Review: Swallow’s Dance


Title: Swallow’s Dance
Author: Wendy Orr
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Release Date: October 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

I wonder if the first day of Learning is always like this – do the girls on the hill always feel the ground tremble under their feet? Leira is about to start her initiation as a priestess when her world is turned upside down. A violent earthquake leaves her home – and her family – in pieces. And the goddess hasn’t finished with the island yet.

With her family, Leira flees across the sea to Crete, expecting sanctuary. But a volcanic eruption throws the entire world into darkness. After the resulting tsunami, society descends into chaos; the status and privilege of being noble-born reduced to nothing. With her injured mother and elderly nurse, Leira has only the strength and resourcefulness within herself to find safety.


This is a great tale about Ancient Greece.

Leira loses almost everything when an earthquake hits her home. Her home is destroyed and her mother bangs her head, losing consciousness. She eventually wakes up but she can no longer speak. Leira and her nurse Nunu, along with her mother, are sent to Crete, where more tragedy strikes. Though Leira suffers devastating losses, she stays strong to help her nurse and her mother.

This is a very powerful story. It was quite emotional at times. I had tears in my eyes by the end, but I was pleased with the ending. This story has a traditional Greek form because it is written partly in verse. The sections in verse are particularly descriptive and lyrical. This reinforces the Greek atmosphere of the story.

This is a beautiful and powerful story. I loved it!

What to read next:

  • Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr


  • Nim’s Island (Nim #1) by Wendy Orr


Have you read Swallow’s Dance? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

4 thoughts on “Review: Swallow’s Dance”

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