Tag Archive: Shanna Swendson


23500493Recently, I gave you all a review of Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted series, an urban fantasy romance set in a version of New York where wizards, fairies, gnomes, and elves live among unsuspecting humans, hidden by magical illusions, with lives both astonishingly similar and predictably different from reality. My future co-author Elizabeth Hajek has given her own enthusiastic verdict on the series, and I should note she hadn’t even finished the sixth book before deciding to endorse it.

Well, while I waited for Swendson to publish the next book in the series, I decided to take a look at what is currently the only book in a separate series written by her, titled simply A Fairy Tale. This is similar to Enchanted because it takes place in New York, it’s a fantasy, it’s women’s fiction with significant cross-gender appeal, and it’s very good. It’s different because it’s adventure rather than romance; it’s urban fantasy only in that some of it takes place in New York; and it’s not as light and humorous as Katie’s adventures with Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc.

It’s also one of the best examples I’ve found so far of adapting British fairy folk tales to the modern fantasy genre that is their direct descendant. If you like your fairies to be less like Walt Disney’s Tinkerbell and more like Jim Butcher’s Queen Mab, you’ll be right at home.  Continue reading

As I said in my review of Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted series, I wound up with a lot more to say that was really appropriate for a review. Like many of my posts, it’s a long one, clocking in at over three thousand words, but it’s aimed more at writers than all readers. And, I promise: spoiler free! (Well, except for the romance angle.)

So, without further ado, here’s my analysis of this new favorite series.  Continue reading

A pretty good description of me trying to read a random selection from the Paranormal Romance shelf.

A pretty good description of me trying to read a random selection from the Paranormal Romance shelf.

Most of the time, when someone refers to “romantic urban fantasy,” my brain starts turning off.

Now, I’m not opposed to chick lit; in fact, I’ve been so far to the other side that when I was a favorite target of schoolyard teasing, the one thing they never managed to get under my skin was that I avidly read Nancy Drew as far back as the fourth grade. I didn’t get why it was weird. I’d already read every Hardy Boys I could get my hands on, after all! But chick lit fantasy seems to mainly be a genre where you have mere variations on a woman swooning over a vampire, werewolf, or . . . well, no, just vampires and werewolves. Yeah. It’s gotten a bit stale out there.

Well, it turns out there’s a seven-book series that, while not exactly new (the first book came out nearly ten years ago), still brings new life to this particular sub-genre. Enchanted, Inc., by Shanna Swendson, kicks off a lighthearted romantic fantasy series staring one Katie Chandler, small-town Texan girl, who discovers that New York is weirder than most New Yorkers ever dream of. It’s smart, funny, enjoyable, and just a little addictive without ever coming close to “guilty pleasure” territory.

In fact, I suspect that many of my own readers would be interested in a romantic fantasy series that is 1) very fun to read, 2) cleverly described, 3) has no sex scenes, and 4) does not feature a vampiric or wolfish love interest. I welcome you all to prove me right.

contentI spent an enjoyable week and a half reading through the entire series, occasionally discussing it with my friend Lori, and generally just enjoying the change of pace from my usual fare. I wound up being a rather enthusiastic fan of the series by the end, and decided it was something to recommend far and wide. If, like me, you normally get your hackles up at the phrase “paranormal romance,” you owe it to yourself to check out this series.

I’ve got more stuff to say about it — this is a writing blog, after all, and there are some things to look at if you’re a writer yourself — but I’ll be splitting it off into a separate post because it ran long. For now, I’m concerned only with the review portion. Continue reading

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