Really enjoyable book. KM Shea has a remarkable talent for taking innately misogynist stories and finding a way to rewrite the narrative in a way that gives back agency, professionalism, and leadership to the women. Odette — rather than being the epitome of a woman just shat on by men, with her body stolen from her, and then ultimately dying because her “lover” couldn’t recognize her — here is a badass leader of a smuggling ring who have learned how to use their by-day swan bodies to become the best smugglers on the continent. She is courageous, brave, intelligent, and more caring than she’s willing to admit. She trains relentlessly, manipulates the sorcerer to help her people in whatever way she can, and fights her own battles. The ending and looming evil felt a little forced, but it didn’t take away from the sheer energy and creativity of this retelling. I’ve really enjoyed all the stories in the Timeless Fairy Tales series and am looking forward to when we find out who has been pulling the strings of all the villains for the last 7 books. Official prediction: the evil mirror buried during the Snow Queen books.
5-star quick review: Swan Lake (K.M. Shea)