About the Book:
Title: A Rush of Wings
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: November 16, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Retelling
Rowenna Winthrop has always known there’s magic within her. But though she hears voices on the wind and possesses unusual talents, her mother Mairead believes Rowenna lacks discipline, and refuses to teach her the craft that keeps their Scottish village safe. When Mairead dies a sinister death, it seems Rowenna’s one chance to grow into her power has passed. Then, on a fateful, storm-tossed night, Rowenna rescues a handsome stranger named Gawen from a shipwreck, and her mother miraculously returns from the dead. Or so it appears.
This resurrected Mairead is nothing like the old one: to hide her new and monstrous nature, she turns Rowenna’s brothers and Gawen into swans and robs Rowenna of her voice. Forced to flee, Rowenna travels to the city of Inverness to find a way to break the curse. But monsters take many forms, and in Inverness Rowenna is soon caught in a web of strangers who want to use her raw magic for their own gain. If she wishes to save herself and the people she loves most, Rowenna will have to take her fate into her own hands, and unlock the power that has evaded her for so long.
*I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
A beautifully written and soul-stirring YA Fantasy, that is a retelling of the Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen set in beautiful Scotland. I loved how Laura took bits of the original story and interweaved Scottish folklore. It was so fascinating to me, and I found myself looking up stories online.
Rowenna Winthrop knows that she has magic, as she hears voices on the wind and has some peculiar talents. Her mother Mairead however, feels that Rowenna lacks discipline and each time she asks her mother to teach her her craft to keep their village safe, she is denied. Rowenna fears that she may have lost the opportunity to learn her craft after her mother dies a sudden and rather mysterious death. Rowenna and her father and brothers find themselves consumed with grief and just surviving. One ill-fated stormy night, Rowenna rescues a stranger named Gawen from a shipwreck, and her mother miraculously appears to have returned from the dead. All is not as it seems.
The resurrected Mairead is not like Rowenna’s mother at all. To hide her true identity, she turns Rowenna’s brothers and Gawen into swans, and robs Rowenna of her voice. The boys return to their human forms only at night, and Rowenna can speak only at night as well. She is forced to leave home quickly, and travels to Inverness with her brothers and Gawen to try and find a way to break the curse. She discovers that monsters take many forms, and that there are those who would take her magic for their own gain. In order to save herself and those she loves most in the world, Rowenna must take matters into her own hands, and unlock the magic within herself that has always been there.
Rowenna is such an amazing character that I absolutely adored. She is fiercely loyal and protective of her family, and will do anything to help them, even if it means hurting herself in the process. I loved watching her grow throughout the story. She had so much self-doubt and felt that she didn’t fit in, and that there was only darkness inside her. Rowenna perseveres and finds that along with the darkness, there is light and that she is enough, just as she is.
I really loved this story and I hope that everyone picks this one up! The writing is just so descriptive and I felt as though I were transported to the Highlands. Perfect for fans of folklore, fairytale retellings, and Scotland!
About the Author:
Laura Weymouth is a Canadian living in America, and the sixth consecutive generation of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animal friends. She is represented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS.