Garet is a jewellery designer in New York who lost her mother in a tragic car crash. She never got to hear her mother’s last words over the noise of the jaws of life but the moment is scarred onto her memory. When her father’s gallery experiences financial difficulties, a pair of Pissarios are stolen in suspicious circumstances leaving him in hospital. That same day, Garet had accepted an odd request to open a silver box that bared the same crest that was on her mother’s signet ring.

From the moment she opens the box, nothing is the same. Garet slowly learns more about her mother’s past and discovers that she’s not just a normal woman but has hidden powers and great responsibility.

There were parts of this book that I loved, I thought Garet was a well-rounded, realistic character for the main. Many of the supernatural characters were based on those in myth and it was fun seeing them adapted to a modern setting however their speech sometimes came across and clichΓ©d and cheesy. It was as if the authors had decided they should speak in an old-fashioned manner but didn’t research what that would be. As the characters had assimilated themselves into the modern world and passed as normal, it doesn’t make any sense that they wouldn’t speak like everyone else.

The book is co-written by husband and wife team, Lee Slonimsky and Carol Goodman, and I wonder if that explains my mixed feelings. There are certainly two different styles, one I much prefer.

I was disappointed that the imagery of the swan didn’t pan out into anything more meaningful. It felt a little like it had got forgotten or someone was just trying to be clever with the signet ring/cygnet connection.

There is a sequel out now, The Watchtower and I liked Black Swan Rising enough to consider reading more.


I read this book as part of the Transworld Book Group challenge. Keep your eyes peeled for other bloggers taking part and reviewing some of the same titles over the next couple of months.

If you’ve reviewed this book, please leave a link in the comments!