Chicago has wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden. Denver has Kitty Norville, alpha wolf in a pack of werewolves. And now New York City has jewelry designer Garet James. One of these things is not like the others. A jewelry designer? How does that work?
It's no secret that I am extremely enthusiastic about the latest surge in urban fantasy fiction being published. Sometimes my world seems far too antiseptic, purged of the everyday magic I wish was everywhere. To solve this problem, I retreat into fictional worlds where real magic exists on the streets of today's urban jungle.
Lee Carroll is a pseudonym for the duo of Carol Goodman (Arcadia Falls, The Night Villa) and her husband — poet and hedge fund manager Lee Slonimsky. The couple live in New York, and you can tell from the way they handle NYC as the setting for the book that they love where they live. NYC in the pages of Black Swan Rising comes to life in expected and completely unexpected ways.
Garet James doesn't see herself as an artist. She takes signet rings, typically bearing the coat of arms of the family of the original wearer, and makes medallions out of them. As a result, she's always on the lookout for new rings she can use in her own work.
One day she gets caught in a downpour in the city and stumbles into a strange antiques shop. The strange shopkeeper, John Dee, after revealing that he knows of her jewelry, asks if she would look at opening an old silver box. The box just happens to be sealed with a symbol of a swan exactly like the signet ring given to her by her mother before she died. She agrees to take it home to work on it and bring it home the next day. Unfortunately, like Pandora — once the box is open, her world changes dramatically.
Garet and her father own an art gallery that's been down on its luck in recent years. When thieves break in to steal three paintings and the box — and shoot her father — it's just the beginning of her troubles. A 400 year old vampire and the King of Faeries help her find her way to stopping the diabolical plans of John Dee before Garet's beloved city and the world suffer the consequences.