Skip to main content

Court of Swans (Dericott Tale #1) by Melanie Dickerson: A Book Review

Court of Swans (Dericott Tale #1)
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Christian
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: 2021
Pages: 327
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Where there is wealth and power, there’s always someone willing to do anything to take it. When Delia's father dies, her stepmother accuses her seven brothers of treasonous crimes. Seeking to free them from Richard II's grasp, Delia's only ally is Sir Geoffrey, the man who arrested them. Can she trust him?

     England, 1381: Delia’s idyllic life as daughter of an earl is shattered when her father dies and his wife accuses Delia’s seven brothers of treason and murder. The youngest is only ten years old, but this doesn’t stop the guards from hauling them off to the Tower of London. There they await a grim fate, as child-king Richard II is executing anyone who poses a threat to his throne. Delia is their only hope for pardon and freedom.

     Sir Geoffrey did not expect his first assignment as captain of the guard to be the arrest of boys so young. He dutifully imprisons the brothers, but he can’t ignore the feeling, rooted in personal experience, that injustice and treachery are at work.

    Determined to rescue her brothers, Delia secures a position as a seamstress for the queen. Her quest is all but impossible as the executions continue. Sir Geoffrey offers to be her ally, but should she trust him in a court where everyone has an agenda?

   From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a tender retelling of “The Wild Swans,” where the virtues of loyalty and love face a harrowing showdown with power and fear.

     My Review: Court of Swans is the first novel in the Dericott Tales, which is a new historical fiction fairytale retelling series set in England. In this novel, it retells “The Wild Swans” story. Delia’s brothers have been arrested in the Tower of London and are awaiting execution. In order to help her brothers, Delia becomes a seamstress to the queen. She finds romance in Sir Geoffrey who arrested her brothers. Can Delia and Geoffrey find a way to free her brothers?

     I was excited to read Court of Swans since this was a departure from Mrs. Dickerson’s Hagenheim series. I was also curious to see how she would retell “The Wild Swans'' since it is one of my favorite fairytales. If it was done right,  this would be a very emotional and heart-wrenching retelling. Court of Swans started off to a promising start, but it quickly went downhill. The reason for this is because the story was rushed and Mrs. Dickerson did not spend much time focusing on her characters.

     Delia is the main protagonist in this novel. At first, Delia starts off strong. She is a kind woman who loves her brothers. She is very naïve. I admired her courage to try to rescue her brothers no matter the personal cost. However, after she becomes a seamstress, she is very bland. She becomes a damsel in distress and has to be rescued by others. She is not the strong self-willed heroine from the original novel who through her own determination rescues herself from being burned at the stake. She was very easily manipulated. Her romance with Sir Geoffrey was also forced. There was no development in their romance, and I wondered why she was in love with him since he played a role in arresting her brothers. It seems the only reason she liked him was because of his looks instead of his personality. Thus, Mrs. Dickerson did not take the time to develop the characters or their relationship.

    This novel is about family, hope, and faith. The message of the book is to believe in God because He will solve all problems. The characters are stereotypical. The villains are very cartoonish. The story starts out strong but dragged in the middle. It did pick back up pace within the last few pages. Thus, Court of Swans would have been a more enjoyable novel had Mrs. Dickerson more time developing the story instead of rushing to the final end. As a result, it had many flaws. Still, I am interested in reading the next installments of the Dericott Tales series because I am eager to learn what happens to Delia’s family. I recommend this novel for fans of Dauntless, Evermore, and Fated!

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars


Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Before the Alamo by Florence Byham Weinberg: A Book Review

  Before the Alamo Author: Florence Byham Weinberg Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Maywood House Release Date: 2021 Pages: 299 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Emilia Altamirano, Tejana, half Native American, half Spanish, is the daughter of a Royalist officer who fought against Mexico's independence in the Battle of the Medina River. Growing up in Bexar de San Antonio, she becomes literate, is adopted as a ward of José Antonio Navarro, and acts as a page in the Ayuntamiento (City Council). She serves as a nurse in the Battle of the Alamo but survives to face an uncertain future.            My Review: Before the Alamo chronicles the events prior to the Battle of the Alamo from a tejana’s perspective, a Texan woman of Spanish descent. Emilia is the daughter of a wealthy Spaniard and a Native American slave. She becomes a ward to Jose Antonio Navarro, a Texas war hero. Jose teaches Emilia to read and write. Under his tutelage, she becomes

The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry that Forged the Medieval World by Shelley Puhak: A Book Review

  The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry that Forged the Medieval World Author: Shelley Puhak Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography Publisher: Bloomsbury Release Date: February 22, 2022 Pages: 378 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: The remarkable, little-known story of two trailblazing women in the Early Middle Ages who wielded immense power, only to be vilified for daring to rule.      Brunhild was a foreign princess, raised to be married off for the sake of alliance-building. Her sister-in-law Fredegund started out as a lowly palace slave. And yet-in sixth-century Merovingian France, where women were excluded from noble succession and royal politics was a blood sport-these two iron-willed strategists reigned over vast realms, changing the face of Europe.      The two queens commanded armies and negotiated with kings and popes. They formed coalitions and broke them, mothered children and lost them. They fought a decades-long civil war-against each ot