The publisher's review:
Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants...
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy--one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.
Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...
A reader's review:
I'd take the easy way out and say that Storm Born (Dark Swan, Book 1) is Zen Moses meets the Chronicles of Narnia, but I won't for three reasons. First, the whole «x meets y» thing has become clichéd. Second, some of you are probably unfortunate enough not to know about Zen Moses. Third, it wouldn't be nice to steal the heroine's own reference to the Chronicles of Narnia.
Eugenie Markham, Odile, the Dark Swan. With so many identities, you'd think the protagonist of Richelle Mead's latest novel was confused enough, but things only get worse as she finds family members, dead and alive, that she never knew she had, learns her true identity and, maybe, her destiny.
Odile is a shaman. Not a peyote smoking (well, maybe once or twice) buckskin clad Native, but a real warrior with the power to bind and banish spirits and other denizens of the Otherworld including the gentry, the shining ones, fairies. And she's damn good at it, with a lot of fairy blood on her hands. She's a magical gun for hire, defending this world against invaders from elsewhere...for a price. «Have athame, will travel.»
Things get dicy when the djinn possessing a running shoe knows her real name and others follow. Then, her latest gig, rescuing the 15-year old sister of a conspiracy theory blogger who's been kidnapped by a fairy king leads her to the answer of just how they know her real identity. It also leads her to a new question: «Does she know who she really is?»
Eugenie is a real hero, defending this world against the denizens of the Otherworld, but no stranger to spilling blood. In the course of the story she confronts her prejudice against the gentry, her aversion to fairy magic, even her attitude towards two men. Her attitudes evolve and she gains power. She sacrifices greatly for love and honor. The Dark Swan becomes a bit darker in the process.
This book is an engaging read with interesting takes on the fey, the afterlife and magic. There are amusing characters as well as serious ones, but overall the tone is more serious than Mead's Georgina Kincaid series. There may be a moral sentiment or two tucked in there, too, but it doesn't suffer for action. It's a real page turner you won't want to put down.
About the author:
Richelle Mead has an MA in comparative Religion and a passion for all things wacky and humorous. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband and four cats.