novel inspired from Swan Lake. The blurb caught my attention immediately and I was lucky to be approved for a copy of this book on NetGalley.

Seventeen-years old Aderyn becomes Protector of Atratys after her father's death. Her dominion is part of the Kindom of Solanum. A land where nobles can shape-shift into birds while the common folk don't have that ability, hence being called Flightless. Aderyn's ancestral bird is a swan, but she hasn't been able to transform since witnessing her mother's murder six years ago. Every time she tries it, the scars on her back become painful and the memories of that tragic event overwhelm her. As the new Protector of her dominion, Aderyn is determined, now more than ever, to uncover who her mother’s murderer was and regain her ability to fly no matter the consequences. Accompanied by her advisor, Lucien (who is also the son of a nobleman) she decides to spend some time at King's court because she's convinced she'll find the answers she's looking for at the Sylver Citadel.

I found the world-building fascinating. The history of the world is well thought out and developed. The writing is beautiful with vivid descriptions of the palace and different cities in the kingdom. I love the idea of nobles being able to shape-shift, and the association with different species of birds for each dominion in the kingdom.

Aderyn is a multilayered protagonist. She's vivacious, brave, compassionate, but because her father shelters her for so long she can be quite naive and gullible. But those flaws make her believable and her character's growth is quite visible throughout the book. As for the supporting characters, Lucien and Aron were in the spotlight for me, I put my faith in them from the start till the end.

The action developed at a fair pace, leaving room for an intricate plot to develop. While there were moments that we're predictable there was enough mystery and intrigue to keep me guessing. Secrets, betrayals, political games, a touch of romance, everything was beautifully woven in this heart-gripping story. The book ends with a cliffhanger and I'm looking forward to reading the next instalment.