'Compulsive reading . . . rich, strange, beautiful' Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk
'A strange, new and captivating look at a magical realm . . . Lavishly entertaining' Independent
'Enthralling . . . a literary feast' Stylist
The world had forgotten Mr Crowe and his mysterious gifts. Until he killed the poet.
He lived a secluded life in the fading grandeur of his country estate. His companions were his faithful manservant and his ward, Clara, a silent, bookish girl who has gifts of her own.
Now Dr Chastern, the leader of a secret society, arrives at the estate to call Crowe to account and keep his powers in check. But it is Clara's even greater gifts that he comes to covet most.
She must learn to use them quickly, if she is to save them all.
Paraic O'Donnell is a writer of fiction, poetry and criticism. His essays and reviews have appeared in the Guardian, The Spectator, the Irish Times and elsewhere. His first novel, THE MAKER OF SWANS, was named the Amazon Rising Stars Debut of the Month for February 2016 and was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards in the Newcomer of the Year category. He lives in Wicklow, Ireland with his wife and two children.
This debut comes highly praised by Costa prize-winner Helen Macdonald . . . it is O'Donnell's arresting descriptions of the natural world that are likely to live longest in the mind — DAILY MAIL
it would not be surprising if the public clamours for a second instalment of this vividly imagined and deeply pleasurable gothic fantasy - not to mention a film. — FINANCIAL TIMES
at its best, the prose in O'Donnell's first novel is glorious, combining an ear for deep cadences of language with a phenomenal acuity of vision. — THE GUARDIAN
Poetic and strange, this Gothic novel is a dark, elegant celebration of the power and beauty of words and the spells they weave. — SUNDAY EXPRESS
this book is like the swans Clara makes in her dreams, though it may assume a familiar shape, it remains very much its own thing, strange and new and captivating. — THE INDEPENDENT
O'Donnell's eloquent descriptions and old-world characters make it a charming, lyrical read even when tension is high. I admired the depth of O'Donnell's imagination, which allowed him to conjure uo this enthralling tale . . . A literary feast — STYLIST
A powerful thriller — VOGUE
Wonderfully dark, magical — ELLE
Strange and beautiful - one of Stylist's Essential Reads for 2016 — STYLIST
A fabulously assured, elegant Gothic-flavoured tale — WOMAN AND HOME
A peculiar and beautiful tale of art and magic — STYLIST.CO.UK
An oddly beautiful tale of magic and art, this reminded me of Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes — Cathy Rentzenbrink, Editor's Choice, The Bookseller
Compulsive reading . . . rich, strange, beautiful — Helen Macdonald, author of H IS FOR HAWK
I devoured this book and it kept me guessing right to the very end . . . Line by line, Paraic's writing contains some of the most beautifully turned phrasing I've read in a long while — Laura Barnett, author of THE VERSIONS OF US
Dazzlingly inventive, compelling — Jane Casey
Exquisite — Liz Nugent, author of UNRAVELLING OLIVER
The Maker of Swans combines through-the-looking-glass enchantment with Nabokovian dexterity, and is also a sly and insightful commentary on the powers and weakness of artists. O'Donnell has written a mesmerizing book whose prose absolutely soars — Sandra Newman, author of THE COUNTRY OF ICE CREAM STAR
Sonorous, beautifully made . . . disquieting and unfathomable — THE SPECTATOR