Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Elementals” as Want to Read:
The Elementals
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Elementals

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  510 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Morgan Llywelyn, internationally acclaimed author of 1916 and Lion of Ireland, returns with a powerful fantasy saga that sweeps from the dawn of history to our own near future. It is the story of Earth and her elements, and of the men and women whose fate lies in her hands. . . .

Water. The ice caps melt, the seas rise, and Kesair, a woman of Atlantis, leads a handful of su
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Tor Books (first published 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Elementals, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Elementals

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
On my fourth re-read of this book, I still feel strongly that the third story (reflecting the element of Earth) is the most compelling. In fact, three times in the past I've checked out this book from the library only to re-read the 3rd story in order to give myself strength. There are four stories total, each dominated by an elemental: earth, air, fire, water. The ending story is the second best IMHO; although tragic, it is ultimately hopeful that at the end, perhaps we are not doomed.

Here are
Michele (Mikecas)
da: Morgan Llywelyn e' una scrittrice conosciuta, divenuta abbastanza famosa sopratutto per i suoi romanzi basati sui miti celtici. Ho anche cercato di leggerne qualcuno, ma non sempre sono riuscito ad arrivare alla fine. Il romanzare vecchie e conosciute leggende limita molto la fantasia dell'autore, e i personaggi, dovendo in fin dei conti seguire un copione gia' definito, risultano facilmente unidimensionali, senza pofondita' ne' spessore emotivo. Un m ...more
Ronna-laine Flowers
This is a book that everyone should read. It has a valuable message but it is not preachy....definitely in the story telling vain that a bard or the keeper of a peoples history would tell. It's a story of mother earth reflected in her elements: water, fire, earth and air. The story about 'air' hits very close to home....meaning it has some warnings that we should take heart and react to, now.

It's the book that I often recommend to my friends, usually by gifting it. Go out and read this book....a
Oct 16, 2012 Shawna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really, really wanted to rate this book as a 5 star book. After reading the book's description, I was thinking this might end up being my all-time favorite book from Morgan Llywelyn, but I was incorrect.

One thing I love about her books is that her characters are so easy to get attached to, whether you love them or hate them. I did not find myself becoming attached to any of these characters. I mildly enjoyed 1 or 2 of the characters and I feel like this might be because the book is made up of
I enjoyed rereading this book, but it didn't impress me as much at age 31 as it did when I was 20. I like the premise and the 4 different plots are pretty inventive and interesting, but I found the environmental message of the book to be kind of heavy-handed, in a hit-you-over-the-head kind of way. Also, not to split eco-spiritual hairs, but it seems like the message is "You should honor Nature, because it can KILL you." Um, yes, but maybe you should also honor Nature out of something more than ...more
Harlee Keinzley
Jul 09, 2012 Harlee Keinzley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I had read this novel once before several years ago and found it one I could not put down. When I found a used library copy on Amazon I snapped it up and read it again. The second reading was just as inspiring as the first. The novel is divided into four short stories based in each of the four elements. Water in Atlantis, Fire in Crete, Earth in New England and Air in the Dystopian future. Each story is a comment on the destructive forces of nature and the human ability to adapt. It is also a co ...more
Melissa McCauley
Oct 04, 2010 Melissa McCauley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is actually four stories which follow people who are (presumably) linked by a genetic inheritance of affinity/control over each of the four basic elements: earth, air, fire and water. The characters are very compelling and so well written that I kept looking at the cover and wondering why I had never heard of Llywelyn before. Some readers may find it too preachy; the author basically hits you over the head with the environmental message.
Laureen Hudson
I've been reading and re-reading this book for years. It's one of my favorites. It could have descended into the moralistic and ridiculous, but instead, her skillful storytelling just carries you along to the delicious conclusion. It's almost required reading for historical fiction or environmental geeks.
David Ryan
Jan 25, 2013 David Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I almost gave up on this book...about half way through the first section - but I persevered..and was glad I did. The book is more like 4 short stories - each one based on a primal element - water, fire, earth, air -but in some ways there is an underlying unity to the book that stays with you. I especially enjoyed the last section.
Lady Heinz
strange little critter, this book be. Llwelyn us a fantastic writer, but this was just strange. the focus on climatic destruction just seems so dated, and the 4 stories disjointed. definitely was not expecting this type of book from her; and certainly not after having read so many other fantastic historical novels by her. Disappointed.
May 28, 2016 Catsalive rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

An interesting read, but it didn't really grab me. I've read better tales from this author. I know the point is our destruction of the earth, & it does give hope for a future existence, as long as one happens to be indigenous to the land of one's birth. Hmm!
Cathy Allen
Sep 20, 2014 Cathy Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this book. I believe I have reread it a couple of times now. If you are concerned about what we as a race of people are doing to out planet, this is a must read. It really should be on every high school's reading list!
Apr 04, 2008 Clare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Each of these four stories has an element as the main catalyst for the events which transpire in each separate tale. "Mother Nature cannot be tamed" is the running theme throughout the book and the final story is very apropos to today's global warming crisis.
Well written. Would have given it 4 stars through the first 3 segments. Lost me on the fourth, Air. If you are into the humans are unwittingly destroying 'Nature' then this is probably a 4-5 star book.
Christina Crooks
This book, with its four stories linked by Earth's elements of water, fire, air, and earth, spans thousands of years and delivers an ecological warning. Worth it for the terrifying last story alone, though they're all good.
Aug 17, 2008 Chuck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical fiction
I thought this was a really good book. It has some aspects of fantasy to it. It is in three distinct segments which at first do not seem to be connected. However the pattern slowly reveals itself as one goes on. A really great read.
Mar 13, 2013 Rainey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism
This was such a unique style, thrusting back and forth through time, visiting other places on earth. The artistry of the prose was very enveloping, though I was a little surprised by the amount of ecological teachings.
Dec 27, 2007 Francine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was highly disappointed by this almost seemed to me like it was propaganda. I stuck with it, though, hoping it would get better but it never did. So sad...
May 24, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Llywelyn wrote this in 1993, but it is fitting today. It is a mythic tale based on the earth changes from history and through present day.
Feb 20, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Keeps the mystery in the reasons for the Elements (wind, earth, fire, and water. Enjoyable stories of each of the Elements and how they can/do fit into lives in past centuries.
Sep 09, 2008 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Todd
Wow. I picked this book up because I liked the cover and the author's name was vaguely familiar. Surprise. I liked it.
Jul 19, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago and still think about it...probably not for everyone, but I loved the ideas this book made me think about.
Mar 31, 2012 Barrett rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-american
a quick, easy read, interestingly woven together in spite of the four (not totally) unrelated stories. a little beat-you-over-the-head with the message? sure. but entertaining all the same.
Vicky Knowles
Jul 22, 2012 Vicky Knowles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in a friend's Kindle - loved the story!! Some "historical" fiction with a message about taking care of our planet as well. Cool.
Beverly J.
Nov 30, 2012 Beverly J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just a fantastic read. A consummate writer. Nice the way the four stories were connected and the message is timely. So glad I made the extra effort to find this jewel of a book.
Sarah rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2009
Cheryl Seymour
Cheryl Seymour rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2009
Brett rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2007
Tessa rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2013
Aim rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2009
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading Through T...: April 2015 Read: "The Elementals" 4 8 May 19, 2015 08:16PM  
  • Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy
  • Dragonsword (Dragonsword, #1)
  • The Book of Kells
  • Creature Fantastic
  • Game of Queens: A Novel of Vashti and Esther
  • The Song of Rhiannon
  • Wolfhelm (Dragonrealm, #3)
  • Mistress of the Pearl (The Pearl Saga, #3)
  • Boudicca: The Warrior Queen
  • The Goddess Worldweaver: Book 3 of the Seven Circles Trilogy
  • Exile's Gate (Morgaine Saga #4)
  • Fire Angels (The Chronicles of Dion #2)
  • Camellia Street
  • The Gates of Troy (Adventures of Odysseus, #2)
  • Over the Wine-Dark Sea (Hellenic Traders, #1)
  • People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Pasquale's Angel
  • Airs of Night and Sea (Horsemistress Saga, #3)
Morgan Llywelyn (born 1937) is an American-born Irish author best known for her historical fantasy, historical fiction, and historical non-fiction. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.
More about Morgan Llywelyn...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »