The Enchanted Swans by Christy Nicholas
How does one choose between love and duty?
Based on an ancient Irish fairy tale, The Children of Lir.
Fionnuala is the eldest of four, and the only girl. She knows her duty well, and must take care of her siblings, a promise she made to her dying mother. But when her father marries their dead mother’s sister, jealousy and sorcery take over their home in ancient Ireland.
Targeted Age Group:: adult/YA
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
When I read Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest, I was inspired to treat the Children of Lir to a novelization.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The story is told from first person point of view. Since this is based on an existing fairy tale, I tried to keep as true to the original source as I could.
When I woke late the next morning, I was raw, as if I’d run a hundred leagues the day before and then swam the same again. My muscles creaked and complained, and my eyes were crusted shut. I washed at the basin, splashing away the worst of it, but I’d have to go for a swim in the lough to be properly clean.
Later. Oh, sweet Danu, later. What would I be doing later? What should I be doing now? Everything had changed. Mother was dead, and I was lost. The tears fell from my cheeks.
“None of that, young Fionnuala. You grieved well enough yesterday. Today you must get back to work.” Hawlen chided from her perch.
Anger welled up inside at her callous words. “Enough? How is it ever enough, Hawlen? How can you grieve enough for your mother?” My voice rose in the end, until I yelled at the raven. She shifted back and forth on her perch and fluffed her wings at the attack.
“Caw! Yes, well, I suppose I phrased that poorly. You may grieve every day, but as the eldest daughter of a king, you should not show your grief publicly. It is indecorous.”
I glared. She was right, of course. She had charge of teaching me the proper forms of courtesy and magic, and she simply performed her duty. That didn’t mean I had to accept it in silence.
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