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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

I was sent this book as I'm part of the Transworld book group (see here for details)
So lets start up by showing you the blurb that made me pick this book out as my first choice to read and therefore the one I was most interested in
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.
It sounded fascinating to me having read that and I'm so pleased to say that it hasn't disappointed me at all. In fact it has been a far better read than I could have hoped for. The description that I've copied in above does give a little of the basis to the storyline but there is so much more to it. I've found it to be a wonderful fantasy adventure set in the real world but also in a world where there are many more possibilities than most people suspect.

How would you cope if you suddenly found out that the world around you wasn't  what you always believed it to be? What about if you discovered that your Mother had kept the biggest of secrets from you? And that in that revelation the past, and even the very distant past, show just how much of an influence they have had over your life, to the extent that events that had happened were not only what they seemed to be at the time but also a portent of what was to come.

All these secrets Garet seems to take in her stride, she accepts so many new ideas in such a short time that it's so easy to get caught up with all her new experiences as well as discoveries about the past and the people around her, both new and old. The writing is very expressive and descriptive, allowing you to follow the story easily, eagerly awaiting the next development in the tale and enjoying the depth of storytelling that kept me riveted until the last page was turned. I have to say I did enjoy that the climax happened and then we got to see what happened to most of the characters for a while afterwards as well, so many books end with a climax and leave you wondering what happened next, was everyone really OK. Black Swan Rising is not one of those books, you're left at the end knowing a little of what happened after all the drama while the storyline is set up magnificently for book 2 (which I really cant wait for I just need to order my copy now!)

It is worth noting finally that "Lee Carroll" is actually a pseudonym. This wonderful book was actually written by award-winning novelist Carol Goodman and her poet husband Lee Slonimsky. After reading this, I'm eagerly anticipating getting my hands on the second book and I've also added a few Carol Goodman books to my wish-list in the hope that I find them as absorbing as I have this one.

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