Posts Tagged With: Lee Carroll

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll (Transworld Book Group)

Title: Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising Book 1)
Lee Carroll
First Published:
No. of pages:400

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis (Amazon):
New York jeweller Garet James has her fair share of problems: money, an elderly father, a struggling business. One day she comes across an antiques shop she’d never noticed before. The owner possesses an old silver box that’s been sealed shut. Would she help an old man and open it, perhaps? She does…and that night strange things begin to happen. It’s as if her world – our world – has shifted slightly, revealing another, parallel place that co-exists without our knowledge: the world of the Fey…

Garet learns that one of her ancestors was ‘the Watchtower’: an immortal chosen to stand guard over the human and the fey worlds – a role that she has, it seems, inherited from her mother. But the equilibrium between these two existences is under threat. The 16th-century magician and necromancer Dr John Dee has returned, the box has been opened and the demons of Despair and Discord released. In a race against time and impending apocalypse, it is Garet who must find Dee… and close the box.

I desperately wanted to like this more than I did. I love dark urban fantasies, especially where vampires are involved, but I found I wanted this to be darker and edgier than it was.

That’s not to say it’s not good – it is good. There’s a fascinating blend of fact and fiction, with real historical figures borrowed from their own times to lend credence to those from folklore and legend. And the characters are pretty solidly written too. I really liked Garet she’s fallible and real – but there was something missing for me. She just didn’t come across as a take-the-reigns kind of girl and I wanted her to be more forceful.

Garet’s training also seemed to happen very quickly with not much happening as a result of it, which is a shame, because I felt it was a trick missed. Perhaps (and I can only hope I’m right) her newfound skills will come into play a bit more in the sequel.

Overall, Black Swan Rising is a nice bit of escapism and if you like urban fantasy, this could be just the ticket for you. There’s certainly enough to keep one entertained and maybe just enough to hook you for the second installment.

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

You can find out more about the Transworld Book Group HERE.

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Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

Black Swan Rising is the first book in a dark urban fantasy series. It’s written by a husband and wife team, which seems to work in its favour. Carol is the novelist, and Lee is a poet, and his influence shows in the writing.

The main character, Garet Jones, is in her 20s, and dealing with problems – she has an elderly father, and they are struggling with debts in a failing economy. When she discovers an unusual silver box to which she seems to have connections, she agrees to try to open it. From this point on, she starts to find her world shifting. She’s introduced to the world of fey, meets goblins, a dragon and a vampire, and comes face to face with the demons of Dispair and Discord.

As a keen YA reader, I expected this to be similar to most other paranormal romance books out there, but it has a more adult feel to it. There is a lot of fantasy, and yet at the same time it seems to remain grounded in the real world. Garet takes time to come to terms with her discoveries, and she takes the reader with her. In addition, the characters aren’t black and white – there’s always that sense that some may not be what they seem, and should not be trusted.

Of course some of the ideas and characters have been done before, I think a totally unique book in this crowded genre is impossible. However, the overall story line is something I haven’t come across before, and there are some great character creations.

It’s a fast paced book, with plenty of details, story threads and characters throughout. Whilst I needed to know what would happen, I was sad to finish and leave the world. Thankfully the 2nd book is already published, so I will be returning soon.

For fans of urban fantasy, this is highly recommended.

Black Swan Rising is published by Bantam, and was sent to me as part of the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge.

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