Baron Eric von Rothbert is a powerful sorcerer who devotes his life to capturing women who inspire his wrath and transforming them into swans. Over the flock he sets his daughter Odile, gifted in magic, but still spurned by her father. Odette, noblest of the Baron's enchanted flock, wrests from their captor a promise which could lead to fredom for ...
Baron Eric von Rothbert is a powerful sorcerer who devotes his life to capturing women who inspire his wrath and transforming them into swans. Over the flock he sets his daughter Odile, gifted in magic, but still spurned by her father. Odette, noblest of the Baron's enchanted flock, wrests from their captor a promise which could lead to fredom for all the swan-maidens, but the Baron is determined to use all his magical cunning to avoid honouring that promise. Prince Siegfried comes upon the swan-maidens as day dissolves into dusk -- and the game takes on a new twist, for Siegfried is a selfish hedonist and dissolute womaniser ...
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OK, this book is at least better than Lackey's "The Fairy Godmother." However, it was when reading that book after "The Black Swan" that I started having some misgivings about some recurring themes that pop up in the author's work. I speak of what I guess could be described as "scoundrel worship." The romantic lead male in this book is a rapist! Then he is redeemed, for he is haunted by his victim's ghost after she commits suicide. Because, you know, she was traumatized. Rape will do that. Were this a one-off, I might give this a pass and think, Ok so it's fantasy wish fulfillment, redeeming a human of the worst kind. But then the romantic male lead in "The Fairy Godmother" is ALSO a redeemed sexual scoundrel, for there are several pervy moments where he tries to force himself and/or cop a feel on the protagonist, but then she in her purity and goodness changes his heart and he is no longer a scoundrel. Yay. Um, ew. This mindset is what leads women into bad relationships with sexist, possibly dangerous men. On a practical note, this book is basic Lackey: unchallenging, easy reading. I tried to get into Lackey's work for awhile, and here and there will be some good stuff such as the Heralds of Valdemar series and the first "Joust" book (haven't read the rest), but I just can't get past the rapist-as-prince-charming thing. Take that for what you will.
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