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3.4 out of 5 stars
The Watchtower: Urban Fantasy (Black Swan Rising Trilogy 2)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I loved 'Black Swan Rising' but because it had so many reviews already decided not to add my halfpence worth. I would have given it five stars and I ordered this as soon as I had read it. Sadly this one fell a little short. Whereas the first book was told almost entirely from Garet's point of view this one alternates chapters between her search for Will in trhe present and the story of how Will met Margeruitte and became a vampire in the past. Garet's chapters read very much like the first book and consist mainly of her meeting a new selection of fey and picking up clues very much like a role playing computer game quest. Will's chapters are more about storytelling but the authors have chosen to write them in a flowery style consistent with Shakespearean literature I suppose and I didn't enjoy them so much. The twist in the tale will make the reason for this apparent but it lessened my enjoyment of the book. All in all it was still an enjoyable read and if this is to be a trilogy has set the reader up for a thrilling finale if all the characters are now in place and there's no more questing for Garet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 October 2011
Garet's quest to find Will and find out more about herself starts in Paris. In Black Swan Rising Garet received what she thought was a sign which led her there. We are told again why she is waiting.

Garet finds her artistic inspiration and uses Horatio Durant's workshop and tools to create her jewellery piece in which she incorporates the symbol of the Watchtower. Horatio was a friend to her late parents.

She doubts the obscure sign she received to follow Will but on the edge of giving up, she receives the sign that she is on the right path.

The following chapter tells us the story of Will (400 years ago) as he leaves his ancestral estate (Swan Hall) and falls in love with Marguerite. Marguerite is Garet's ancestor.

What follows are alternating chapters. Garet's written in the first person and is her quest to find Will in the Summer Country. Will's chapters in the third person and his quest to become immortal. At one point the past and present overlap.

There are allusions to the important points in Black Swan Rising, very cleverly built in as we journey along on their quest. If you haven't read the first, you are able to start reading The Watchtower and it still makes sense.

We find out a bit more about why The Watchtowers came into existence and why Marguerites's descendents have the role they do. We also find out the connection of the alchemist John Dee.

Parts of the story are slow going but I found enough to hold my interest and keep me reading. I loved the fairy tale/mythical aspects. Any book that has fey and dryads in will pull me in. This was more about these mythical beings and much less about vampires. The alternating chapters as we follow the two different timelines also add interest and negate the slowness. The second book to me was more about Will's story than Garet's. I did enjoy `living' in Elizabethan times as I accompanied Will during his late teens and after he had met Marguerite, despite their telling slowing the story down.

The ending - I did see it coming - but the cliffhanger leaves you with questions you just have to have the answers to! I will be interested in finding out where the story will be taken in the final book in this trilogy. At the ending of Black Swan Rising I thought it would be quite a quest for Garet to find Will in the Summer Country, at the ending of The Watchtower I really can't see enough to fill the pages of a third book and I'm hoping it will hold more than the fight between evil (Marduk) and light (Garet and her Watchtower role).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Having enjoyed the first title, Black Swan Rising I was looking forward to seeing what the next story would contain, if a lot of the loose ends would be tied up and if the mysterious elements surrounding her life would add to more complications as Garet learned more about her heritage.

This novel met all of my expectations and more with a wonderful love story interwoven with some clever mythology, some great prose and of course a journey that reveals secrets and mysteries that will enthral and enchant the reader. Add to this the seamless combination of two authors working in harmony and it's a series that is not only different to a lot of books out there but one that really is something new to the genre. Magic.
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The Watchtower, second book of the series opens in Paris with Garet James, who is a Jewelry designer, coming to terms with the fact that she is the last in a long line women dedicated to protect the human race from evil, as well as trying to find the man she loves, Will Hughes.

Garet has received a sign from Will Hughes, the 400 year old vampire whom she encountered in Black Swan Rising, (the first book in the series), when he helped her to defeat an evil entity threatening her home town of New York City. Will has asked her to join him and help him to become mortal again by entering the Summer Country. While looking for Will in Paris, Garet encounters a number of mysterious figures-an ancient botanist metamorphosed into the oldest tree in Paris, a gnome who lives under the Labyrinth at the Jardin des Plantes, a librarian at the Institut Oceanographique, and a dryad in the Luxembourg Gardens.

Each step with these mysterious figures leads Garet closer to finding Will Hughes, but she realises she is not alone in her travels. As Garet struggles to understand her family legacy, each answer leaves her more confused and each step she takes leads her into more dangerous situations.

I found this book not quite as good as Black Swan Rising (Black Swan Rising Trilogy 1), but I really wanted to find out more about Garet and where her encounters with Will were taking her. It was a little slow moving for me until close to the end when the pace quickened slightly. It wasn't that bad that it would stop me from purchasing the third book in the series, The Shape Stealer (Black Swan Rising Trilogy 3).
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on 14 February 2012
After enjoying the first novel as it managed to tell a good story while at the same time describing a new and interesting world (The stumbling block of many a promising new series) I was looking forward to settling down a little further into the struggles of the main characters and for the most part I was not disappointed.
The author (whatever pseudonym she happens to be using at the moment) has a wonderfully relaxing writing style somewhat akin to walking through mist on a quiet day when all seems mysterious and unexpected, the action scenes seemed a little under-developed as though the author/editor saw them as a necessity to break pace and bring the characters to the next scene, these though are more than balanced by the excellent well written dream sequences, I feel few other authors could match them and they are a joy to read.
I personally hope in the next novel the the story refocuses a little on our heroine and her journey of discovery/ inner transformation as her personal metamorphosis is (to me at least) the most interesting part of the story as a whole.
In short this novel is well worth a read for anyone who needs a break from vampires sex and guns and fancies a flirtation with grown-up words and a little more imagination.
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on 21 October 2011
Where the first book takes place mostly in New York, this one takes you further afield as a lot of Garet's story takes place in France. Part of that is in Paris and the descriptions of Garet's time there are wonderful. There's a blurring of the real Paris and the parts that exist only in the author's imagination. And now in mine. From Paris, Garet and her new companion, who is a fabulous character, travel in search of the Summer Country.

Not all of the book is from Garet's point of view this time. Some of it is set in the past and tells Will's story. You learn how he met Marguerite and became a vampire in the first place. His story is interwoven with Garet's and is full of detail. I really enjoyed that part of the book as it added a lot of background to the character. You also learn quite a bit about Marguerite at the same time.

Towards the end of the book the story gets more and more intriguing. It builds the tension up right to the last page and the ending is superb. I won't give it away but it certainly had me thinking trying to analyse what had happened over the past few pages. I think I know who and what, and maybe why, but I really need the third book to find out for sure. And to find out how it all ends.
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I enjoyed Black Swan Rising enormously, and was very much looking forward to reading this book. At the end of Black Swan Rising, Will steals Garet's silver box and disappears. In this book we see Garet travel to France to look for Will and for the entry to the Summer Country (where she believes he has gone).

Although Garet does meet with various "fee" (or fairy) people, this book doesn't have the richness of mythical setting that the first did, instead concentrating on the love stories between present day Will and Garet and between 17thC Will and Marguerite. I still found it an enjoyable read, however.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2014
After reading the first book in this series, I was anxious to read the sequel, which I thought was very good too. I would recommend this book to YA readers.
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on 16 November 2012
I purchased the kindle version of this book by Transworld Publishers. I'm not sure what went wrong when the ebook version was released, but throughout the book certain words such as "pleasure" and "England" have been written as "plea sure" and "Eng land." It's a small complaint, but it prevented me from enjoying the book the way I had hoped. It was incredibly frustrating and disappointing.

My advice to those considering making a purchase is to buy the paperback. It's cheaper and (hopefully) the same spelling mistakes are missing.
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on 21 April 2012
Thoroughly enjoyed Black Swan Rising but what a disappointment this was - the sections with Garet in Paris are ok but the sections with Will are unreadable. I know this is fantasy but if you're going to write in a historical period then do a bit of research! I think Black Swan worked well because of the New York setting, which the authors seem to know and love - let's hope the final part of the trilogy goes back there.
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