It's been a few days since I finished reading this now, but the story still occupies my thoughts. I keep turning it over in my head, amusing myself with attempts to classify it, determine intent and meaning, all the usual acts of literary analysis.
I'm usually pretty good at that kind of stuff, but Fable of the Swan is slippery.
I think that's one of the clearest signs - aside from how voraciously I read through it - that this is a very, very good book.
By which I mean Fable of the Swan elegantly jumped straight to standing among my favourite works of fiction, a category including Alice in Wonderland, the best of Terry Pratchett, an eclectic mix of video games and Japanese animation and movies like Ikiru.
Articulating the why of this is difficult. The story is too many things to easily accept pithy summation, but if I had to try...
...It is a story about heart. Or perhaps hearts. It is a story that cares deeply about both its characters and the reader. It wishes them the best, even as it acknowledges that things often seem like the worst.
It is a story of regrets, about bad life decisions, fittingly for a young adult novel.
It is a story about friends, and how much they matter.
Also the last line just kills me. Every time.
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)