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Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising #1)

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  2,051 Ratings  ·  343 Reviews

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 - ou

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published (first published 2010)
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*3.5 Stars*

What an interesting story! It was fantastical and descriptive and just all around interesting. I loved that so much about the arts and various artists were included. The explanation for their bursts of talent and their eventual sudden loss of talent was a very fascinating take. I like that the author included so many well known things, like Van Gogh's painting, Starry Night, to illustrate exactly what she meant. I read that line and knew exactly what image she was trying to portray! I

I just don't care about these people. Stuff is happening, but it's a blur of flat characters & disjointed action scenes. Bottom line: the writing is unbelievably bland. There are nice details that you don't see in other PNR, such as the heroine being a jewelry designer & her family operating an art gallery (with plenty of references to modern & classical art); I also like the ties to Elizabethan fae.

...But those tiny positives aren't enough to hold my interest.

Normal 20-somethi
I was excited to get a copy of Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll – the husband and wife writing team of Carol Goodman and Lee Slonimsky. I enjoyed the Carol Goodman’s The Demon Lover and The Water Witch and as I settled down to read Black Swan Rising, I knew I was in for a treat.

Black Swan Rising is a beautifully written gothic style tale. The world is richly described, a modern day New York City layered with the magical world of the fae and an assortment of many different paranormal creatures. I
Jul 29, 2011 Rane rated it really liked it

As I started this book, I was at odds with a almost syrup slowness that starts to build into something that totally held my attention and made me end up loving a book I was going to dismiss and perhaps put on the DNF shelf!

With the economy at it's worse New York jeweller Garet James and her father try to hold up their art gallery by threads, when things can't get any worse, Garet comes across an old antiques shop where she's given a silver box that she's asked to open. Only it's a trick, and w
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead

Garet James is a down on her luck jewelry designer trying to make a living in the heart of New York City. Garet, on the edge of dispair because of her father's recent bad decisions, finds herself in the heart of what she thought was a normal antique store. Little did Garet know, walking into that store, would transform her life in more ways then she could ever imagine.

This book is about a woman's transformation from "plain jane" to a strong warrior. Garet has to figure out whom to trust, and if
Jan 16, 2016 lina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-out-of-10
actual rating: 1.5

Кто же мы такие, чтобы отказываться от возможностей, предлагаемых нам судьбой?

Как только я увидела эту книгу на книжной полке, мне почему-то она сразу понравилась. Красивая обложка, замечательная аннотация. Но чем больше эта книга стояла у меня на полке, тем больше я думала, что разочаруюсь в ней. Что и произошло на самом деле.
Главная героиня книги - двадцатишестилетняя Гарет Джеймс. Не какой-нибудь подросток лет шестнадцати-семнадцати, а взрослая женщина. Но дело в том, что не
harlequin {Stephanie}
When reading the back cover is the most excitement you pull from a book you know it's just not meant to be.

This novel is a perfect example of what to avoid when writing a story.

The characters came out so flat as to not even be there. It feels like the author added herself & husband into the roles and glossed over any character development that would breath life into this book.

From the start it was the writing style that most ruined it for me. For such imaginative elements, fae, the writing
Carolyn  Storer
'Black Swan Rising' is a little different to other urban fantasy novels I've read, in that it is quite a gentle read. Garet James is not the typical kick-arse chick - she's a fairly normal, down-to-earth woman struggling to make ends meet. She knows nothing of the supernatural world which surrounds her and so when she finds out that the world is not as it seems we see her trying to come to terms with the revelation that there are faeries, vampires and demons to contend with.

The beginning of the
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
This and my other reviews can be found at

Thanks to Netgalley and Bantam for giving me this book to review.

After the bad day of finding out that she is neck deep in debt, jewellery designer Garet James stumbles into an unusual antiques store. The shop keeper commissions her to use her jewellery making skills to open a silver box which has the same swan symbol that is on the deceased mother’s ring. After managing to open the silver box Garet discovers that t
Douglas Meeks
Jan 27, 2013 Douglas Meeks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I thoroughly enjoyed Black Swan Rising, it dragged in a couple of places and I found myself scanning. Usually, this means it was a boring book but in this one it was more of a "I got to get to what happens next" like I can get any little hints later. I loved the story, I love the characters, although a couple of them could have used a bit more development but then again this is book 1 of a trilogy so i hope for better in the future. The way I rate books is how I feel when I finish them and ...more
Jan 08, 2011 Austin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in April, but I am just getting around to reviewing it. After watching the film, Black Swan, I loved the movie so much that I looked everywhere to see if it was based on a book. Unfortunately, it wasn't. But instead, I found this book. And it was awesome!
So this book opens up with our main character, Garet James entering a strange antique store. In the antique store, Garet is persuaded into opening a silver box with a swan symbol on it by the store owner, John Dee. Strangely enoug
Aug 15, 2011 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a very pleasant surprise for at least two reasons.
I had not realised this, but Lee Carroll is a pseudonym for Carol Goodman and her husband, Lee Slonimsky.
I have been a fan of Goodman’s books for years, ever since I read The Lake of Dead Languages in 2002 and was delighted to discover that she has (co-) written books I never knew existed.
The second surprise was that this book was more literary than most urban fantasies/vampire novels I’ve read so far. I guess that is probably beca
Wicked Lil Pixie (Natasha)
When I first started reading Black Swan Rising, I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did. By the middle of the book I didn’t answer my phone and I didn’t want to go out on a Saturday night. I had to finish this book!

Garet fast became one of my favorite fiction characters, she’s snarky and she keeps going when any other person would just lay down and call it quits. The ending damn near killed me but I am so happy this is a series and not a one off, it was just that good!

I can’t wait to fin
Young jewelry designer, Garet James, has just gotten some really bad news. Her aging father has mortgage their home and gallery to the hilt and they might loose it all. Lost in thought, Garet walks aimlessly around NYC only to end up in front of an usual shop. She enters the shop for directions and meets the keeper, John Dee. John Dee has a box with exactly the same symbol on it as the treasured ring her mother gave her. John Dee tells Garet if she opens the box he will give her $1000. Needing t ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)

Not bad, not great. Interesting characters, but the plot feels so "been there, read that already". I had hoped for more originality, but still, this wasn't bad. It just could have been so much better.

Review to come.
Oct 06, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Garet is a jewellery designer who helps her father run an art gallery in New York. Due to some bad decisions her father has made they are in a lot of financial trouble and when there is a robbery at the gallery her father is top of the police suspect list. Garet is sure her father is innocent but the question is can she prove it? At the same time Garet is asked by the owner of an antiques store if she will open a silver box for him, thinking it is an easy way to earn some extra cash Garet agrees ...more
Jan 25, 2013 Shiloh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley
In the midst of the recession, Garet James is knee-deep in money troubles not of her own making. The art industry is dying, even in New York, and Garet is struggling to make ends meet. But when she wanders into an esoteric antiques shop and accidentally picks up a job--opening a silver box that's been soldered shut--she falls into a world of magic and learns that she's much more than just an artist.

This book started out really well. There's a bad guy! And he's going to unleash the demons Despair
Premise: I like urban fantasies, though the black swan thing seemed a bit of a cliché.

Characters: The main character, Garet, was interesting at first (because she was a 26-year-old jeweller for one thing, rather than a sixteen-year-old misunderstood high school student) but she never really seemed to develop throughout the story. She seemed a bit wooden with weak interactions, and her sudden passion for Will wasn’t believable. All of the other characters weren’t developed enough and their relati
Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Also on

Garet James is twenty-six and lives with her father Roman. He has some debts and she is trying hard to help him. She makes jewellery and one day, she stumbles into a strange shop. John Dee knows about her and he asks her to help him to open a silver box. He will give her a nice sum of money. Garet is intrigued by the symbol of a swan; it resembles the swan from her ring. She feels like it means something, but strange things happen when she opens the bo
Oct 03, 2011 Beadyjan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of the Transworld book club reading challenge 2011.

I picked this title even though its not normally a genre I'd choose, as I thought it would be more of a challenge than reading 4 books I'd have chosen anyway. Hmm maybe that was a big mistake.

I guess this is what you'd call "urban fantasy" Its about a young woman who lives in New York, designs and makes jewellery for a living (I thought that might give me some common ground as I make jewellery) Her mother died when she w
3.5 stars

i am probably completely overrating this book but it was right up my alley. not only did i read it at the opportune time (semester has ended and thus i utter a huge sigh of relief), but there is a good mixture of fantasy (fairies, vampires, gnomes, dragons, the list goes on) along with decent characterization (not amazing), little spurts of action and betrayal, glimpses of romance, the discovery of a new world and it all takes place in the city that i've been calling home for the past 5
Oct 13, 2013 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy modern, present-world fantasy
When I started this book, I expected a romance-tinged modern fantasy novel, probably only passably written, probably terribly fluffy.

I am pleased and surprised to say that I was wrong, at least on those last two scores. Yes, the book isn't a Weighty Tome, but it is well written and, what's more surprising, truly imaginative. It's rare for me to come across a fantasy novel that plays with old stories and tropes in a way that feels truly new. This one did.

Some aspects - the romance, for instance
Jan 12, 2011 Ithlilian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Fans of urban fantasy, if you haven't read this, you should. First and foremost, Black Swan Rising felt real. I could imagine everything that Garet was experiencing actually happening. So many urban fantasy novels are fantastical to the point of unbelievability, and it takes away from the fact that they are supposed to take place in our world, in our time. That is not the case here. Garet is an interesting character with an interesting family, friends, and hobbies. She isn't the most multidimens ...more
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Mar 01, 2011 Kathy (Kindle-aholic) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uf
This is unlike most of the UF I usually read - the MC is not a powerful ass-kicker, there aren't a lot of fight scenes, and it feels like a standalone. And it works so well.

I usually read the more action-inspired UF; this one was a very enjoyable change of pace. If you must have a lot of romance or a warrior-woman MC, then this one probably isn't for you. If you are craving something different, then definitely check it out.

Garet is a "normal young woman" which of course means she is anything bu
Oct 07, 2010 Jenni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that I haven't read a lot of grown up urban fantasy though I've covered a lot of the YA bases. I was really intrigued therefore to read this, the first installment in a new urban fantasy trilogy.

Garet is a jewellery maker living and working in New York. She stumbles across an antiques store when she's looking for shelter from the rain and is asked for help by the owner. He has a silver box with a seal that matched the ring Garet wears, an heirloom passed down from her mother. He's u
Jan 16, 2011 Nadia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I initially picked this book up because I thought it was the book based on the movie “Black Swan”. It was evidently not about that once I started reading the back. I was somewhat intrigued nonetheless so I picked it up for reading.

I’m glad I did. After not reading for pleasure in years, I’m glad this was the book I started with. It had all the elements I loved in a story: a good writer first of all, good characters, a plot, and something fantastical. Simple enough, right? But that’s not always e
Sep 28, 2013 Ardis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, but I have to admit that it reminded me a bit of
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Our Heroine, Garet James, isn't a witch, but she is...other, and she does have a dalliance with a (spoiler alert?) vampire and John Dee does come out of the woodwork. There are a lot of similarities. And this isn't the first adult fantasy I've read this year with John Dee. Its the third. Since this is only the first book in the series there's still time for our heroine and her dark l
Oct 11, 2012 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't know what I was going to think of Black Swan Rising. I picked it up on a wim because I loved the title and I thought the plot was pretty interesting...and creepy. In the end, I really loved this book. It started out slow, but towards the end, I couldn't put it down. I'm a New York City girl so I knew a lot of the places described in the novel. I've been to the Village (where Garret lives) so I could picture it all perfectly. Speaking of Garret, I thought she was great (and not ju ...more
Jul 03, 2015 Timea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-slovak
Skôr 2,5 hviezdičiek, aj keď prvých 50 strán by som hodnotila na 4, potom totiž začali fantasy prvky a tie sa zdali tak prehnané a občas až zbytočné, ako keby to bola rozprávka pre malé deti.
Od tejto knihy som čakala niečo úplne iné. Áno, na vine môže byť aj to, že som anotáciu nedočítala, tak o upíroch a vílach som nevedela a myslela som, že to bude kniha o Pandorinej skrinke a o démonoch. Ale pri hodnotení som sa na to nepozerala, napriek tomu vyšlo dosť nízke. Aj keď sa to dobre čítalo a pom
First, full disclosure: I received a copy of the book for free from the publisher though Goodreads' Firstreads program. Thanks! My apologies for taking so long to post this.

At first I wasn't sure where this was going... it seemed slow, but then I realized I'd been reading at lunch at work: 20 minutes at a time, if I was lucky. Once I got into it, though, I couldn't put it down. Things I love: a strong female lead; supernatural elements; a well thought out plot; twists and turns that are unexpect
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There is more than one author with this name

Lee Carroll is a pseudonym for the collaboration between Hammet Award-winning mystery novelist Carol Goodman and her poet and hedge fund manager husband, Lee Slonimsky. Goodman and Slonimsky live in Great Neck, New York.
More about Lee Carroll...

Other Books in the Series

Black Swan Rising (3 books)
  • The Watchtower (Black Swan Rising, #2)
  • The Shape Stealer (Black Swan Rising, #3)

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