Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Phoenix and Ashes (Elemental Masters, #3)” as Want to Read:
Phoenix and Ashes (Elemental Masters, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Phoenix and Ashes (Elemental Masters #3)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  6,685 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
In this dark and atmospheric rendition of the Cinderella fairy tale, an intelligent young Englishwoman is made into a virtual slave by her evil stepmother. Her only hope of rescue comes in the shape of a scarred World War I pilot of noble blood, whose own powers over the elements are about to be needed more than ever."A dark tale full of the pain and devastation of war...a ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by DAW (first published October 4th 2004)
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 Phoenix and Ashes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Phoenix and Ashes

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 24, 2009 Rebalioness rated it really liked it
Ok, M. Lackey has three writing styles. One, she doesn't like it and has to meet a deadline. Two, she likes what she's doing, but she doesn't have it fleshed out. Three, she has a full story and all the time she wants. This one is a number three.

It's one of the longer Elemental Masters. It's easily the size of "Wizard of London" twice over. This is her Cinderella, set in 1916, between an English farmgirl and a wounded pilot. Both characters are fleshed out nicely. Usually the 'prince' in a fair
Pat F.
Mar 05, 2013 Pat F. rated it liked it
Take one part Cinderella (with hints of Harriet Potter), one part All Quiet on the Western Front, one part Downton Abbey, and one part alchemy, and mix well.

This is the story of Eleanor (Ellie) Robinson, a girl who has been enslaved by her evil stepmother upon her father's death, and of Reggie Fenyx, a gentleman pilot who has become severely damaged from service in World War I. Reggie and Evil Stepmother are Masters of earth elements--air and earth, respectively--and Ellie is just starting to re
Jul 29, 2007 Anna rated it liked it
Growing up in a nerd household, I had often heard of Mercedes Lackey. She is, after all, one of the most prolific science fiction/ Fantasy authors out there. Phoenix and Ashes was the first book of hers I’d gotten around to reading, and I was overall content with it. Her characters, though magical, were grounded in the pain and sorrow of everyday life. They deal with the injustices of classism and sexism. They deal with the horrors of war.
It is a modernized telling of Cinderella, complete with
Aug 01, 2013 Elanor rated it liked it
This one is a retelling of Cinderella.
Again, I will have to complain at the lack of consistency. Evil stepmother does away with father... without making sure he changed his will?? Seriously? Evil stepmother casts a curse on stepdaughter (pretty gruesomely) to make sure no one recognizes her... while her godmother, a minor witch still lives in the village and knows what's going on - and does nothing? The Masters of London do not feel the taint of evil coming from stepmother? Etc etc
Also Ellie (t
Jan 28, 2009 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tales
Of all the books in the Elemental Masters series this was my favorite. It is a retelling of Cinderella set in the Victorian era in England. This book follows the traditional fairy tale more than the other books in the series, and that might have been part of the magic to me. It is interesting to see all the unique ways that the author has incorporated the traditional parts of the Cinderella story into this much darker tale of magic.

Like all of the books in the Elemental Master series this book
Sep 13, 2012 Eero rated it really liked it
Shelves: historic, low-fantasy
This is really bit changed version of the Cinderella.

Evil Step-mother is also evil witch too
Cinderella is also elemental mage
Prince is only noble, but he is also soldier and elemental mage, but he is injured in first world war and has also deep emotioal scars from war.

And typical for this series Mereces Lackey describes in great detail how people live in time period described in book. So this time we get to know how difficult life were in England during war and how losing millions of soldiering
I could not sleep one night and so started to listen to this audiobook on my MP3 player. I decided that I would continue with it as my audiobook-on-the-go for moments like this or at the gym.

Unlike others in the series I got through this quite quickly and felt it was the best so far in the series.
Jaz (Cloud Child )
Much much more satisfying than my last read of this author

Unlike the other books I've read by her so far this one seems more fully fleshed out in terms of character development and motivations, plot continuity, and the climax/ ending is much more satisfying (usually this is my biggest problem with her work).

Eleanor Robinson is a young aspiring scholar in early 1900s (something I love about Lackey is her female characters are always defying convention in some form) who means to study in Oxfor
Kat  Hooper
Sep 30, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature. Life's too short to read bad books!

Each of Mercedes Lackey’s ELEMENTAL MASTERS novels is a stand-alone fairytale retelling. Some of the novels have overlapping characters, but you can read these books in any order. The fourth book, Phoenix and Ashes, is a mostly pleasant Cinderella story set in England during The Great War. Maya, the Indian doctor from The Serpent’s Shadow, is a minor character. I listened to Michel
Jill Furedy
Jul 15, 2012 Jill Furedy rated it liked it
So the elemental masters can join the dark side. There were lots of dark beasties in this one, which was different, though not nearly as maliciously fun as it could have been; and for a while I thought Alison was going to be the most challenging villian yet (I am reading the series in order, though there seems no particular reason to do so as they all stand alone perfectly well). But then the hemming and hawing started, and Lady Virginia shows up to throw in her curve ball, and the evil gets dis ...more
Jess Hale
Jun 19, 2016 Jess Hale rated it liked it
An entertaining read with slight pacing problems.

I enjoy the books in the Elemental Masters series, fairytale retellings with elemental magic. This is a Cinderella story set during WWI.

I enjoyed the main characters and the potential for their romance. Both Ella and Reggie have problems and it's satisfying to see them overcome them. I thought there wasn't much development of their connection, though.

The villains were, in typical Lackey fashion, truly villainous. As with other books I could have
Elizabeth S
Sep 23, 2010 Elizabeth S rated it really liked it
This is the Cinderella one. I am amazed how Lackey is able to flesh out traditional fairy tales, mix them with her Elemental Magic system, and then place it in the real world such that it fits plausibly.

I also like that the villains make plans, but aren't always able to execute them. The good-guys, even minor characters, do things to adjust the plans at various times throughout the book. In most stories, the villains seem unstoppable until the very end. But in this series, the villains have set
Sabrina Barnett
Jan 27, 2016 Sabrina Barnett rated it really liked it
I've read a million (ish) of Mercedes Lackey's books, burning through them with especial zeal when I was in middle and high school, and, well, they're all kinda the same and, well, that's kinda awesome. These are not deep or Earth -shattering books, but they are warm and companionable reads, with a focus on kindness and valuing intellect that may feel schmaltzy to some, but always felt like a nice place to visit, particularly as a vulnerable pre-teen and teenager. Lackey always tells her fairy t ...more
What's amazing is that not much actually happened throughout the whole thing. Over half of it was magical theory and Eleanor dreaming her way through Tarot cards. And yet, it was still brilliant.

I've never been a huge Cinderella fan, but this novel did a fabulous job retelling the original fairy tale, along with some history and magic. I really liked Eleanor and Reggie as well as the supporting cast, and Alison and company were very satisfying villains.

Perhaps my only real complaint was that the
Blake Baguley
May 05, 2014 Blake Baguley rated it liked it
It was fairly fun to read through but felt like a bit of a waste of time when I was finished.
She always picks out pretty obvious themes in her books and stresses them fairly strongly - this time round the stupidity of war and discrimination based on class and sex.
Some of it was interesting, but some of it was just over detail that bogged the story down. Can't say there was much closure or excitement at the end either, compared to how long the build up was.
All in all, not one of my favourite ML
Jan 07, 2008 Nan rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite books by Lackey. She's only a middling talented writer--at times, she can be brilliant, but other books are dreadful--and this is one of her better books. It's certainly got one of the best developed magic systems of any of her books.
Some interesting information about the Tarot, as well as sobering background about the effect of the war in the trenches on the British soldiers and their families.
An extremely good version of Cinderella. Lots of sobering background about the effects of WWI on the small towns of England, and the troops in the mud in France.
Mar 27, 2017 Natty rated it liked it
I think I like this version of Cinderella the best.
Oct 24, 2016 Ariel rated it it was amazing
Just similar enough to the fairy tale to catch my attention, but different enough to keep it. I loved the use of elemental magic and the use or references to different systems of magic.
Aug 28, 2015 Sergej rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Filia Martin
This has to be the best Mercedes Lackey novel I've read since One Good Knight. This particular installment is historical fantasy done right. The history doesn't feel tacked on (like it did in The Gates of Sleep), and you actually feel like you're in the time period yourself. The war becomes very real in this book--it has a strong presence in the novel, and its effects are actually shown. I don't think any of the other books in this series actually make it obvious that this is a historical novel ...more
Kelley Ceccato
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2013 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: feminists, history interests.
This is one of the Elemental Masters series. This is an excellent example of how fantasy can be used to write a very different sort of book. This was a polemic against WWI and by extension, any war. She is also quite a feminist and makes this apparent. Of course, both WWI and II were big times for women to expand their roles in life, with so many men gone and/or badly injured.

This is based on the Cinderella fairy tale. Eleanor Robinson badly wants to go study at the university and her father had
Feb 24, 2017 Lawrence rated it really liked it
Phoenix and Ashes is a re-telling of Cinderella set in England during the Great War. Its protagonist is Eleanor Robinson, the daughter of a wealthy man. She is preparing to sit the entrance exams for an Oxford college when her beloved father returns from a business trip with a new wife in tow. Soon after his attitude towards Eleanor changes as he favours his new wife, Alison, and her two daughters over his own child. Then he volunteers for the Army and soon after the news reaches the household t ...more
Oct 08, 2009 Bryce rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread
To me, Mercedes Lackey’s novels are like gummy candy: They’re filled with excessive sweetness, are totally addicting, are of dubious nutritional value and too many will definitely leave you a little sick. People who watch me scarf down an entire bag of gummy cola bottles will say “How can you eat that? If you want candy, what about chocolate?” And, to keep with this comparison, friends will point out the huge amount of critically acclaimed, complex fantasy novels available. But sometimes, you ju ...more
Fawkes Phoenix
Jan 06, 2014 Fawkes Phoenix rated it it was amazing
I have a read a number of Mercedes Lackey books to this point, some collaborations but most of them were other Elemental Masters books. I must say that this one I enjoyed the most thus far out of the 7 or so books Ive read of hers.

Ellie was a sweet character and very Cinderella-esque with her grace and loveliness. For every ounce of sweetness Ellie possessed her stepmother and stepsisters possessed and equal amount of malice and greed. You love Ellie while equal hating her "wicked" stepmother,
I'm glad to say this is still my favorite of the Elemental Masters books. The first time I read it (must've been five years ago), I remember immediately reading it again because I loved it so much.
I'm not sure what it is about this book that is so appealing, but I think a lot of it goes back to Lackey's skills at their best. She had a good idea, and the time to flesh it out, and the result is a good story.

Another big appeal is the fairytale retelling. This is Lackey's version of Cinderella, and
Mar 20, 2012 Mandolin rated it liked it
Shelves: my-inventory
When her father remarried a society woman from London and brought her home to Broom with her two daughters in tow, Eleanor Robinson never dreamed of the impact it would have on her future. Certainly, this woman and her girls were much more sophisticated than she would ever be, but she had her father's love and wasn't that enough? It was until the war on the continent destroyed their peaceful lives and dragged him off to the front, where he was killed almost immediately. On the very day she learn ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3)
  • Once Upon a Summer Day (Faery, #2)
  • Tiger Burning Bright
  • No One Noticed the Cat
  • In Celebration of Lammas Night
  • If I Pay Thee Not in Gold
  • The Mislaid Magician: or Ten Years After (Cecelia and Kate, #3)
  • The Godmother's Apprentice (Godmother, #2)
  • Reader and Raelynx (Twelve Houses, #4)
  • To Visit the Queen (Cats of Grand Central, #2)
  • No Quarter (Quarters #3)
  • The Wild Swans (Faerie Tale)
  • Deerskin
Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &am ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

Elemental Masters (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, #0)
  • The Serpent's Shadow (Elemental Masters, #1)
  • The Gates of Sleep (Elemental Masters, #2)
  • The Wizard of London (Elemental Masters, #4)
  • Reserved for the Cat (Elemental Masters, #5)
  • Unnatural Issue (Elemental Masters, #6)
  • Home from the Sea (Elemental Masters, #7)
  • Steadfast (Elemental Masters #8)
  • Blood Red (Elemental Masters, #9)
  • From a High Tower (Elemental Masters, #10)

Share This Book