Book Reviews of The Black Swan

The Black Swan
The Black Swan
Author: Day Taylor
ISBN-13: 9780440106111
ISBN-10: 0440106117
Publication Date: 9/1984
Pages: 765
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 11 ratings
Publisher: Dell Pub Co
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Black Swan on + 165 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This one has it all........slave traders, outlaw captain of ship who leads slaves to freedom. The captain is Adam. The slave breeder's daughter is Dulcie.
When they meet......all kinds of interesting things happen. She is feisty and reckless. I was either laughing or had tears through the entire book.
reviewed The Black Swan on + 145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It was a good read for about 5/7ths of it. The main characters of Adam & Dulcie were given ample time to develop, although Adam had more attention with a backstory & more likeable character. The subplot of Tom & his quadroon wife, Ullah, & the repercussions of their run-in with the villainous Edmund Revanche linked different stages of the story with a measure of cohesion. It was also refreshing to read a romance where hero & heroine don't dominate every single page. The first 60+ pages of the book is Tom & Ullah's doomed story & sets up the dark side of Adam's character & his white whale, Revanche. Once Adam & Dulcie unite, their relationship & the cast of characters that surrounded them were, for the most part, engaging.

However, for a story that takes place during the Civil War, it didn't seem to be that prominent, disappearing altogether around page 500 or so when the story took a downturn in quality & tone & became vintage bodiceripper with the shipwreck & imprisonment of Dulcie on a Caribbean island with a cast of characters that would make Tod Browning proud: A voodoo rivalry between a pidgin-speaking old hag & a deformed, cackling man-child called Lucifer, with Dulcie caught in the middle & abused by all quarters. All that was missing was Lon Chaney, and even then there was a deranged patriarch of a spooky plantation that has Chaney written all over it. This weird brew also includes lesbian overtones & repeated rape, & the interlude becomes the catalyst for deliberate misunderstandings & contrived separations between hero & heroine for the rest of the book until it is all wrapped up tidily in the span of a few pages...with an out for the inevitable sequel, of course. What began as refreshing & not what I expected from the stereotypical 1970s bodiceripper ended up becoming typical & formulaic of its genre.

I discovered afterwards that a book called Bitter Eden by Sharon Salvato says on the cover, "by the co-author of The Black Swan" so perhaps the odd turns in the book & the sometimes contradictory characterizations of Adam & Dulcie were caused by having two authors with two different approaches. Despite all this, it read fast & I'm eager to read the sequel, Mossrose, hoping that character continuity has improved & plot situations aren't so contrived.

3.5 / 5 stars
reviewed The Black Swan on + 152 more book reviews
A fiery yearning that defied every rule!
Adam-a legend in his own time, an outlaw in his own land, the daring captain of The Black Swan who risked his life to lead slaves to freedom...
Dulcie-the dazzling, reckless daughter of Savannah's most prosperous slave breeder...

Theirs was an impossible, rapturous love-flames of passion challenged their hearts as savagely as the fires of battle consumed their beloved homeland. Joined together by the sweet agony of their desire only to torn assunder by the brutal horrors of wwar, they lived for the one radiant moment that would united them again...

Sweping from the pride and charm of old New Orleans to forbidden Caribbean forests throbbing with voodoo drums; from the haughty elegance of New York City to the raucous, romantic bravado of Nassau's exhilarating port; here is the splendorous saga of fierce ecstasties, violent truths and wild dreams...