Princess Of The Wild Swans Diane Zahler Book Review

There’s something magical about a fairytale. Maybe it’s the tradition behind it, or the shared heritage behind stories that get passed down. Either way, I love reading fairytale retellings. Diane Zahler is becoming one of my favorite middle grade authors as she continues to put a captivating spin on fairy tales with her latest, Princess Of The Wild Swans.

Princess Of The Wild Swans Diane Zahler Book Cover

Princess Of The Wild Swans

Princess Of The Wild Swans is a retelling of the seven swans story. Princess Meriel leads a rather idyllic life in the castle with her brothers and father. She may hate her sewing lessons, but seriously, that is her biggest worry. One day Meriel’s father, the king, returns from one of his journeys with a bride in tow. Something is a bit odd about this woman and Meriel’s suspicions are raised. When her brothers are turned into swans, it is up to Meriel with the help of some village locals to break the curse.

Do you have a little girl in your life whom you want to grow into a strong woman? She might be a bit young to read Robin McKinley, so Diane Zahler makes a perfect stepping stone so that little girl eventually moves on to McKinley and Pierce and the like. Keeping in characterization with Zahler’s other heroines, Mariel’s determination is a force to be reckoned with. She never needs a boy to save her, but happily accepts help and befriends a village boy. Meriel exhibits courage, loyalty and hard work – values that I think are worth emulating. I think Princess Of The Wild Swans has a real winner in the character of Meriel. She’s a child that I actually admire and would have totally loved to read about as a kid.

Look, if you have NO clue where to start when it comes to middle grade fantasy, maybe you have read all the Gail Carson Levines on the shelf, whatever the reason, I truly think that Diane Zahler’s fairy tale retellings are a great place to start when it comes to fantasy at this level. Princess Of The Wild Swans is neither too heavy nor too light, but a charming take on one of my favorite fairytales.

Disclosure: Received for review from publisher.

Other reviews of Princess Of The Wild Swans by Diane Zahler:

The Book Cellar
There’s A Book
Mundie Kids
Green Bean Teen Queen

Other Diane Zahler books reviewed:

A True Princess

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I really want to give this a read but I’m a little worried I’ll find it too easy since it’s MG. But on the other hand I do love fairy tale retellings of all kinds so that will probably be enough to keep me happy!
    Bookworm1858 recently posted..RamblingsMy Profile

  2. I agree! I really like this author’s fairy tale retellings. I wonder what fairy tale she will retell next.
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  3. I do like to think that the ‘tradition’ is what makes retellings so fabulous. You know what to expect, but, at the same time, the story is a surprise, as you don’t know what twists it’s going to take and how it’s going to convey each element of the fairy tale. I’ve never read the seven swans story, but it sounds like I might be more interested in this retelling than the actual story xD


    • Yes, exactly, you know how the story ends, but you don’t know the exact journey and that is what is awesome about retellings.

      The Seven Swans story is good. I think you would especially like the Juliette Marillier retelling, Daughter Of The Forest.

  4. I LOVE that it’s the brothers who are turned into swans! I think I may need to check it out purely for the feminist factor….
    Meghan recently posted..Unpopular Opinion: Odd Man OutMy Profile

  5. Awwe, this one looks so cute. Aubrey has a barbie movie that kinda twists this fairy tale. There are a bunch of talking animals, and the prince is to die for. #notreally She loves when barbie turns into a swan. She’s a bit morbid, that child of mine.. just like her daddy. lol

    I will be adding this to my list of books to get her for when she’s older. I seriously can’t wait till she’s old enough to read more mature stuff.

    Yay to never needing a boy to save her. Love that!
    April recently posted..[Review] Divergent by Veronica RothMy Profile

  6. Zaler’s like McKinley? I think I’m going to have to check her out! I love those fairytale retellings especially when the main character is loyal and courageous and work hard.
    Mary @ Book Swarm recently posted..The Doll’s Head Hand Did Me In: PURE by Julianna BaggottMy Profile

  7. I’ve never read the seven swans story (or even heard of it) but after your review, I’m going to check it out and this book! I love retellings and middle grade and fantasy so fabulous review, April!
    Tara @ Hobbitsies recently posted..Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard + GiveawayMy Profile


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