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    Filled with Love + Sorrow + Loss + Heartache

    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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    The Enchanted Swans

    I couldn't wait to read this story. It returned me to memories of my childhood. As we all know, the TRUE fairy tales (myths) often did not have the endings so many expect today. While reading, I couldn't help but get attached to the characters and would have liked "the happy ending" but this story, I think, was based on a genuine myth of old. Christy Nichols did an excellent job of telling the story in a compassionate and detailed manner. I must say, this reminded me of the many nights I spent as a child listening to my grandmother tell me the fairy tales of her youth. The cover is spectacular in my opinion as well... beautifully magical and fanciful. That is in fact what drew me to the book when I first saw it! I would easily recommend this book to my friends, there is no bad language, no explicit sex, and is based on an old, often overlooked fairytale, so can easily be read to older children even though it's an adult novel, It reminded me of so many wonderful memories I shared with my grandmother when she would read to me as a child.
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