The novels of Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series take two forms. The first is re-imagined fairy tales set in Edwardian England (and Europe beyond). The second is a more of a traditional (historical) urban fantasy series that centers around a group of magicians, psychics, and mediums in London, starring two plucky young women and their avian familiars. They hang out with Sherlock Holmes sometimes, which is why his star-power gets him on the cover of the book.
A Scandal in Battersea is the latter style, which is not my preference of the two, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read. It was a solid, magical mystery adventure filled with comforting characters familiar from earlier in the series. Watching Nan and Sarah grow up has been a lovely ride, and I do enjoy checking in on them. Continue reading
I was thrilled that Lackey once again broke the mold with this installment of the Elemental Masters series. Some things were the familiar, such as a modern (well, Victorian-era) retelling of a traditional fairy tale featuring a strong heroine with elemental magic powers. However, like in Blood Red before it, this novel also transported us outside of England and only hinted at a burgeoning romance at the end rather than making it a centerpiece of the plot. Both of these differences have made for stronger books, in my opinion, rather than having the novel be “yet another romantic fantasy.” Continue reading
BLOOD RED by Mercedes Lackey
It’s always fun to return to one of my favorite series, and it’s even better when that series manages to consistently surprise you. Though there have been some departures, Lackey’s formula for her Elemental Masters series has been “Traditional fairy tale retold in historical (mostly British) urban fantasy setting and concludes with female elemental master living happily ever with male elemental master of appropriate opposing element.”
Blood Red, though it happily exists in the same world as the rest of the series, takes that formula and happily shakes it around a bit. In this retelling of the “Little Red Riding Hood” story, Rosamund is a badass earth master who hunts monsters for a living and has a particular grudge against werewolves. But the fairy tale allegory ends early on in this novel, and we’re left with the story of the main character growing up and coming into her own. Continue reading