The Year the Swans Came marks a turning point in my career. After writing comedy and sending children on fantastical adventures, I am now writing fantasy for adults and top teens. The idea for Swans first came in 2010 when I was visiting Holland to celebrate the publication of Running. I completed the first draft in 2013 and followed this up with the series, 'Children of Zeus' following a suggestion by the agent, Felicity Bryan. The Year the Swans Came should be book 4, but everyone who has read it insists it has to be Book 1.
Miss Spencer strikes again with an incredible story that will pull you in and not let you go. This woman deserves way more recognition than she gets for her superb story-telling, and she's a wonderful lady as well (I've met her and have a signed copy of 'Running', another of her novels). So I'm starting my review by saying: READ THIS! Especially if you love historical fiction/fantasy/time-travel.
The descriptions and realism alone make this book a stand out and once you add the emotions and romance it becomes a very difficult book to put down. I felt every pain that Molly felt, her frustration, her indecision and ultimately how she came to terms with her life and her plans for the future.
Molly's relationship with Richard was refreshingly different among the many romances for young adults in existence today and I found her independent streak, though it caused her a lot of trouble, to be much more appealing than if she'd taken the easy route.
Perhaps one of the things that affected me the most was the relationship between Molly and her family. I hate a certain member of that family and just thinking about how enclosed Molly must have felt (both the Molly from our time and the Molly from the past time) is enough to make me feel very claustrophobic. And the parallels that can be drawn between the two Molly's and their families (though for different reasons) is very eerie.
There is one particular revelation that left me feeling like my stomach had dropped a foot, due to the fact it was a 'my god, did that really happen?!' moment. It was so unexpected and so heart-wrenching. Will Molly stay with Richard, will she go home? All I will say is prepare to be taken on many twists and turns and be confronted with a few 'I never saw that coming!' moments.
I really can't praise this book enough. Time Breaking is a stellar example of historical fiction, unputdownable, emotional and it just plain blew me away. Wow.
by The Magic of Reading
In 1967, considering herself to be destined for a life of mediocrity, Barbara Spencer hi-tailed it to the West Indies to watch cricket, the precursor to a highly colourful career spanning three continents in which she was caught up in riots, wars, and choosing Miss World. An award-winning children's author, over the past decade Barbara has been lucky enough to be invited to Booksignings at Waterstones throughout the Midlands and the south and west, and has visited dozens of primary and secondary schools. In 2017 Barbara decided to change horses in mid-stream and is now writing fantasy for adults.