“The Swan Prince, a fresh fairy tale with a surprising twist, is a swift read with a captivating cast. An enigmatic prince with a moonlight curse. A wild young woman with a crippling secret. A canny village doctor whose quest for answers draws him into a triangle of deception.
D.E. Shipley writes with a witty voice, twining traditional beauty and modern storytelling as intimately as the enchanted destinies in her masterful debut novella, The Swan Prince, Book One of The Wilderhark Tales.”
-Me, as a matter of fact, giving my official opinions on my best-writer-friend Danielle Shipley’s first published book! Huzzah!
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Psssh, of course you gave a great review. It’s your friend’s book! You’d get the silent treatment—or worse, whining—if you didn’t.”
You must never have read any of Danielle’s books. Remedy that.
You must also be ignorant of the fact that, no, I don’t actually love her writing because I’m great friends with her—I became great friends with her because I loved her writing. (If that sounds shallow of me, I would point out that we met because of National Novel Writing Month, and an excerpt of the first draft of “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” was one of my first glimpses of the girl. I might not have taken an interest if I hadn’t been so shocked by its quality. And, okay, maybe it was shallow of me.)
The Swan Prince is the first book in a series of fairy tale retellings and remixes, The Wilderhark Tales, and each one—no offence to The Swan Prince—is better than the last. It is followed by a (previously mentioned) companion series, The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale, and I mourn that you all must wait for so many books to reach that hilarious, surprising, and bittersweet triumvirate of YA urban fantasy.
But hey, despite all appearances, I’m not here to talk about Ballad. First, I must scroll back through the chronology to tell you this: if you like fairy tale romances, magical mysteries, and characters full of life and, well, character, then The Wilderhark Tales are indubitably a must-read for you, and The Swan Prince is the place to start. Especially since, you know, none of the others are actually released yet.
Oh, and now is definitely the time to start, because D.E. Shipley has all kinds of awesome give-aways and contests happening over at the Ever On Word blog, so go, go–don’t chance to wait until sunset, moonrise, midnight, or any other famously curse-triggering times: go!