Swan Lake, The Ultimate Sacrifice Story


When I was about five, I was obsessed with Swan Lake. I adored the score and played the record over and over again. I remember attending the ballet, but it was the music and the story that truly captivated my soul. The music, written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between 1875 and 1876, is sublime. Even now, I can pinpoint where we are in the story just by hearing a few chords; the ending still brings me to tears. But what affects me the most — is it the music or the story?

Here’s a quick summary of the story: a princess, cursed to live as a swan during the day, regains her human form at night. One evening, a prince, out hunting, encounters her and falls deeply in love. While court intrigues attempt to lead the prince to choose a bride and a malevolent witch tries to deceive him, these elements pale in comparison to the climax. Ultimately, the prince forsakes his humanity, transforming into a swan to join the woman he loves. Together, they fly away, a happy couple.

Swan Lake embodies a mythic story archetype, echoed throughout fantasy and fiction. Consider Twilight, where a lover surrenders her humanity to be with her beloved — though in her case, she gains immortality, wealth, beauty, and magical powers, hardly a sacrifice. Similarly, in Shrek, Princess Fiona anticipates becoming a beautiful human but remains an ogress. Nevertheless, the underlying theme persists: sacrificing one’s humanity, at least partially, to be with a loved one. The key distinction in Swan Lake is the hero’s genuine sacrifice; he consciously relinquishes everything — his kingdom, wealth, power, human form, potential for human offspring, and even a shorter life span — to be with the woman he loves.

In my notes titled “Ideas for Future Stories”, Swan Lake has secured a prominent spot. While I touched on these themes in my book Suddenly, Paris, someday, I will return to another tale of love and sacrifice.

Swan Lake

Meanwhile, I’m making progress on “Tinkerer’s Daughter” — the origin story of Baba Yaga. I have perhaps a few more chapters to bring it all to a conclusion. It is a dark dark story. It surprised me. But that’s being a pantser for you! That word comes from the expression: “Writing by the Seat of One’s Pants.”

Additionally, as is often the case, I am participating in an indie author giveaway. May you discover something delightful to read!

Happy Indie April!



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