No review I do could ever do this book true justice. The writing is beautiful and so too is the story. I had not known about the swans myth prior to reading this and so I came into it not knowing what to expect aside from what the summary states. But what I found I quickly fell in love with.
Marillier interweaves fantasy and historical fiction so well that I almost expect to see Fair Folk in Celtic history books. I was fully enthralled throughout the tale and I barely wanted to put the book down for fear that I may miss something while I was gone, that is how vivid the book was in my mind.
This is a beautifully written tale about love, and largely it is love between a sister and her six brothers. Sorcha's commitment to saving her brothers rings true as Marillier established the deep bond between all seven of them quickly and effectively and it never relented throughout the novel. Sorcha herself is a wonderful and believable character and it is almost difficult to walk away from the book knowing she is not in fact real. I thought perhaps having a narrator that could not speak would be a troublesome matter but Marillier handed it well, albeit she did make us feel helpless at times when you saw what was brewing.
The actual romance played a small role because Marillier grew the relationship between Sorcha and Red so believably and slowly that it comes off genuine rather than a typical novel love affair.
Overall Marillier established a wholly believable cast of characters and a world that you could picture yourself stepping into. I truly became attached to the story and the characters and I miss them already.