Book Reviews

Review: A Rush of Wings by Laura Weymouth

I will always read Seven Swans retellings. It’s one of my favorite stories – if not my favorite – and A Rush of Wings does it SO well. Not only does Weymouth retain the foundational elements, Weymouth also enhances the elements of family and agency. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Rowenna Winthrop has always known there’s magic within her. But though she hears voices on the wind and possesses unusual talents, her mother Mairead believes Rowenna lacks discipline, and refuses to teach her the craft that keeps their Scottish village safe. And when Mairead dies a sinister death, it seems Rowenna’s only chance to grow into her power has died with her. Then, on a fateful, storm-tossed night, Rowenna rescues a handsome stranger named Gawen from a shipwreck, and her mother miraculously returns from the dead. Or so it appears.

The resurrected Mairead is nothing like the old one. To hide her new monstrous nature, she turns Rowenna’s brothers and Gawen into swans and robs Rowenna of her voice. Forced to flee, Rowenna travels to the city of Inverness to find a way to break the curse. But monsters take many forms, and in Inverness, Rowenna is soon caught in a web of strangers who want to use her raw magic for their own gain. If she wishes to save herself and the people she loves most, Rowenna will have to take her fate into her own hands and unlock the power that has evaded her for so long.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I knew I was going to love the way Weymouth talks about the Seven Swans story. It’s one where a girl’s voice is stripped away from her and she must suffer to put her family back together. A Rush of Wings honors these elements and only enhances its themes of family. The scenes where Rowenna cannot tell her story broke my heart. But Weymouth does us one better and also tells a story about a fiery heroine who is told her short tempered nature is bad.

And A Rush of Wings delivers a story which breaks this idea down. Rowenna was never taught to use her magic because she was quick tempered, but A Rush of Wings demonstrates that while people may see this as a negative quality – especially in girls – it’s not in actuality. That it’s a part of who she is and she can’t just ignore that piece of herself. And so Rowenna’s journey to discovering her agency – even when she’s been robbed of her voice – is one where she has to truly define who she is.

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Combined with those two elements, I thoroughly enjoyed, and loved, A Rush of Wings. There are moments that are heartbreaking, but it’s a story of growth and discovery. Rowenna has to figure out not only who to trust, but whether to trust herself. To find someone who doesn’t try to change her, who believes in her, especially if that person is herself. Because in life, we can’t get by with just roses or thorns – we need both. And it’s important to realize that just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we will.

Find A Rush of Wings on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite story that isn’t retold often?

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