Swan Feather (by Lorna Hill)

Having just finished the seventh in Lorna Hill's ballet series, I thought I'd read the tenth, 'Swan Feather'. It was a little better, but there were still rather too many characters, some of whom would be bewildering to anyone who had not read previous books in the series.

Still, this book is mainly about Sylvia Swan, a newly-introduced character, so it does stand better as a complete story. There are some rather horrible incidents early in the book, which might disturb an over-sensitive young teenager, however they're soon passed. More disturbing is the cruel and heartless Nigel who appears in previous books and features again in this one.

The action is really much too rapid - do people really meet, fall in love and plan to get married in the space of about three weeks?! - but my main complaint is the multiple viewpoints and author comments that pepper this book. It would have worked much better if the entire story had been written from Sylvia's own perspective.

If you've read others in the series, this isn't a bad story to while away a couple of hours, but if not - or if you have no interest in ballet or teenage girls - there are much better children's books about.

Long out of print in the USA, and second-hand copies there tend to be pricey. However it was recently re-published in the UK.

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