The Maker of Swans

Title Hand Lettered

Shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards 2016 Rising Stars Debut of the Month, February 2016

Editor’s Choice title for February 2016 in The Bookseller

TMOS Decal

‘Lavishly entertaining…strange and captivating.’


‘At its best, the prose is glorious, combining an ear for deep cadences of language with a phenomenal acuity of vision…O’Donnell is clearly a major talent.’

– Guardian

‘A vividly imagined and deeply pleasurable gothic fantasy.’

– Financial Times

‘Sonorous, beautifully made…disquieting and unfathomable.’

– The Spectator

‘An eerily mesmerising debut…here we have the emergence of a new and highly original literary voice.’

– The Tablet

‘Ambitious and original.’

– Irish Times

‘Rarely does a writer stop you so fully in your tracks…a bold new talent.’

– Sunday Independent

‘Extraordinarily readable…almost cinematic.’

– Irish Independent

‘There’s sufficient invention and engaging strangeness to keep the reader enfolded, though it is O’Donnell’s arresting descriptions of the natural world that are likely to live longest in the mind.’

– Daily Mail

‘A dark, elegant celebration of the power and beauty of words.’

– Sunday Express

‘A captivating and impressive debut.’

– Press Association

‘Cleverly combines literary references and Dickensian intrigue.’

– Sydney Morning Herald

‘Where it truly shines is in the richness of its writing.’

– Straits Times

‘A powerful thriller.’

– Vogue

‘A literary feast.’

– Stylist

‘Wonderfully dark…magical.’

– Elle

‘A fabulously assured, elegant, gothic-flavoured tale.’

– Woman and Home

‘An oddly beautiful tale of magic and art.’

The Bookseller

‘Weird and wonderful…a compulsive tale.’

– Irish Examiner

‘A Gothic extravaganza with all the trimmings…there is beautiful writing on almost every page.’

– Sunday Business Post

‘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 O’Donnell’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

‘Combines through-the-looking-glass enchantment with Nabokovian dexterity…a mesmerising book whose prose absolutely soars.’

Sandra Newman, author of The Country of Ice Cream Star

‘I loved this book. I wanted to forget it so that I could read it for the first time all over again.’

Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin Eater’s Daughter


Liz Nugent, author of Unravelling Oliver

‘Dazzlingly inventive.’

Jane Casey, author of the Maeve Kerrigan novels

‘Oozes atmosphere…had me guessing right to the end.’

– GeekDad

‘A brilliantly impressive debut.’

– The Digital Fix

TMOS Decal

It is no small matter, after all, to create something–to make it so only by setting down the words. We forget the magnitude, sometimes, of that miracle.

Mr Crowe was once the toast of the finest salons. A man of learning and means, he travelled the world, enthralling all who met him.

Now, Mr Crowe devotes himself to earthly pleasures. He has retreated to his sprawling country estate, where he lives with Clara, his mysterious young ward, and Eustace, his faithful manservant. His great library gathers dust and his once magnificent gardens grow wild.

But Mr Crowe and his extraordinary gifts have not been entirely forgotten. When he acts impetuously over a woman, he attracts the attention of Dr Chastern, the figurehead of a secret society to which Crowe still belongs. Chastern comes to Crowe’s estate to call him to account, and what follows will threaten everyone he cares for. But Clara possesses gifts of her own, gifts whose power she has not yet fully grasped. She must learn to use them quickly, if she is to save them all.

The Maker of Swans will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in February 2016.

It is now available for pre-order from the retailers below, or from local independent bookshops.

UK’s | Book Depository | | WHSmith | Wordery


Eason | Dubray Books

Australia and New Zealand | Angus & RobertsonBooktopia | Bookworld | |