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Monday, January 25, 2010

Island of the Swans by Ciji Ware

Island of the Swans
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402222688
Pages: 592 pgs
Genre: Romance/Georgian
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:
Re-issued in its original full length, this acclaimed and bestselling romantic historical novel by award-winning author Ciji Ware tells the true story of passionate and flamboyant Jane Maxwell, the 4th Duchess of Gordon (1749-1812). In love since childhood with Thomas Fraser, when she hears that he's been killed in America, she marries the Duke of Gordon with disastrous results. But Fraser, very much alive, returns to England to claim her love. 

In addition to telling a heart-wrenching love story, Island of the Swans also paints a fascinating portrait of a powerful and controversial woman and the tumultuous era in which she lived. Patroness of poet Robert Burns, advisor to King George, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Jane Maxwell was a towering figure in her own time and is an unforgettable heroine.

My Review:
I was a bit worried when I first started reading this because I really was not in the mood for a historical but when I set a reading schedule, I must abide by it. However, my fears were totally misplaced in this case. This book was, for lack of better words, awesome.

First of all, Island of the Swans sort of reminded me of an out-of print romance I read while back called The Proud Breed. I love that book and periodically go back to it and read it. In both books there is an intense love shared between two people (duh!), infidelity and roadblocks. I know this sounds like most romance novels you have read but I can’t pinpoint exactly why this two books seem so similar to me but they do and it is a very good thing. I also usually don’t like romances where there is any type of infidelity between the couple I like but I found with this one that I really did not mind at all.

The characters in The Island of the Swans were amazing. Jane was perhaps one of the best heroines in any book that I have read this year. She was witty, intelligent and vivacious. I wanted to shake her half the time for maintaining her hold on her love for Thomas but I still liked her. I know that we are supposed to be rooting for Thomas throughout the whole book but I really liked Alex a whole lot better. I was rooting for him the whole time. Well, until he acted like a putz towards the end. I almost wish the Jane had forgotten about Thomas and been happy with Alex. I did like Thomas but he didn’t have the same sort of aggressive passion that Alex had. But you are talking to a girl whose ships always sink in every TV show, book and movie she likes.

This was one of those books that I had trouble putting away. I read before I go to sleep and this was one of those that I kept getting tempted to pick up again even when I told myself that reading time was over. That is either a sign of a really good book or of my insomnia or OCD reading compulsions. I think this may have to go on the honor roll because I could find nothing I did not like about it and believe me I tried.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. I've been reading alot of good things about this novel lately. Sounds really great!

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic

  2. This was such a heart wrenching and amazing read. I too stayed up late reading this gripping novel. Thanks for the great review. If you would like to see my review & interview with the author, here is the link: ""



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