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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.
Tags: book review
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