Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising #1)” as Want to Read:
Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Black Swan Rising

(Black Swan Rising #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  2,217 ratings  ·  355 reviews
When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can't b ...more
Paperback, 396 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Tor Books (first published 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Black Swan Rising, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Black Swan Rising

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,217 ratings  ·  355 reviews

More filters
Sort order
*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! It's
Sarah Mac

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-something girl is thrust int
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 loved how the au/>Black
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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 when sh
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 tr
harlequin {Stephanie}
Jan 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
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,
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
Remember the book I raved about a lot? Incubus or The Demon Lover (according to your edition)? Carol Goodman co wrote this book with her husband Lee Slonimsky under the name Lee Carroll, how cute is that and how talented are they?

Let me start by saying, this book is phenomenal so far, I really want to know what Garet is (I don't like her name but oh well...) and what is the black swan!?

Remember the book I raved about a lot? Incubus or The Demon Lover (according to your edition)? Carol Goodman co wrote this book with her husband Lee Slonimsky under the name Lee Carroll, how cute is that and how talented are they?

Let me start by saying, this book is phenomenal so far, I really want to know what Garet is (I don't like her name but oh well...) and what is the black swan!?

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 begin
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 the world is full o
Douglas Meeks
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Jan 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 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 p
Wicked Lil Pixie (Natasha)
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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!
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
Heather *Awkward Queen and Unicorn Twin*
I won this book on first reads. I've read a few of Carol Goodman's books and I didn't realize this was written by her under a pseudonym until I received the book. Once I started reading I was able to recognize her style. No one can weave mythology and folklore and whatnot into a story like she can. I found this book pretty interesting, although slow at times in the middle. I'm not much of a fan of fairy stories, but I enjoyed the ones featured in this book. I keep reading this is the first in a ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars
This book was surprisingly wonderful. It was actually written by Carol Goodman and her husband Lee Slominky. Goodman is one of my favorite authors so I wanted to see how the team effort played out.
This book had a bit of everything, fae folk, dragons, mermaids, vampires and an assortment of other magical beings. As with any fantastical book a certain level of suspension of belief is required. However, what should have been ridiculous was enchanting and magical.
This is t
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2017
Fairies, vampires and alchemy in modern New York City: Jewellery designer Garet James gets inadvertendly plunged into discovering her late mother's family's legacy as guardians of the human and fey worlds when she opens a silver box entrusted to her by the owner of an antiques store she wanders into. Taken under the wing of Oberon himself, she must learn her new role quickly to prevent a catastrophe, because the box she was tricked into opening and which was subsequently stolen from her home con ...more
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 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 and Discor
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 relationships w/>
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 box. That evening, the box is
Oct 03, 2011 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) He
Dec 21, 2010 rated it liked it
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 fo
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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, f
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 07, 2010 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 mo
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Gwinnett County P...: Husband and Wife Craft a Story of Fairies and Magic Set in NYC 1 7 Aug 05, 2013 04:28PM  
Book Is Avaliable 1 15 Jan 15, 2011 09:20PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles, #2)
  • Girls & Monsters
  • Asleep (Fairytale Collection #2)
  • Nearly Departed (Weirdsville, #1)
  • Incite (Ignite, #2)
  • Devil's Due (Red Letter Days, #2)
  • The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark, #2)
  • Grail of the Summer Stars (Aetherial Tales, #3)
  • Heart of Briar (The Portals #1)
  • Resilient
  • Briar Queen (Night and Nothing #2)
  • Blood Rush (Demimonde, #2)
  • Rook (Timeless Games, #1)
  • Witch Finder (Witch Finder, #1)
  • Cliff of the Ruin
  • Something Wicked (Living in Eden, #2)
  • Don't Kill The Messenger (Messenger, #1)
  • The Devil in the Corner
See similar books…
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.

Other books in the series

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