The Black Swan

The Black Swan

by Mercedes Lackey

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After his wife's untimely death, a powerful sorcerer dedicates his life to seeking revenge against all womankind. He turns his captives into beautiful swans--who briefly regain human form by the fleeting light of the moon. Only Odette, noblest of the enchanted flock, has the courage to confront her captor. But can she gain the allies she needs to free herself and the other swan-maidens from their magical slavery?A monumental tale of loyalty and betrayal, of magic good and evil, of love both carnal and pure, and of the duality of human nature, The Black Swan is a rich tapestry which is sure to become an all-time masterpiece of fantasy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101119068
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 05/01/2000
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 189,544
File size: 486 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at

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Black Swan 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I love Mercedes Lackey and am so glad to have found her on a bookshelf in my basement. This book is a new take on the Swan Princess which is always fun. The characters have a depth other authers cannot achieve and no matter what how many times I read her books I still live them for all they are. Yes some people complain that parts are a little graphic but to those people I say grow up and get with society. You can hardly turn around these days with out atleast hearing a reference or inuendo. Amazing book and I recomend it to all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the story of Swan Lake... and this book put a whole new perspective on it. Odil is a beautifully written character. Like Wicked, I was forced to cheer for someone I always thought was the evil antagonist. Wonderfully done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mercedes Lackey has done a fantastic job in the retelling of Swan Lake. All the classic themes of the wicked queen, the evil sorceror, The bad prince turned good etc. I won't tell you how it ends, you'll have to read it and find out for yourself
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is recommended for anyone who loves to read good stories with fairytale plots and lots of magical adventures!
erinmcewen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dreadful, silly fairy tale book. I've read twice! I especially like the narrative from the point of view of the "wicked" daughter, Odile, and her daddy issues.
AtheneSolon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a fan of ballet this is a must for your library. It does give a happy ending to this romantic tale (which truly romantic stories are always tragic in ballet) but it doesn't detract from the overall story.
puckrobin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Long before she began the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms for Harlequin's Luna label, Lackey had begun to explore the fun to be had in retelling some of the world's classic fairy tales - in many ways, the world's original expressions of Sci Fi and Fantasy - from a more modern point of view. Although this is not a new technique from an author, by any means, and although Black Swan (like Firebird) is not quite as tongue-in-cheek or just plain cheeky as some of the Five Hundred Kingdom books, it nonetheless is a fun retelling of a classic, like meeting an old friend and taking an opportunity to reminisce. Fun brain candy.
Liz_Toronto on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love the story of Swan Lake and hoped for an original and insightful perspective. However, what we get from The Black Swan is a flat narrator who remains on the fringe of the story like an intruder and reveals nothing which the reader can't already guess. It reads like fan fiction more than a full-length novel. The concept is great but the execution not so much.
goldnyght on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I find myself re-reading this book often. The dynamics between the sorcerer, his daughter, and the captives is so well done that they seem like real people. Quite a good retelling of an old favorite.
angeltyuan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this retelling of the swan lake fairy tale from the perspective of an original character. It is a slightly darker look at the reasons and workings of the curse on the swan princesses, and the main character is refreshing in her role as a sympathetic captor.Odette's struggle between helping her friends and honoring her father's tyrant wishes was very well played out. She is very self-sufficient, surviving with her flock in the forests by relying on her own magic.The prince was a playboy prat until something goes wrong, and he does redeem himself by expressing true guilt over the incident. Love at first sight still kind of bothers me, but it wasn't fall in love = sex, and Odette's suitor is kinda adorable, so I'll let it go.
kaionvin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first Mercedes Lackey novel, and I can't say I'm impressed. I'm only cursorily familiar with the story of Swan Lake, but this version didn't seem to add much of anything to the base fairy-tale-ish structure. At the beginning, the author appears to be trying to explore the power gap between the genders and the double standards to which they are held (and some of the abuse of power practiced by nobility). However, the true plot and the drama of the ballet take forever to start (halfway through the book) never fully integrated into this discussion of sexism or any fleshed-out character motivation. Thus, the characters rather mechanically act to serve the ends of the plot and form personal attachments (both romantic and platonic) that feel entirely convenient, rather than understandable, passionate or explained (Odile and Odette's friendship; Odette's and Siegfried's romance).Odile, the titlular black swan, never emerges as a fully-grown character or protagonist. The prose is rather tepid and robs Swan Lake of its balletic magic. The characters never seem to take *action* in any way that would lead you to root for their 'happily ever after' ending. And the author never answers the ethical/moral questions of social commentary that is raised by fleshing out the motivations of Swan Lake.Odette has to confess her sin that she ran away from an unwanted arranged marriage, but Siegfried can feel free to leave out that he RAPED a woman (driving her to suicide). If women only have money, magic, and sex (if even the first two) as their only tools in life due to gender inequality- if they are forced into only having seduction as a power source due to a sexist society, how can we condemn usage of that seductive power as 'evil'?
orangejulia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is Lackey's retelling of "Swan Lake." Unfortunately, the retelling lacks narrative drive. Lackey does a good job of describing Ondine's life, the swans and their indolent beauty. However, she does not do a good job of convincing the reader to care. For Lackey completists only.
nieva21 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked how the ending wasn't predictable; meaning that, Lackey though she did carbon write this tale from the original ballet, constructed her own unique ending. I liked her ending better, because Odile doesn't die and is made a Countess.
jshillingford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lackey is most famous for her Heralds of Valdemar series. But she has also done several fairy tale "retellings," making them more for adults. This is a very good version of the classic "Swan Lake."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really thought this was a good read and have suggested it to others numurous times. Ive bought it and have read it more then once. Im not a big fan of the auther but i liked this one above others by her. Shes a bit steven kingy in her writing when it comes to the amount of detail but i sapose that helps those with underdeveloped imaginations. I recomend this as a quick on the side read. It can easily be finished in a day taking ones time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spoiler alert: I could not get over the fact that Prince Sigfried is a rapist. He is a terrible person who comes across a gypsy girl bathing, and since she is naked and doesn't immediately run away, he sees it as she wants him. She doesn't put up a fight; so he rapes her and justifies his actions by saying she should have fought him off! He then throws coins at her. Later, Sigfried learns that the girl killed herslef. He is haunted by her in his dreams, and goes to church to confess and fast. After that is unsuccessful, he decides to treat women better. I could not get over the fact that he raped her and only really repented to stop haunting. I was waiting for him to be punished in the book, but instead he is rewarded and ends up happy with Odette.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed her take on the story. It's a little dark but not to the point that makes me think "Okay, now you're just doing that to be shocking." I like that Odile, unlike in the ballet/original story, is a fully realized character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one and will read it again.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great version of the Black Swan fairy tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago