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I loved this book from the beginning. The descriptions were so real and I felt the torment of the psychotic artist and the people who loved him. The parallel stories of the 19th and 20th centuries were well done.
Kostiva's first novel held me captivated and spellbound and I was very excited when this second novel came out, however, I couldn't even finish it. The characters were flat, and the storyline just plodded along. I felt as if I was waiting for something, anything, to develop that would intrigue me. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt and continue reading waiting for the spellbinding effect of the first novel to take over. Finally, I threw the book away in disgust. I was highly disappointed by Kostiva's second novel and I do not recommend it at all.
The Swan Theives
I loved this book from the first page; the clever way that it bridged the years, the visual descriptions of people, landscapes and colours. To me it left questions unanswered but this made it even more thought provoking. Even though I finished reading it two days ago I still feel the urge to go back to certain parts and re-read them. As with many other books I feel quite sad to be without all these lovely characters.
I suppose after the success of The Historian, my expectations were quite high, as I am sure were those of other fans of Kostova's debut novel.
Patricia Van Es
The swan thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
Unfortunately, I found the characters in The Swan Thieves rather uninteresting, and really didn't care about any of them. Her prose is dull, unfocused and tedious, and I found it difficult to get through each chapter.
The Swan Thieves just doesn't work.
It is beautifully and sensitively written, the story is not long when you put the whole of it together. One is meant to take your time and enjoy the painters for themselves individually, the scenes they are painting , the human interest and the atmosphere around them as well as the intrigue in the story. When you finish reading the whole book you are glad that you read to the end.