The Sorcerer and the Swan Princess by Lucy Tempest (A Villain’s Ever After Tale; #9)

Book Blurb:

A usurped princess. A mercenary sorcerer. A fate neither expected.

As a crown princess, Ava has always anticipated betrayals—but never from her own twin.

The unspeakable treachery comes the night Ava meets her true love, when Lina hires the infamous sorcerer, Dietrich Von Rothbart, to turn Ava into a swan, and takes her place.

Kept across the mountains in Dietrich’s castle lake, Ava’s repeated attempts to escape, to return to her prince and life, keep failing. But in the last time Dietrich recaptures her, she gets close enough to glimpse the terrible truth of what she left behind—starting with that of her prince.

Yet, it’s Dietrich’s true motivations and the unique bond that forms between them that shock her the most.

Will she reject their burgeoning feelings and trust to undo his efforts and reclaim her kingdom? Will he risk the consequences of freeing her from his curse? Will their love survive the demands of duty, and the toll of resentment and threats? Or will it fade away with the moonlight at sunrise?

The Sorcerer and the Swan Princess is one of twelve short novels in A Villain’s Ever After, a collection of standalone stories featuring villainous twists on some of your favorite classic fairytales. Read the series in any order for magical adventures . . . and fall in love with villains as you’ve never seen them before. Who said villains can’t have happily-ever-afters?

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own, and I am writing a voluntary review.

AnnaScott’s Review:

First off, can we just talk about how cool Lucy Tempest’s name is? It literally means ‘light’ and ‘a violent storm,’ and it is absolutely perfect for a fantasy author. Anyways, on to the book itself, I am such a sucker for a retelling. I grew up doing ballet, and so Swan Lake has always been near and dear to my heart (I may have also been slightly influenced by the Barbie movie that was all the rage when I was little). Lucy not only met my expectations, but exceeded them.

One thing I love seeing in all of the retellings I read is what they choose to keep original and what they choose to change. Lucy did a great job with balancing this. The story was close enough to the original that I was reminded just why I loved the story as a child, but also different enough so that I was kept on my toes and intrigued to see what was going to happen next. Ava and Dietrich’s relationship was the perfect enemies-to-lovers story, but one I didn’t see coming until a good ways into the book. ​I also loved that Lucy kept ballet as an integral part of the story, since that was how the story was initially told.

I really only have two complaints. First, there were a few cliches with the effortlessly gorgeous and good Princess Ava and the dashing bad-boy-turned-hero Dietrich. They were still fully formed characters, but I would have loved to see a little less of the cliche fantasy heroes in them. The second complaint I have is that this story isn’t longer. I know it was written as a novella for a series of fairy tale retellings, but if that hadn’t been the case I would have loved to be able to spend more time with Ava and Dietrich.

Overall it was a delightful retelling of Swan Lake, and it made for the perfect afternoon read.


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