Review of "The Swan Riders" By Erin Bow

Photo: Instagram/@simonschusterca 

I want to start this review by saying that these books are by far one of my favorite series of books ever! I loved "The Scorpion Rules", I have read the book 4 times since I got it last August and it is the kind of book I believe can be life changing. There wasn't one thing I hated about that book!

 So I was very excited when I got "The Swan Riders". A book I had been waiting for since last year. "The Swan Riders" is a very different book then "The Scorpion Rules". I would even say that there are more differences than simirities. If you read "The Scorpion Rules" you would know about the Swan Riders and their role in their world. The book takes off where "The Scorpion Rules" ended and we go along with Greta, Talis, and two Swan Riders, Sri and Francis Xavier as they try to get Greta to a place where she can fully become an AI and of course there are bumps along away.

Photo: Instagram/@simonandschusterca

The book solely focuses on the Swan Riders and the role they play in Talis' world and also in the way the AIs use them. Their world is comprised of loyalty and agony;  and when you read this book you will understand what being a Swan Rider really means.

The last 100 pages of this book is truly where the magic happens, it is what we got from "The Scorpion Rules" and it is what I was expecting from the beginning. Although the story is very much a different one, Bow seems to have intended for it to be that way. And although from the beginning of this book and the middle, I wasn't enjoying it as much; the ending made up for it. It gave me that same complicated and yet beautiful feeling "The Scorpion Rules" did.

Bow intends for this book to be a lesson and  it is. As I said in my review of the first book and I will say it again, this book is not your average YA book and that is what makes it amazing. It is for a mature audience who will understand the complexities of what it means to love even when it hurts, what it means to be an adult and how it feels to be in a world with no happy endings just new beginnings. 

This book is no where as great at "The Scorpion Rules". The stories are different and the first book was and still is in a league of it own. But Erin bow proves that great story telling can appear in different and interesting shapes even if it's just one person writing it. 

Most importantly, this book has a great amount of diversity in it. Which I love so much! Yay for diversity in books!! Whether it is the characters who come in different personalities, cultures, ethnicities, races, morality, or characters who speak different languages. This book is a true representation of what diversity in books really looks like. That is what I love most  about this series because as a black girl, I have seen myself represented in a beautiful book that did not stereotype people who look like me.

And although the main character is a white princess who was born in Canada, she sees way more than what is on the surface of a human being. She sees the truth and welcomes all that is different and even if that means they are people who don't look like her, speak the same language or believes in what she believes. With an array of characters from different backgrounds and ethnicities, Bow has done a brilliant job at writing a truly diverse book. And I thank her for that.

Photo: Instagram/@beccathelitwitch

What I liked

There are some things that I liked about this book. I would not say I loved it. The first novel had set a very incredible high bar so I was expecting this one to touch the bar or at least come close. It didn't and that is okay. There were pieces of this book that were reminiscent of "The Scorpion Rules" which I loved. 

What I didn't like

I love Erin bow and her writing style. But I found this book to be more of a history book rather then a novel. It felt like I was reading a book that didn't really have a plot. Instead it was filled with lessons about how not to rule the world (btw, lesson learnt). The first 150 pages were dry and went on forever. Some major plot lines happen too fast to keep up with and the major plot itself left very little to be desired. I get what she was trying to do because she did it so well in the first book. She perfected it brilliantly in "The Scorpion Rules" but that didn't come across in this book. I will say that the last 100 pages were great and had the same feeling as "The Scorpion Rules".

With that being said, I would recommend this book to all my friends (that means you) and I honestly think that everyone should pick up "The Scorpion Rules" and read it that too.

I did a video where I also talk about "The Swan Riders" along with a book haul!! Take a look!!

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