Prisoners of Peace: The Swan Riders

Make sure to read my review of The Scorpion Rules first!

Greta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She 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 path.

She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI.

If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.

Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem.

Greta’s fate—and the fate of her world—are balanced on the edge of a knife in this smart, sly, electrifying adventure.

I waited so long for this book, you guys, SO. LONG. I don’t preorder many books, but this was one of them. And then it just sat on my shelf, staring at me, saying “READ ME.” In fact, this book was one of the whole reasons I started Series Monday, so I don’t know why it’s still taken me this long to read it! Anticipation, I guess.

Can you feel both excitement AND disappointment for a book at the same time? Because that’s kind of how I feel about The Swan Riders. (Also I keep wanting to type The Swan Divers, ngl.)

I was SO in love with The Scorpion Rules. The characters were all so lovely and well developed and diverse–not just racially, but also in personality. It was dramatic, and yes, violent too, but there was so much SOUL to it.

And while The Swan Riders (cough DIVERS cough) is most of those things, it’s also a VERY different book. It’s a journey story–much more about the AI tragedy than the whole world falling apart around them.

Rules is Frodo’s build up to save the world from the power of the One Ring, and Riders is that one scene where the Ring is trying to kill Frodo on top of the mountain. It’s more complicated than that, but I just felt there were drastic differences in the goals of each story, rather than pulling each together.

However, I loved them both, and I know Book #2 is a journey on the way to the third part of story. There is so much epicness left to see. If you haven’t read Erin Bow’s novels yet, you really really should.

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