Book Review: The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards

The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards


A World at war.
A beautiful young star.
A mission no one expected.
Paris 1944

Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, her position of privelege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.
When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve is shaken. She knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will detail the upcoming allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary – including assassination.
But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross currents of occupied France undetected – and in time to save Lillian’s life. – from the blurb

My Thoughts

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and particularly when the setting is France during WW2. I’m especially interested when the story line is about the French resistance during the war. Unsurprisingly then, I was really looking forward to reading this book.

I enjoyed the themes of WW2, spies and family disfunction. Most of the connections and history were told by using flashbacks. At first I found it a little confusing, but soon became accustomed to the style and enjoyed each chapter as the true story was revealed.

The stories of the Nazis and their tactics were believable, but at times difficult to read due to the cruelty of the Nazis. The conflict between them and the Parisians and French people was at times heartbreaking.

The strength of three women was a theme that I enjoyed also. Their characterisations and believability had me glued to the page. None of these female characters were predictable or ordinary but they were entirely believable and relatable.

The only thing that detracted from my enjoyment of this book was the romantic theme which I didn’t think was necessary to the story line. After it was introduced, I became quite annoyed and could have lost interest. I’m glad I persisted to the end as the finale action scene is fantastic. This was the reason for a lower star rating.


“A truly outstanding novel, brilliantly written, that captured me and held me in its grip from page one. At its heart this story is about family love and the umbilical cords that stretch but never break. So much can be learnt from the telling of this story of what is truly important whether we live in a privileged, safe environment or in a theatre of conflict. The Black Swan of Paris reminds us of the power of love, hope and courage.”
Heather Morris, #1 bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

“Long a master of suspense, Karen Robards turns her formidable talents to the Second World War. The Black Swan of Paris tells of singer Genevieve Dumont, who must navigate a tangled web of torn allegiances, painful secrets and a past that refuses to set her free, as she struggles to save all she holds dear from the Nazis. Boldly conceived and richly realized, Robards establishes herself in a single sweep at the forefront of World War II novels with an emotional and powerful tale.”
Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

Published in Great Britain by Hodder & Stoughton in 2020.
Paperback, 473 pages

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

About the Author

Karen Robards

Karen Robards is a best selling author of more than fifty books and one novella. Karen has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader’s Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, when she was 24. It was published by Leisure Books in 1981 and is still in print. After that, she dropped out of law school to pursue her writing career.
Karen was recently described by The Daily Mail as “one of the most reliable thriller….writers in the world.”

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1 thought on “Book Review: The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards

  1. Sounds awesome! I definitely agree that flash-backing in books can be difficult to follow. I believe I have read a book similar to this called Code Name Lily by Julien Ayotte. If interested, you should go check it out! Thanks for a good review!


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