Eliza (15 years old), a princess who has been raised in secret by peasants, is exposed and brought back to the castle, where her wicked Queen mother wants to kill her to break a curse keeping her eleven beloved sons trapped in the bodies of black swans. Pursued by the Queen’s Chamberlain, Eliza escapes. Protected by the trickster Hanyi, she learns that her brothers are alive, but breaking the curse means risking her own life. She finds her brothers, and after staving off their attempt to kill her, learns that during the day they are swans, but at night turn back into princes. Soon after, she meets a Fairy, who gives her a curse-breaking assignment: knit shirts out of nettles for each brother – and not utter a word until she completes her task, lest the brothers remain swans forever. No sooner has Eliza arrived in the land where the brothers/swans are exiled and begun her work, when she’s captured by the ruler, Carrington, who lives under his own curse: that everything he touches or approaches freezes cold. Only Eliza warms his heart. During the year that follows, the love-struck Carrington attempts everything and anything to force Eliza to utter a word of commitment to him. But Eliza stays true to her vow, even as those who try to get her to speak are executed and she is threatened with death herself. Just when she is almost finished knitting the eleven nettle shirts, the Chamberlain arrives and tells Carrington that Eliza is a princess in collusion with evil forces, keeping his land without a successor to the throne. When Eliza refuses to defend herself, Carrington sentences the Chamberlain to death for not being able to get her to speak. But instead of being grateful, Eliza escapes with the nettle shirts to her brothers. A battle follows and Carrington begs her to speak to save her life. When she does not, he feels he has no choice but to sentences her to death. Yet as she plunges down a ravine, Carrington hurls himself after her. After expressing his unconditional love for her through the ultimate sacrifice, they are both rescued by Eliza’s flying brothers. By the grace of Eliza’s completed knitting task, the brothers are transformed back to young men for eternity. Eliza can now speak and reciprocate Carrington’s love.