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C.S.E. Cooney’s Novella “The Bone Swans of Amandale” Available Free Online

Sunday, January 24th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Bone Swans CSE Cooney-smallC.S.E. Cooney’s 2015 novella “The Bone Swans of Amandale,” from her acclaimed collection Bone Swans, has been made available free online by the publisher, Mike Allen at Mythic Delirium Books. Here’s what Paul Di Filippo said about the story in his Locus Online review:

Original to this volume, “The Bone Swans of Amandale” reads as if Patricia McKillip and Laird Barron decided jointly to rework the Redwall series. In a land where, among other wonders, a Fairy Mound rises “smooth as a bullfrog,” Maurice the Rat Man must come to the aid of the last Swan Princess, Dora Rose, whom he hopelessly loves and who has seen all her kindred slain, their precious bones turned into musical instruments by the evil ogre Mayor of Amandale, Ulia Gol, whose “florid face was as putridly pink as her wig.” With the help of Nicolas the Pied Piper, suitable reparations are exacted. To say this lively tale recaps its famous model legend is also to say that the Coen Bros.’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a straight-ahead rendition of the Labors of Hercules.

Our previous coverage of Bone Swans includes:

Locus Online on C.S.E. Cooney’s Bone Swans
C.S.E. Cooney Gets a Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly
New Treasures: Bone Swans
Bird People, Evil Clowns, and the Crooked One: Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney

Read the complete story online for free here.

2 Comments »

  1. I suppose I should add my review, from the July LOCUS:

    Bone Swans is a collection of five recent novellas from C. S. E. Cooney. All the stories are very good, and one of them is new to the collection: “The Bone Swans of Amandale”. This story is one of a couple in the book that takes as its basis a familiar fairy tale (here, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”, elsewhere in the book “Rumpelstilskin”), but which changes it utterly. Maurice is a Rat Person hopelessly in love with Dora Rose, a Swan Person. (Being a clever and cynical rat, he copes pretty well though.) When Dora Rose’s sister is murdered as part of a complex plot by the Amandale’s mayor, who wants to make an orchestra of “bone swans”, Maurice decides something has to be done, for the sake of the swans, and indeed for the city’s children, who are being misused as well in the mayor’s service, so he goes to his friend, a reluctant piper. The Pied Piper story is all there of course, but just as a skeleton on which to hang multiple intersecting motivations. And the key is as ever the telling, and Maurice’s voice.

    Comment by Rich Horton - January 24, 2016 12:51 pm

  2. Great review, Rich!

    Comment by John ONeill - January 24, 2016 1:22 pm


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