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Annabeth Leong found relief in erotica. Reading others’ stories opened up a world of freedom and exploration. Writing it increased the thrill. Since her first published story in 2009, she has written for anthologies by Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Coming Together, and Circlet. Her work has appeared online at Every Night Erotica and Oysters and Chocolate. Besides freedom of speech, Annabeth loves shoes, stockings, cooking, and attending concerts--probably in that order. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Glass House Reviews
on Sep. 25, 2012 :
The Six Swans is an example of the recent trend of retelling fairy tales, spinning the Brother's Grimm yarn of family loyalty with a new erotic thread mixed with romance between the young King and the Princess determined to save her enchanted brothers.
King Evan is being forced toward marriage by a controlling mother and is doing all he can to avoid it when he meets Leonora on an impulsive escape from his own hunting party. Bringing the silent but alluring woman home with him, he marries her over objections. Their love is almost turned to disaster by the combination of an ambitious and ruthless mother and the girls devotion to her silence.
The elements of the story are well used by author Annabeth Leong, as she turns the silence of the young girl, an element of her attempts to free her brothers from a witches spell, into one of the key conflicts. Although none of the narrative is in Leonora's voice, her frustration and pain is still felt.
The original and the new plot-lines are well blended, and the single point of view throughout the tale helps Leong add to the mystery of the tale, so that there are still surprises here for one who might not be familiar with the story. The sex is graphic but not wildly so and titillates without venturing across the line into Victorian prose or insert-tab-A-into-slot-B repetition.
The supporting cast is a plus, especially the helpful librarian/archivist Ian, who serves as a foil and mentor to the young King Evan. The author is wise in her choices of where to adhere to tradition and where to let POV dictate what can or can not be explained. This helps the readers immersion and adds dramatic tension to a story where many will already know and be expecting the conclusion. The eventual happy ending, which everyone knows is coming, thus retains a bit of suspense.
The Six Swans is thus a comfortable and enjoyable read with a bit of raised pulse inserted at well placed intervals. It won't shock you with any twists and turns if you know the original or even if you are familiar with the genre, but it will keep you turning pages as you discover how the author is going to extract her hero and heroine from their predicament.
~ James Glass for Glass House Reviews
(c) 2012 Glass House Reviews
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 27, 2012 :
The Six Swans might be a novella, but it packed a good read for the length of the book. Written smooth, the story does an excellent job of putting the fated pair into a narrative spiral of trust, love, and questioning of the two. The evocative description of their body language, the sole means of their communication, were highlights.
And for those who care, the sex is smoking hot. If you like your fairy tales sexy and a touch dark, this might be the book for you!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)