Black Swan Rising

Black Swan Rising

3.6 19
by Lee Carroll

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Jeweler 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


Jeweler 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 favor for the frail owner of the antiques shop. Who wouldn't help?

But once the box is open 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—a parallel world of chaos, smoke, and blood.

And now it's out of the box…and it has no intention of going back in.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ancient alchemy and modern bohemians mix predictably in this formulaic urban fantasy. Jewelry artisan Garet James receives a sealed metal box from the owner of a watch repair shop. Once the box is opened, all manner of misfortunes befall her. Fey folk soon emerge from the city's counterculture to assist Garet and explain that she's a hereditary guardian against black magic. The shop owner is none other than medieval alchemist John Dee, who plans to unleash demons upon the world in seven days. Carroll--a pseudonym for mystery writer Carol Goodman (Arcadia Falls) and her husband, poet Lee Slonimsky--puts Garet through the usual initiate's paces of developing the special powers she needs to thwart Dee's plot. The characters who teach her are quirky and quaint, but their adventures with her will strike readers as generic and familiar. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

“Writing under the pseudonym Lee Carroll, Carol Goodman (Arcadia Falls; The Night Villa) and her husband, poet Lee Slonimsky, launch an urban fantasy series with an unusual heroine. Fans of Charles de Lint and Mercedes Lackey should enjoy this vibrant addition to the urban fantasy genre.” —Library Journal

“In Black Swan Rising Lee Carroll creates an unsuspected Manhattan touched by magic, and reinvents the epic quest in a startling contemporary way. It's Pandora's Box turned cybernetic!” —Eric Ormsby

“Clever and assured, with an authentic NYC setting.” —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
8.52(w) x 11.04(h) x 1.07(d)

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Meet the Author

LEE CARROLL is a collaboration between Hammett Award–winning mystery novelist Carol Goodman and her poet and hedge fund manager husband, Lee Slonimsky. Carol and Lee live in Great Neck, New York.

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Black Swan Rising 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
notrow1 6 months ago
This is the first book in an intriguing Urban Fantasy trilogy. I enjoyed it. Garet James is an intriguing character. I liked her a lot, but wanted to shake her on occasion. She is a jeweler, who makes necklaces out of old signets and seals. After hearing some bad news and getting caught in a rain storm, she stumbles into an antiques shop where she meets the proprietor. When he asks for her assistance in opening a sealed box, Garet is thrown into a world she never knew existed and finds out that she's one of a long line of Watchtowers, guardians of the Fae. I was recommended this book by Amazon in 2014 due to my reading/browsing history. I was intrigued by the synopsis so I bought a copy. Unfortunately, due to my rather large reading list, I haven't been able to read it until recently. I enjoyed meeting a few of the fae, such as Oberon and Puck, as well as the vampire Will Hughes (could have done with more interaction between him and Garet though). Garet's friends, Becky and Jay, are likable too. However, it was the villain of the story, Dr. John Dee that I struggled to get a feel for, as I felt he wasn't as well developed as he should have been. He came across as insane rather than evil. I started to read this story and quickly became hooked. Unfortunately, although I enjoyed the story, there were a couple of things about it that didn't grip me as it should have in my opinion - some characters were not as well developed as others, and confusing story lines that didn't seem to weave into the main plot nicely. Although there was excitement and danger in some scenes, as well as romance, I struggled to feel anything but ambivalence for most of the story. I must admit I did get a bit excited during one scene where a gargoyle attacked Garet and Will came to the rescue. Other readers may have a different experience to me, so I will leave it up to you, the reader, to decide for yourselves. I reached the end of the book with mixed feelings. I may change my mind in the future, but I am not sure if I will be continuing with the second book in the trilogy. Lee Carroll has written an intriguing YA Urban Fantasy. Although I didn't find it particularly fast paced, it kept me interested enough to keep turning the pages. Due to there being too much going on, I felt that the flow became jerky in places and didn't flow as much as it should have. Due to some scenes of violence, I do not recommend this book to readers under 15. I do, however, recommend this book if you love YA urban fantasy. - Lynn Worton
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lexnick More than 1 year ago
This book had so much in it that I liked, I really can't name them all.  I'm going to keep this review simple because I'm on a lot of medication and don't remember a lot of details. LOL  Only really how I felt throughout the book.  I read this while part in the hospital and part when I came home. I really don't remember any slow parts in this book.  There was always something going on, even if it was behind the scenes.  There were times when it felt like I was so anxious that I was holding my breath.  Then there were times where I was angry at the heroine, Garet.  There is a vampire, fey, demons, and elementals.  I thought it was so interesting how Garet learns about her powers.  I absolutely recommend this book for anyone who likes any type of supernatural.
A-Secret-Book-Affair More than 1 year ago
I really truly enjoyed reading this one, and I found it to be a mostly smooth quick read. Urban fantasies tend to be one of my favorite sub-genres of adult fiction to read because there is always an abundance of elements thrown at you in terms of characters and sub-plots. Black Swan Rising is no exception to this rule, with it's wide variety of charismatic characters and intertwining plots that keep you wondering what the true direction of the story is. But I must be bluntly honest and say readers be warned, there are a few wandering moments about mid-point into reading that tend to wane down on your pace in this one. I don't want to make it sound as if the writing was lacking in context or anything like that, because it wasn't, its just... well, I felt myself skimming a little bit in the middle of the book. I'm not even sure why exactly, but Black Swan Rising's pace just seemed to have a few little bumps in the road. It is definitely still worth reading though! I had the most fun with this book with it's dynamic characters. Although the story itself is widely based on traditional myths and legends Lee Carroll definitely puts their own twist on things. If there was ever a way to hide the Fae mythical creatures out in the open, then Lee Carroll nailed it, and can be seen in the way our heroine Garet slowly peels back the layers of the mythical world behind everyday people and places. One of my favorite Fae characters within Black Swan Rising is Lol, a red fiery little version of tinker bell in my opinion, who of course has no real dialog of her own, but through comical gestures and fluttering around she makes her presence and her opinions known. She may sound like a character with little effect on the story, but there are scenes were her importance is definitely a heavy one. All in all the buildup in the story line is well maintained, and the main characters growth in self confidence is an obviously rocky one. The only thing I found confusing was the Garet's heritage; in some scenes were led to believe it is an inheritance of generations, and in others it's almost as if all past versions of Margarette are her. By the end it is a little bit more clear, but still somewhat unknown for sure. The only thing I actually take issue with is the ending. The climatic point in the story ended rather abruptly and then there was about fifteen minutes of reading afterwards that didn't really bring closure to anything or present any loose ends that would be apparently leading to a second book. I understand that the authors were trying to invoke certain emotions in those last pages, but I'm just not sure they were necessary. When all is said and done, I really do recommend Black Swan Rising, especially if your a fan of adult urban fantasy, and even more so... ones that don't end after the first book. Yes, that's right, it appears that Lee Carroll has much more in store for Garet in the sequel The Watchtower.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warning to Carol Goodman fans!! Carol Goodman (co-writer of this book) is my favorite author-- I am a huge fan of her writing. This was absolutely terrible. The character development is laughable as is the way that the already ridiculous story unfolds. There is little to no connection that is developed between the reader and the main character. It was an interesting idea for a book, but terribly written. Consider yourself warned.
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NookFever More than 1 year ago
A fellow urban fantasy reader mentioned this book in the urban fantasy community on Amazon. She hadn't finished it all the way, but said that the book looked promising, so I decided to give it a try. The book cover and title were also appealing to me, and a nice change from the leather-clad heroine you can usually find on the cover of urban fantasy series cracking a whip or something... I don't want to waste any time describing the plot, because it is all in the product description :) Black Swan Rising is definitely a mild urban fantasy with hardly any romance, so paranormal romance readers will not like this book. However, the story offers more food for thought than the usual urban fantasy, and the magical elements were described wonderfully. It seems that the author (or authors I should say) put a lot of effort into combining fantasy with literary and artistic history in an urban setting. However, it feels like the authors had a list of paintings, artists, and names that appear in literary works in front of them, and wanted to include them all, whether it fit into the story or not. The story was molded around these key ingredients so to speak, which made the story and characters almost seem secondary. Throughout the book, Garet (short for Margaret, or Marguerite in french, or Watchtower translated, daughter of Margot --- see what I mean with literary overkill?), learns skills related to the four elements, but in the end she does not use them to destroy John Dee (the enemy). So what was the point of taking the reader through her journey? The authors also spent way too much time describing how the characters navigate through New York. You can probably count up to 100 different street names in the book, which is a little ridiculous in my opinion. Also, the authors leave little room for imagination as they dictate what you see. It's not just a coffee, it's a Starbucks coffee; not just a newspaper; it's the Wall Street Journal; not just a laptop, but an iMAC. All the branding made it distracting for me to enjoy the story; especially since the names were not important to the storyline at all. The author also mentions Facebook, Twitter, Gossip Girl (seriously?!), in addition to mentioning that the story is set in 2008. As if New York had it's own culture that you the normal person not living in a penthouse in Manhattan couldn't possibly understand! With all the research, name dropping and french terminology, I found a handful of spelling errors and sentences where words were missing. It think this is an enjoyable read for people that like books about literature, history and society with an inclination to the fantastical. The fantasy part is not very developed, and taken by itself falls flat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Gold Star Award Winner! In life, an event can happen that will forever change you, maybe even the world. Such an event happens when Garet James stumbles into an antique shop and receives a mysterious metal box. When she makes the foolish mistake of opening it, all manner of misfortunes break loose. That night the box is stolen. Soon, a hundred-year-old prophecy comes to light for her - and she's at the center of it. By opening the box, she released a great evil upon the world, and she's the only one who can stop it. To end the evil, she will have to face something that has been a mystery for many years since her mother died - her true identity. On her journey to save the world, she will have to face fey, vampires, and many other creatures heard of only in fairy tales and horror stories. With the fate of the world in her hands, who can she trust? Will she figure out her true identity and her role in the prophecy in time? This is a great adventure for paranormal fans. The action is intense, and the mystery is spellbinding. The characters are well-developed; the plot is well-crafted. Those who like paranormal books, adventure, urban fantasy, and fate-of-the-world type stories will have a hard time putting down BLACK SWAN RISING.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Cathy-Mac More than 1 year ago
I was instantly intrigued on page three when Garet by chance stops in an antique store to get out of the rain and comes upon a box that bears the same insignia as her ring that was given to her by her mother. The hook draws you in, and Garet's tale keeps you turning the pages to find out what she will discover next. I took the journey with her across New York in three days, along which she met a variety of characters, some who had their own motives and agendas and let you in enough to wonder what would happen next and who should be trusted. At the end of the adventure I find myself wanting more, still wondering what Garet's life has in store next. Overall this was an enjoyable read - the heroine is down to earth and highly relatable. If you're looking for a character-driven plot with fey and vampires, I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Save your money and buy something worth reading. I personally did not like this book. There was so many plot holes it is unbelievable. I bought this book thinking that it was going to be a decent read considering it is about the ever popular fairy/fey and vampire character.The pros: I really thought that the "watchtower" was pretty original, and I also loved the characters involved because their personalities were interesting to read. Also, who doesn't like vampires and fairies mixed together in a book? The cons: I felt like the book had to explain itself, and whenever a book has to do that you know it was poorly written. I also felt like this book was rushed even though it was almost 400 pages. Out of all the books I have read in my life, this one takes the cake on being the one I disliked the most. If you're interested in vampires I recommend reading Sunshine by Robin McKinley or the ever popular Vampire Chronicles from Anne Rice. If you're interested in fairies I recommend Need by Carrie Jones or the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In her New York City neighborhood jewelry designer Garet James walks into a curio shop that she never noticed before. Owner John Dee notices the swan design on her ring is identical to that on an antique silver box that he cannot open. He asks her to open the box. Shortly afterward, three men with no whites in their eyes enter ner father's art gallery and then her apartment. They take the box and her father is shot; he informs Garet they are demons who tried to take him over. Garet returns to the store, but it is shut and looks like it has not been used in years. Garet sees a picture of billionaire Will Hughes and his home which has the same swan design on the arch as that of the ring and box. When they meet, he explains she is a guardian watchtower standing between two worlds fighting evil. Garet visits the Cloisters in the Bronx; where a manticore comes alive and bites her. Will tells her he is a vampire; his bite will rid her body of the deadly manticore toxin. He further explains he is tracking the demons Despair and Discord who came to this plane when the box was opened and are in the process of forming. Will wants to prevent them from spreading their malevolence and needs her help starting with her meeting King Oberon of the fairies. Garet's metamorphosis from designer to arcane warrior make for a fun urban fantasy as she sees fey on the city streets. Garet adapts to her new world order rather too easily as the heroine meets demons, elementals, air sprite, a mermaid, a dragon, a gnome and others while falling in love with a vampire. Fans will enjoy touring the streets of Manhattan and the Bronx with Garet as our guide. Harriet Klausner