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The Black Swan
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About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.

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YA-In this novelization of the ballet "Swan Lake," Odile von Rothbart, daughter of a vengeful sorcerer, lives on an isolated medieval estate with her father's prisoners, unfaithful young women who are swans by day and human while the moon shines. Unexpectedly, after years of living without hope, the swan maidens are offered their freedom if the Swan Queen, Odette, can win the faithful love of an eligible prince. Themes of marital and filial (in)fidelity combine to create a dark and tension-filled coming-of-age story. The sorcerer is obsessed with punishing women he deems untrustworthy, while his daughter has spent her life trying in vain to win his approval and affection. Odile initially makes excuses for her father's dishonorable behavior, but is forced to view him honestly as the story progresses. The prince has long ignored his own avaricious and callous mother and all royal duties. Both Odile and the prince discover that the growing responsibilities of adulthood require that they examine their consciences and make painful choices about loyalty to friends and family and self-sacrifice. The callous use of women and theme of sexual fidelity combined with the moody romance and story of betrayal make for a compelling read.-Marsha Masone, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Condemned for her faithlessness to spend her life as a swanÄexcept for a few brief moonlit hours when she regains her human formÄPrincess Odette receives one chance to break the spell that binds her. Enmeshed in the schemes of a vengeful sorcerer and an ambitious queen, a na‹ve prince becomes the pawn in a malicious snare of magic, while the sorcerer's daughter questions her loyalty to a father who ignores her growing power. Basing her latest fantasy on the tragic ballet Swan Lake, Lackey (Oathblood, LJ 4/15/98) adds her own embellishments and interpretations to provide the story with a new ending. Though lacking the power and drama of the original tale, this romantic fantasy belongs in most fantasy collections and should appeal to the author's large following. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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