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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised me
I was recommended Storm Born by Amazon, because my 'purchased' list is full of paranormal/fantasy novels, and pretty much ever cover has a semi-naked or tightly-clad female on the front...so yup, I was interested in Storm Born.

I've never read anything by Richelle Mead before, so I looked up her previous works and she has a series about a succubus - a demon who...
Published on 13 Oct 2008 by Elizabeth

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark Swan is Storm Born
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who works a bustling trade banishing spirits and fairies who cross into the mortal world. Eugenie is soon hired to rescue a teenage girl who has been abducted into the Otherworld. However there is far more going on here than just this case... Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy -- one that uncovers dark secrets about...
Published on 27 Aug 2009 by Persephone


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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised me, 13 Oct 2008
By 
Elizabeth (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) (Paperback)
I was recommended Storm Born by Amazon, because my 'purchased' list is full of paranormal/fantasy novels, and pretty much ever cover has a semi-naked or tightly-clad female on the front...so yup, I was interested in Storm Born.

I've never read anything by Richelle Mead before, so I looked up her previous works and she has a series about a succubus - a demon who very much likes sex as far as I can work out, which didn't appeal to me as much.
The blurb for Storm Born made it sound like it was yet another story about a Heroine magical powers that she uses for good, but oh wait, she's pretty hot too and everything in sight wants to get into her pants (because of some prophecy about her first born child)...uh and she has a hot sexy love interest.
Now, I like fantasy romances as much as the next girl, but I also like there to be a plot and some originality surrounding the Heroine and her single/many conquests, so this put me off and I didn't look at Storm Born again until a few weeks later when I was desperate for something to read. Still not 100%, I looked up Mead's website, read a few excepts, liked what I was reading and took a risk...

Needless to say, It IS a book about a Heroine with powers she uses to save the world/okay maybe just a few people, but there is something...different about this novel. I grew very absorbed very quickly, and I found it pretty original in an already swamped market with very similar books. There's a plot, and a good one too, interesting and engaging second characters, two love interests for the Heroine, some nice power-wielding and some exciting encounters with the bad guys. All in all, a very enjoyable read.

Richelle Mead is a talented writer who makes her world believable and yet still otherwordly and dangerous at times, and personally I can't wait for the sequal. I'm even tempted to read her series about sex-loving demons :) (the first of which is SUCCUBUS BLUES I do believe, if anyone is interested)

I definitely recommend this book and I think most fantasy/action/romance lovers will enjoy it. My only words of warning is that there are some very hot sex scenes, so anyone with more delicate sensibilities might not enjoy Storm Born as much as I did.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bravo!, 10 Sep 2008
This review is from: Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) (Paperback)
I have read other works by Richelle Mead and enjoyment of those books inspired me to pick up this one- I am glad that I did as I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it original and fun to read, with wry humour in places as well as sensitive writing on more emotive subject matters. Well deserved 4 stars.

The book is set in an alternative reality where our world exists alongside a well established otherworld inhabited by what we would call Fairies (not the tinkerbell sort exclusively, I mean magical beings similar to humans) Our heroine is a shaman who keeps the nastier variety out of the human world and is happy with her lot, until the plight of a 14yr old girl spirited away by fairies entices her into entering the 'otherworld' to try and get her back. Doing so exposes things about herself and her possible future that shake up all her expectations and beliefs.

Well written, well rounded storyline with a good central character and the promise of future books without leaving the reader disappointed with an annoying cliffhanger meaning the book is wholly unresolved. Excellent
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prophecies and storms, 6 Sep 2008
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) (Paperback)
Richelle Mead has a very readable style. Although her books look like lots of others in this genre, indeed they often follow similar patterns in terms of plot and action, this author's ability to write in an interesting and well-paced style marks these books above many others. This latest book, 'Storm Born', takes a break from her Succubus series and introduces us to a very different heroine - Eugenie Markham - living in a different world. Eugenie is a powerful shaman, someone who banishes the gentry (spirits, fey and otherworldy beasts) to the Underworld or the Otherworld. She's been trained by her stepfather Roland to help dispose of the odds and ends that can irritate people's lives - running shoes that are possessed, that kind of thing. However Eugenie has begun to find that things seem to be different in her world. For a start, most of the spirits and fey seem less interested in killing her and more in romancing her; secondly they all seem to know her name now; and, thirdly, the hot man she's just met is definitely something out of the ordinary.

Eugenie is discovering that there's more to her than she originally thought. Is she destined for something rather more than just exorcising spirits? With the help of her very reluctant and potentially murderous bound spirits, with her rather foxy boyfriend, with a fairy King who has an unusual taste for tying people up, can Eugenie uncover her full powers and can she understand her role in the history of war between the gentry and humans?

This book appeared to be the first in a series in that although it reached some sort of a conclusion there were many ends left open. The focus of the story wasn't just on Eugenie's powers and battling against evil spirits but was also about Eugenie learning about herself and reading other people. The book focused a great deal on the fairy King Dorian and his training of Eugenie. The author wrote well the way that everyone involved in Eugenie's life has their own reasons for doing things and that she doesn't necessarily understand all the politics of the worlds in which she is living. There are plenty of secrets, many of which Eugenie hasn't yet uncovered, and there are reasons for peoples' actions that she doesn't understand. What stood out about this book wasn't so much the plot or the characters, although they were good, it was the author's ability to write in a flowing, interesting and descriptive style. It was easy to get drawn into this story and it was never boring. I look forward to the next in the series.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark Swan is Storm Born, 27 Aug 2009
This review is from: Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) (Paperback)
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who works a bustling trade banishing spirits and fairies who cross into the mortal world. Eugenie is soon hired to rescue a teenage girl who has been abducted into the Otherworld. However there is far more going on here than just this case... Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy -- one that uncovers dark secrets about her heritage and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of all the worlds.

This novel was very mixed for me. On the one hand it was quite atmospheric and a little unusual in the shamanism concept -- although the plot was something done a million times before (and better for that matter). I did like it. But on the other hand, I felt that the plot arc was far too unfocused and all over the place to really be as compelling as it could have been. Mead spread herself too thin trying to do everything at once; revealing Eugenie's heritage, bringing in Storm King prophecies, having Eugenie avoiding rape by various gentry all through the book, a love triangle that sees her questioning the mens' true motives, the spirit servitor Volusian continually threatening to kill her etc etc. There's a lot more but that would be spoilery. I wish Storm Born had been condensed down because a few of these plot threads: the Volusian one, the motives of Dorian the fairy king, and the Storm King prophecies were all most interesting and would bear the most fruit plot-wise. All these and the political intrigue kept me reading and they're the things I want to see expanded. Unfortunately, all these plotlines get bogged down here in too much domestic chore and mundane inanities. I liked the inclusion of Eugenie's relationship with her parents but this was left hanging at the end of the novel a little, after Eugenie was angry with them for keeping her past a secret. It was frustrating.

I'm in two minds as to whether I want to read the next novel. I've read Mead before so I know she tends to favour romance, and I'm not interested in that here. The plot could be excellent but I'm not sure I trust her to flesh out the various characters and plot arcs when there's boring love interests to be featured. That said, I do really like Dorian -- he's kind of funny. Eugenie was ok. I found her a bit whiney sometimes but she did get on with things eventually.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - Meredith Gentry without the pointless sex, 10 Sep 2008
By 
M. O'Toole "Avid Reader" (Ardee, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Storm Born (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a really very good book. It is set in much the same world as the Laurell K. Hamiliton Meredith Gentry series, and even the character has some similar attributes, in being half human, with undiscovered powers, but the similarities end there.

This writing style is very readable, what sex there is has a place, and is neither monotonous nor pointless, and the plot is not only well thought out, and well described, but continues throughout the book.

Really looking forward to the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hum Drum, 17 Oct 2008
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) (Paperback)
Having been a fan of Richelle's Succubus series I was really expecting something from this latest offering. However if I'm going to be blunt here, Richelles book just faded into bland for me. Leaving me feeling as if I'd read a lot of the story before in other books, with similar prose and writing style. I just couldn't abandon this feeling as I read the whole story and whilst it hasn't hit the depths of some other authors in the Urban Fantasy genre with just a sexathon and looser plot than characters clothing it just didn't gel for the reader in me. Don't get me wrong, it is well written, it has good characters but it just didn't grab me and that's just a shame really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Urban Fantasy - and made me laugh, 6 Nov 2008
By 
J. Cooper "Jude" (Hove, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) (Paperback)
This is an excellent book for a variety of reasons. Firstly it creates a credible Otherworld of the Gentry or Fairies and a credible heroine in Eugenie. It gets interesting in that Eugenie has been brought up to hate the Gentry and view them as solely evil and worthy of slaughtering (which she has been very successful at). Thus when her view of the gentry is challenged as she gets to know some of them and uncovers some hidden aspects of her own past, the book lights up. A comparison would be to use racial hatred - she has been taught that it is right and good to be prejudiced and it is difficult to deal with the fact that the world doesn't divide into black and white or good and evil as she had thought. Add to this some great humour which starts with the possessed trainer, moves onto Tim, the fake Red Indian housemate, jigsaw puzzles (the bit where Eugenie admires the kitten jigsaw she has just made is priceless) and the Village People line up of people in her back yard and you have a very good novel. The excellent category is because it isn't full of over-written sex sessions (there are some).
It reminded me a bit of Jes Battis's Nightchild and Tanya Huff's Summoning series (mainly due to the humour).
I hope there is a sequel on the horizon sometime soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing book, 28 Oct 2008
By 
E. Highland "Lydia" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Storm Born (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought this book was amazing. I love Richelle Mead's Succubus series and I wasnt sure that this book could live up to my expectations but it exceeded them! It is certainly worth having a read and I finished it in a few hours as I couldnt put it down!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Swan Series - Book 1, 11 Feb 2010
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) (Paperback)
I'm already a big fan of Richelle Mead's succubus series so I was really looking forward to reading Storm Born and I wasn't disappointed. I loved Eugenie's character and the world that Richelle has created for her. Eugenie is a shamen, she was trained by her step-father to banish creatures from the Otherworld who have crossed over to the mortal realm and is very good at her job.

Everything starts to change when she is employed to find Jasmine, a teenaged girl who was abducted by the Gentry (this is what Eugenie calls the Fey / Fairies) and taken to the Otherworld. Jasmine was abducted over a year ago and to find her Eugenie will have to physically cross into the Otherworld, something that she hasn't really done before because it is so dangerous. Unable to leave Jasmine to her fate Eugenie calls for assistance from her spirit minions - Volusian, Nandi and Finn - to help her on the journey. She is going to need more help than they can give her though and is forced to request assistance from Dorian, a fairy king.

Then there is Kiyo, a gorgeous guy she met at a bar, who is definitely more than what he seems. She is attracted to both Kiyo and Dorian but afraid of her feelings as neither of them are fully human. It is hard for her to reconcile her attraction to them with the fact that she belives that people from the Otherworld are all evil.

As I've come to expect from books by Richelle Mead this book had a fast paced story line and very strong characters. There is also a lot of humor which I enjoyed and the supporting characters are great. The book ends well although there are still a lot of unanswered questions and I'm really looking forward to finding out what happens next. I'd thoroughly recommend this book to fans of Richelle Mead but also to anyone who enjoys reading urban fantasy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How do I find a Shaman like this?, 20 Jun 2009
By 
T. McAuley (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) (Paperback)
Eugenie Markham is a shaman, born with the power to draw and channel magic from the world, send her spirit to the underworld, where she takes the form of Odile, the dark swan, and even step into the Otherworld - the realm of the fey. Isolated from other people by her power and knowledge, she spends her days banishing intruding spirits and other magical creatures which trouble the human world. It's a lonely life, but she earns a living, does some good, and is more or less content.

All this changes, however, when she accepts a commission to retrieve a missing teenaged girl from the Otherworld - suddenly all manner of magical creatures seem to know her real name, and be trying to either kill her, or bed her. In addition, she meets the gorgeous and mysterious Kiyo Marquez, a vet who takes the expression animal sexual attraction to an entirely new level, while showing equal facility in combat with the fey; and makes the acquaintance of Dorian, faerie King of Oak and Autumn, who overturns all she thought she knew about the malicious nature of the fey. Now, as well as tracking down the victim, she has to navigate through an entirely new, and treacherous, magical world, while struggling with her attraction to both men, and fighting to keep alive.

Richelle Mead's new series has all the hallmarks of her concurrent Georgina Kincaid series: a kickass heroine, magical peril, ethical struggles, romantic entanglements, and a good spicing of sex. If you are enjoying the adventures of the Seattle succubus, then there's no doubt you'll also enjoy those of the Tuscon shaman, as she battles both her destiny and her heart; if you haven't met Georgina yet, but like a well-written urban fantasy, with both humour and thrills, then this is a book for you, and with the second instalment, Thorn Queen, due in only a couple of months, you won't have long to wait to find out how the story continues - something I'm certainly ready for!
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Storm Born (Dark Swan 1)
Storm Born (Dark Swan 1) by Richelle Mead (Paperback - 14 Aug 2008)
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