My Catchphrases

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Review: Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

Title: Black Swan Rising
Author: Lee Carroll
Publisher: Bantam Press (Random House)
Publication Date: 25 Nov 2010

Source: Publisher - thank you so much for the review copy

Synopsis: From Amazon
Jeweller Garet James isn't the same as everyone else.

She just doesn't know it yet.
With her fair share of problems – money (lack of), an elderly father, a struggling business – Garet should be just like any other young, feisty, single New Yorker. If only it was that simple...
It begins with the old silver box that had been soldered shut. All Garet has to do is open it. A favour for the frail owner of the antiques shop. Who wouldn’t help?
Only it’s then that things start to change. Garet doesn't notice at first, the shifts barely perceptible. But the city in which she grew up is beginning to reveal a long-hidden side – darker, and altogether more dangerous: parallel world of chaos, smoke and blood.
And now it’s out of the box...and it has no intention of going back in.

Written in first person narrative from Garet's perspective. In her mid-twenties she has shied away from relationships since her mothers death, which she feels partly responsible for. She is highly talented and gifted creatively, although very critical of herself, she does not see herself as those around her do. I immediately felt compassion for her and this carried throughout the book, plus I adored her music taste [ : D ]. I could totally relate to the shock of finding yourself in a negative economic situation. Topical reference to the global economic crisis added to the sense of realism, plus the use of Despair and Discord paralleled the way in which the world appears on occasions.

The scene setting was excellent right from the very beginning; descriptive writing captivating the imagination with lovely use of similes to aid the imagery. The sinister and the sensuous were mixed together rounding out the whole good versus evil ideology. The rise and fall of tension mirrored the rise and fall of emotions brilliantly. Visually enchanting with the gorgeous type face used at the chapter headings.

The jewellery/art/history/literature reference were well researched adding to the narrative and aiding the sense of realism. Richly woven historical events within the plot were easy to picture in the way they were portrayed, supernatural/paranormal influences adding to the action. In a nut shell myth and magic woven into history embellished with wonderful literature and art references.

I loved the way people were portrayed as guides; they come into our lives at the moment we need them akin to little miracles in people form. The descriptions of auras and their meanings was fascinating; the whole 'pay it forward' aspect of the effect aura's have was heart warming, I wished it happened in real life. It would be nice to be able to blame the world's horrors on myth and magic while being able to dispel it with positivity.

The use of Shakespearean fairies was totally fantastic, I am completely in love with A Mid Summers Night Dream. The whole way that the characters were not all they appeared was ingenious. The entire plot is kept under tight control with nice recaps of events sporadically placed throughout. Some ingenious twists and turns kept me on my toes, I couldn't make any assumptions. Further hints to future plots are entwined making me desperate for the next installment.

All the characters were well rounded and individual, their interactions completely believable. It was difficult to tell who was good and who was bad, there was no black and white definition just all shades of grey. The issue of nurture was brought into question portraying the reality of how well do we really know our parents just as people and the skeletons hidden in family closets.

Engrossing narrative, a completely seductive page turner, in short I could not put it down.

PS Can I have that alchemy recipe NOW please [ ; D ]


  1. This one sounds wonderful, what a great review and now I really want to read it :)

  2. This books sounds great. What a great review. And the cover is stunning. Must add to tbr list. x

  3. I love the cover of this one - it totally got my attention on Amazon one day. I've read some iffy reviews though, and I believe the book is written by a husband and wife team - the dual author thing is something that doesn't really work for me.

    Nonetheless, from reading your review I have to say that this one sounds really good, so I will check it out sometime soon! :)

  4. While this isn't something I'd usually pick up, it sounds deliciously dark and I am *loving* the thought of those Shakespearean fairies. Awesome review - I'm definitely tempted to step outside my comfort zone and pick this up.

  5. Amazing review Emma!
    It totally makes me want to read this book. I like that there is so much more than just the story! Woop woop :)


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