Challenge Participant


Friday, 7 October 2011

Guest Post - The Watchtower by Lee Carroll

Today I am pleased to introduce Sharon from Jera's Jamboree to my blog to review Lee Carroll's second novel, The Watchtower.

 The Watchtower
·         Paperback: 400 pages
·         Publisher: Bantam Press (4 Aug 2011)
·         ISBN-10: 0593065972
·         ISBN-13: 978-0593065976

The second novel in the thrillingly original, deliciously dark urban fantasy trilogy that began with Black Swan Rising.

The last in a long line of women sworn to guard our world against evil, jeweller Garet James is struggling to come to terms with who – or what – she really is.

Will Hughes, the alluring four-hundred-year-old vampire who tasted her blood and saved her life, could help, but he’s disappeared. Garet believes he’s in France, searching for the Summer Country, the legendary land of the Fey where he might be freed from his vampire curse.

Desperate to understand her legacy, Garet follows Will. In Paris, she encounters strange, mythic beings – an ancient botanist metamorphosed into the city’s oldest tree, a gnome who lives beneath the Labyrinth at the Jardin des Plantes, a dryad in the Luxembourg Gardens – meetings that convince her she is on the right path.
But Garet is not the only one trying to find the way in to the Summer Country – and the closer she gets, the more dangerous it becomes...


Garet’s quest to find Will and find out more about herself starts in Paris. In Black Swan Rising Garet received what she thought was a sign which led her there. We are told again why she is waiting. 

Garet finds her artistic inspiration and uses Horatio Durant’s workshop and tools to create her jewellery piece in which she incorporates the symbol of the Watchtower. Horatio was a friend to her late parents. 

She doubts the obscure sign she received to follow Will but on the edge of giving up, she receives the sign that she is on the right path. 

The following chapter tells us the story of Will (400 years ago) as he leaves his ancestral estate (Swan Hall) and falls in love with Marguerite. Marguerite is Garet’s ancestor. 

What follows are alternating chapters. Garet’s written in the first person and is her quest to find Will in the Summer Country. Will’s chapters in the third person and his quest to become immortal. At one point the past and present overlap. 

There are allusions to the important points in Black Swan Rising, very cleverly built in as we journey along on their quest. If you haven’t read the first, you are able to start reading The Watchtower and it still makes sense. 

We find out a bit more about why The Watchtowers came into existence and why Marguerites’s descendants have the role they do. We also find out the connection of the alchemist John Dee. 

Parts of the story are slow going but I found enough to hold my interest and keep me reading. I love fairy tales/mythical aspects. Any book that has fey and dryads in will pull me in. This was more about these mythical beings and much less about vampires. The alternating chapters as we follow the two different time lines also add interest and negate the slowness. The second book to me was more about Will’s story than Garet’s. I did enjoy ‘living’ in Elizabethan times as I accompanied Will during his late teens and after he had met Marguerite, despite their telling slowing the story down. 

The ending – I did see it coming – but the cliffhanger leaves you with questions you want to have the answers to! I will be interested in finding out where the story will be taken in the final book in this trilogy. At the ending of Black Swan Rising I thought it would be quite a quest for Garet to find Will in the Summer Country (probably why I felt a little disappointed), at the ending of The Watchtower I really can’t see enough to fill the pages of a third book and I’m hoping it will hold more than the fight between evil (Marduk) and light (Garet and her Watchtower role). 

I am rating The Watchtower as a two fairy read. 

Thank you to Sharon for reviewing this book for me and also to Transworld Publishers for sending me the book to review.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for offering for me to guest on your blog Sarah. Very much appreciated x