Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll — book review

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll. Bantam Books ‘7.99

Reviewed By Ian Hunter

Nice cover, that long walk, that glance over the cover, and she should be worried, our heroine, because she didn’t really want to do that. Like those old warnings: don’t go off the path, don’t go down into the cellar, or the attic, or the graveyard, or run away from the zombies/creatures/killers/whatever, because you are bound to fall over and twist your ankle. Just don’t, DON’T do any of the above and especially don’t go into that strange little shop you’ve never noticed before run by that odd little old man and agree to help him open that box that’s shut tight, just don’t, okay? Even if the box does bear some markings that are the same as on the ring and necklace you are wearing. Ach, didn’t I tell you not to do that? Too late, down on her luck jeweller, Garet James, agrees to help and the box is open and everything has changed. Our world has merged slightly with the unseen world of the fey, and the demons are out of the box, so now is a handy time for Garet to learn she is one of a long line of guardians which stood guard between both worlds, and now if only she can find reborn 16th Century magician Dr. John Dee and get him to help combat those demons it will be like she never opened that box. Which sounds like a great plan in the grand scheme of things, but Garet has a whole lot of other issues to deal with to do with her financial worries and her father’s failing health

Okay, I’m being more than a little unfair on a book (written by the husband and wife team of Carol Goodman and Lee Slonimsky) which is actually very well-written and imaginative, despite having a few familiar stock characters in the shape of vampires (oh, no, Garet, just don’t fall for him ‘ haven’t you read my ‘don’t’ list?) and dragons, but at least Garet comes across as a more ‘grounded’ heroine. It’s got romance, horror, a good dollop of urban fantasy, and a lot of research which doesn’t slow things down too much, and all in all makes a welcome addition to the urban fantasy field.

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll. Bantam Books ‘7.99

Reviewed By Ian Hunter

Nice cover, that long walk, that glance over the cover, and she should be worried, our heroine, because she didn’t really want to do that. Like those old warnings: don’t go off the path, don’t go down into the cellar, or the attic, or the graveyard, or run away from the zombies/creatures/killers/whatever, because you are bound to fall over and twist your ankle. Just don’t, DON’T do any of the above and especially don’t go into that strange little shop you’ve never noticed before run by that odd little old man and agree to help him open that box that’s shut tight, just don’t, okay? Even if the box does bear some markings that are the same as on the ring and necklace you are wearing. Ach, didn’t I tell you not to do that? Too late, down on her luck jeweller, Garet James, agrees to help and the box is open and everything has changed. Our world has merged slightly with the unseen world of the fey, and the demons are out of the box, so now is a handy time for Garet to learn she is one of a long line of guardians which stood guard between both worlds, and now if only she can find reborn 16th Century magician Dr. John Dee and get him to help combat those demons it will be like she never opened that box. Which sounds like a great plan in the grand scheme of things, but Garet has a whole lot of other issues to deal with to do with her financial worries and her father’s failing health

Okay, I’m being more than a little unfair on a book (written by the husband and wife team of Carol Goodman and Lee Slonimsky) which is actually very well-written and imaginative, despite having a few familiar stock characters in the shape of vampires (oh, no, Garet, just don’t fall for him ‘ haven’t you read my ‘don’t’ list?) and dragons, but at least Garet comes across as a more ‘grounded’ heroine. It’s got romance, horror, a good dollop of urban fantasy, and a lot of research which doesn’t slow things down too much, and all in all makes a welcome addition to the urban fantasy field.