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19 December 2009 @ 10:51 pm
Book Review: The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey  
Title: The Black Swan
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Pages: 376

Summary: The Sorceror Baron von Rothbart collects maidens who have betrayed the men in their lives--husbands, fathers--and keeps them under enchantment, always to be swans by day and maidens by the moonlight. His daughter, Odile, serves as his assistant and the keeper of the swans. But Odette, the Swan Queen, is given one chance to set the flock free--find a man who will pledge to her and only her, never to be forsworn.

The Prince Siegried is a man with wild ways, indulging in all that there is to indulge in, encouraged by his power-hungry mother, the Queen Regent Clothilde. In a tangled web of lies and betrayals, good intentions and bad, love and disdain, can Odile find herself and Siegfried and Odette win out over evil?

Notes: This is a most excellent retelling of the story of Swan Lake. Told in a rotating POV, you get glimpses of much of the cast of characters, at their motivations, intentions, and emotions. You get to see the flawed narrators up close and personal--though never Odette or von Rothbart himself--and the story unfolds from them.

I think the characters are excellently rendered, from Clothilde's resistance of the ravages of time to Odile's desperate love of her father to Siegfried's arrogance. And they aren't static, for even in the course of the story they evolve and change. I think my favorite character is Odile, whom I identify with in so many ways.

Anyone who loves retold tales should love this book.

Rating: 8.5 / 10

Other: I plan on reading more of Lackey this year, I think. I find her intriguing from what little I've read so far.
Ree: Evil: Spellchecktriskellion on December 21st, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
Black Swan is one of my least favorite of her retellings. So If you like that one you should love some of her others. I highly recommend Fire Rose and most of the Elemental Master's series (Gates of Sleep bit chunks though), and Firebird has its moments. The tales of the 500 Kingdoms are also fun.
Gelseygelsey on December 21st, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
Really? Hm. Must go to used bookstore again and look for those then (must remember to write them down, lol. and get your recs for her other books)

Of course, I'm rather easily pleased on the whole, so it's not surprising I liked it, lol.