The Swan Riders

The Swan Riders

Book - 2016
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Greta was her country's crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came, it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different past. She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI.
Publisher: New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2016
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781481442749
Characteristics: 376 p. ; 22 cm


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Aug 07, 2019

Greta has survived the grey room and become AI, but she still needs to be taken back to the AI home of the Red Mountains, so a master copy of her may be saved that she might outlive her fragile, dying body. Thus, Greta and Talis travel together with Francis Xavier and Sri, two Swan Riders sworn to protect them, through Greta’s home country back to the Red Mountains. But the world is in turmoil; cities are being blown away by Talis’s master copy, and he doesn’t know why. And there is the constant threat of Rider’s Palsy, a disease caused by the brain lesions AI leave behind when “possessing” a person. Will Greta make it to the Red Mountains? And what will she find when she gets there?
This book was just as compelling and impossible to put down as Scorpion Rules. Greta and Talis experience more character development, there is more of the excellent plot, and the pacing is just as well measured. I would highly recommend this book.

PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 14, 2017

A change from the first novel. First, there are hardly any goats. But honestly, this book has quite a bit less action and a lot more of figuring out what's going on. Unlike the first novel, there are definite good guys and bad guys here, but the question throughout is which side is the good side and what are they trying to do. Bow keeps us guessing with double and triple agents. If the question of The Scorpion Rules was "is this the best way to keep a world at peace?", the question of The Swan Riders is "how could you do it better?"

Sep 02, 2016

I absolutely adored the crap out of The Scorpion Rules. It was by no means perfect, but it was one of those books where my eye balls were completely glued to the page because I couldn't get over some of the stuff that was occurring in the story. I had moments where I cringed, gasped, and maybe even threw the book -- it had that much of an effect on me. I was so excited when the sequel appeared in my mail box because with the way the first book had ended, it was a hard wait to find out what was going to happen to poor Greta.

And poor Greta it is. This sequel picks up almost directly from the previous book so one needs to have read The Scorpion Rules to get a full taste of what The Swan Riders has to offer. The prisoners are not so much prisoners anymore, Greta has transformed into someone who isn't herself anymore, and Canada is... well, Canada is an utter mess, more so than it was in the first book.

I think what I love about this series is that Bow does an amazing job of giving you a larger sense of all her characters, their motives, and their coups on morality. Frances, Greta, Talis, all have different perspectives on freedom, humanity and the decaying world, and each attempts to be compelling about their stance. I equally loved the surprises that she wove into this particular installment surrounding Talis, who is by far one of the most interesting characters in this world if I am being frank. I do think the emotional intensity of the first book is missing from this sequel, but I think the strengths here come from the larger plot being developed.

Oh, and Talis. Talis is perfect. I miss Xie. She was best.

I do think this is a solid sequel to a book that in a lot of ways didn't need a sequel to be great. I think the ending of this instalment isn't as strong as the first book, and it definitely leaves the door open for a potential sequel given there's still characters whose stories don't entirely feel complete. The last monkey wrench Bow throws in is pretty darn fabulous, though I wish the book really hadn't ended where it did. Still, if you loved the first book, I do think this sequel is definitely worth checking out.


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