Editor Emily talks about two books she thinks would hit it off!
Black Spring and The Swan Kingdom
These two books would have plenty to talk about. They have several elements in common: both are fantasy retellings, have strong and compelling characters, and evoke a distinct setting which is more than just a backdrop for the story. Alison Croggon’s Black Spring is a reworking of Emily Brontë’s beloved classic Wuthering Heights, interweaving wizard lore and vendetta with the passion of the original novel. The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott takes Hans Christian Anderson’s The Wild Swans as its starting point and combines elements of folklore to create a vivid, lyrical novel.
Not to say that the books don’t have their differences. As anyone who has read Wuthering Heights will expect, Black Spring is a novel of dangerous and destructive love, and the brutally patriotic society makes women figures of tragedy and heartbreak. The Swan Kingdom has its dark moments, but is overall less gritty. Love brings pain and sorrow, but it also brings hope. The fairytale quality is combined with realistically drawn characters, and Zoë Marriott is an expert at creating female characters who will resonate with modern-day readers.
The Swan Kingdom would have a calming effect on Black Spring. The empathy and endurance of its female protagonist, Alexandra, would certainly be a good influence on Black Spring’s wilful and selfish Lina. In turn, Black Spring could bring out The Swan Kingdom’s dark and daring side. The differences between these novels might send sparks flying, but only in a good way!