The Black Swan Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Black Swan

This retelling of the story of "Swan Lake" deals with Odile, the "evil" Black Swan from the story. Odile lives in a secluded castle with her father, a powerful magician. She learns magic from him and seeks his admiration constantly. As she grows older, she begins to question the beings who live on the castle grounds by the lake. They are swans during the day, but women by moonlight. Odile learns that these are women whom her father has captured and enchanted as punishement for their manipulation of men.
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Odile begins to feel sympathy for their plight, and she befriends Odette, the leader, and most beautiful of the swan/women. Odette has fallen in love with a prince and has a plan to break the spell that holds her and her friends prisoner. Odile helps her, but when her father discovers what has happened, he casts a spell on Odile making her look exactly like Odette, in order to ruin the plan. Trapped in Odette's body, and unable to speak the truth to the prince, Odile must find a way to thwart her father's evil plan and save her friends.
The review of this Book prepared by fran laniado

Baron von Rothbart makes it his life's work to find women who betray men, and turns them into swans. His daughter, Odile, always tries to please him. She is the "keeper" of the swans. Odette, the Swan Queen, gets von Rothbart to agree to a deal that might free all of the swan girls. But Odile knows that her father wouldn't comply unless he knew Odette was going to fail. As it was, the deal was that Odette had to make a womanizing prince swear his eternal love to her.
The review of this Book prepared by Tigerbelle

Odile is the daughter of Baron von Rothbart. She feels she is distant from her father. Baron von Rothbart captures innocent women who he feels have betrayed their men, and turns them into swans. Princess Odette keeps a promise that could result in her freedom, along with the others. Odile learns the true meaning of her father's actions and helps the frightened swans.
The review of this Book prepared by Rebecca

This is a retelling of The Swan Princess. Odile Von Rothbart is the only child of Baron von Rothbart. The Baron captures women who he feels has betrayed some man in their life and turns them into swans by day. Princess Odette, the leader of the swans, confronts the Baron and obtains a promise that could result in freedom for her and the rest of the swans. The story is about that promise and how Odile helps the swans and realizes things about her father.
The review of this Book prepared by Jamie

Chapter Analysis of The Black Swan

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Romance    -   Yes Lifeform altered?    -   Yes Kind of alteration:    -   Magically turned into another being Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Human/magical couple?    -   Yes Type of couple:    -   He's a human, she's a magical being

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   mage/magician Age:    -   a teen If magical mental powers:    -   can change shapes    -   can fly    -   can cast many different spells    -    Invisibility


Terrain    -   Water    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   19th century    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Sex in book?    -   Yes How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Mercedes Lackey Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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