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The second entry in Carroll's urban fantasy trilogy begun with Black Swan Rising (2010). Unfortunately.

First-person narrator Garet James, a New York City jewelry designer, has traveled to Paris in search of charismatic vampire Will Hughes, who stole Garet's magical antique silver box. This heirloom is embossed with the same watchtower design as Garet's ring, denoting her heritage—her female ancestors form a sort of anti-evil witch coven. Garet has also designed a watch patterned after an original owned by evil 17th-century sorcerer Cosimo Ruggieri, but has added her watchtower motif. Later, as Garet learns to use her own magic powers, the watch will enable her to suspend time. Will apparently has vanished into the Summer Country, a magic realm where he hopes to become de-vampired. The book's second narrative strand follows, in the third person, young Will, a poet and rake, to explore his origins in an unrecognizably bland Shakespearean London. Will falls for a fairy, the immortal Marguerite, Garet's ancestor, and is outwitted by numerous evildoers including the immortal astrologer John Dee. All this, however, takes an eternity to develop. Foolish, blundering Will isn't much of a hero, and Garet too passionless to be a suitable foil. The comic-book villains, shrieks and fountains of blood don't help. Even Paris sounds dull. The few surprises come right at the end. The poetry, strangely, is far more palatable.

Seemingly interminable, with a decent sonnet or two thrown in.
Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2598-3
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2011


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