Reader Reviewed A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson

A Company of Swans

Written by Eva Ibbotson

YA readers   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea is the book that for many will be the most memorable of all the books they read as a child. Like Journey to the River Sea, A Company of Swans is set in the Amazon jungle, and is another book to touch the heart. Oppressed by her mean-spirited father and aunt, teenager Harriet is finally driven to rebel and runs away with a troupe of Russian ballerinas, all the way to the city of Manaus. There she falls in love with another runaway, the handsome Rom. Of course the path of their love is far from straight, and Harriet’s nasty father is determined she won’t escape. A Cinderella story distinguished by Ibbotson’s humour, intelligence and gift for creating unusual but always believable characters this wonderful book is recommended for romantics of all ages. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Charnell Vevers - 'This books takes you on a journey, along with Harriet, as she leaves her sheltered life in London so that she can join a touring ballet company as they travel the Amazon.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'Harriet is a brave and very likeable character who was a lot of fun to read about having all these experiences away from the safety of home especially as her family wanted her back!'
  • Catherine Bryce - 'A historical romance story, intimate in places, but well worth reading even if you are not a ballet fan.'
  • Hannah Ward - 'If you’re a fan of the ballet this is the book for you.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'As a fan of ballet novels in my childhood I really enjoyed this. Well written and intelligent.'


A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson

Weekly ballet classes are Harriet Morton's only escape from her intolerably dull life. So when she is chosen to join a corps de ballet which is setting off on a tour of the Amazon, she leaps at the chance to run away for good. Performing in the grand opera houses is everything Harriet dreamed of, and falling in love with an aristocratic exile makes her new life complete. Swept away by it all, she is unaware that her father and intended fiance have begun to track her down ...

About the Author

Eva Ibbotson

Born in Vienna, Eva Ibbotson came to England as a small girl. She spent much of her adult life in Newcastle upon Tyne. When her husband was alive he bred snails in the garage; they also kept fish and had a small and very hairy dog. Eva had four grown-up children and seven grandchildren. She wrote for both adults and children. Which Witch was runner-up for the Carnegie Medal and The Secret of Platform 13 was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize. Journey to the River Sea won the Smarties Book Prize Gold Award, was runner-up for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year and the Guardian Fiction Award, and was also shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

Eva's books for older readers (12+) include: The Morning Gift, A Song for Summer, The Secret Countess, A Company of Swans and Magic Flutes. Her books for younger readers (9+) include: The Dragonfly Pool, Journey to the River Sea and The Star of Kazan.

And for even younger readers (7+): Which Witch, Dial a Ghost, Not just a Witch, Monster Mission, The Beasts of Clawstone Castle, The secret of Platform 13, The Great Ghost rescue and The Haunting of Hiram.

Eva's final novel that she completed prior to her death at the age of 85 in 2010 is called One Dog and his Boy.

Eva Ibbotson on writing:
"I started to scribble stories when I was about seven years old and I just carried on so I became a writer gradually. I didn't try to get anything published until I was quite grown-up. I write at my mother's old desk, looking out on to a leafy street, and I rewrite what I have written again and again until I get the words the way I want them (most of my pages have been through eight drafts or so). It's my belief that one should be in the same place each day, so that if an idea is hovering it knows where to find you. Ideas can come from places one has seen or conversations one has overheard - or just from nowhere! Being an author can be lonely, difficult and frustrating, but there is nothing else I'd rather be."

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


400 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Eva Ibbotson
More books by Eva Ibbotson


Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

26th March 2015




It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

LoveReading4Kids is a modern and creative way of emphasising the value and importance of books in this digital age #booksforlife

Amrit Bunet – Teen

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

I love ‘LoveReading 4 kids’ because they let you read and learn things you’d never dreamed of learning before.

Emily Horncastle – age 11

Lovereading 4 schools