Title: A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams
Author: Dax Murray
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, LGBTQI, Retellings
Dates read: 31st July 2020
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Publisher: Moon Cat Books
5th sentence, 74th page: She is not delicate.
A sweeping LGBTQ and polyamorous retelling of “Swan Lake”
Strange things can be said of the forest that spans the border of two kingdoms long at war. An evil sorcerer has mad it his dominion, or an elegant enchantress has claimed it as her domain and grants wishes to those who chance upon her, or maybe the forest is guarded by an ancient and wrathful spirit.
Katya calls the forest home, living a life of magic and charms with her partner Ivan. But a threat looms over their forest, some darkness and danger that Ivan swears to protect her from. Katya finds herself caught up in a web of grudges and deception spanning generations, but most dangerous of all is the beautiful princess who stumbled into their woods. A princess who sets Katya’s heart fluttering with both desire and fear.
As forces rally to rescue the princess or got to war, Katya must take measure of her own powers and decide what she is willing to sacrifice. Will she retreat to the safety of what’s familiar or give up everything she knows to spread her wings and fly?
It took me a little while to get into this story. And then a little while to get the different characters and their roles straight in my head. Particularly when Alexi comes into play – I really never noticed how much I relied on gendered terms until I read this. Now I want to read more full length novels that don’t use gendered terms for all characters – I need to get my head completely around such an idea.
I knew that this was a Swan Lake retelling. I didn’t expect to love it so much. And I most definitely didn’t expect to have a mad desire to rush out and watch the movie immediately after finishing the novel. I’m sure I saw it on one of my streaming services… this novel reminded me of all the hope and love that the movie made me feel when I was just a kid.
This is a beautifully intense and emotional novel. It highlights the different ways we can love and when love can actually conquer all. It also shows where love can blind as well. I loved that this story was so multi-faceted when dealing with the question of love. Multi-faceted, complex and truly, deeply beautiful.
One of my favourite themes throughout this novel is the idea that love is seeing someone for who they truly are. And accepting them. There were numerous non-loves throughout where it was the idea of someone, rather than actually the someone which made them think love. Love is about who the person is, not who you want them to be… and Murray is able to highlight this brilliantly in this beautiful novel retelling.