Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Reserved for the Cat (Elemental Masters, #5)” as Want to Read:
Reserved for the Cat (Elemental Masters, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Reserved for the Cat (Elemental Masters #5)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  5,683 Ratings  ·  231 Reviews
In 1910, in an alternate London, a penniless young dancer is visited by a cat who communicates with her mind to mind. Though she is certain she must be going mad, she is desperate enough to follow the cat's advice and impersonates a famous Russian ballerina. The cat, it turns out, is actually an Elemental Earth Spirit, and leads her to minor stardom.

Meanwhile, the real R
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by DAW
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 Reserved for the Cat, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Reserved for the Cat

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
197th out of 1,944 books — 7,784 voters
Golden by Cameron DokeyDeathless by Catherynne M. ValenteBeauty Sleep by Cameron DokeyThe Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron DokeyHeart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
Fairy Tale Retellings: Hidden Gems
44th out of 465 books — 857 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 18, 2008 Janet rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Lackey never produces great literature, but she often gives her readers an entertaining read. She is uneven, though, and this book is, well, boring. The ideas and the plot aren't bad, and I really liked the villian. However, this needed a couple of rewrites before it was published. Lackey has forgotten the "show, not tell" creed taught in all fiction writing classes. Way too much uninteresting explanation of every single plot point; way too little focus on the characters.
Not as riveting or as engaging as Ms. Lackey's first Elemental Masters novels, but still entertaining and enjoyable. I found the introduction of Wolf, Nigel and Arthur so confusing that I had to read it twice ... and I don't think I ever really got a sense of Nigel or Arthur as separate entities, which is what makes me drop it from 4 stars to 3.
Kat  Hooper
Mar 20, 2015 Kat Hooper rated it it was ok

Reserved for the Cat is the sixth stand-alone novel in Mercedes Lackey’s ELEMENTAL MASTERS series of fairytale retellings. As the title might suggest, Reserved for the Cat is a “Puss in Boots” story and it’s actually recognizable as such (unlike some of Lackey’s other retellings that go too far afield from their sources).

Ninette, our heroine, is an orphaned ballet dancer who has lots of talent but is fired from her gig with a famous Parisian ballet company after inadvertently evoking the jeal
Jun 16, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was ok
I am generally a fan of Mercedes Lackey, and I typically like her Elemental Masters books far more than can possibly be good for me, but this really was pretty terrible. The plot goes by like a speeding train--and has about as much subtlety. But plot has always been something that Lackey uses only as much as necessary to run about with her characters, so I would have been prepared to forgive a certain lack of plot if I'd liked her characters, which I usually do.

Not this time.

The story really had
Sep 03, 2015 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2015
I enjoyed Reserved for the Cat. It isn't the best Elemental Masters novel, but it's still pretty solid and a decent fluff read. It does suffer from a few things, such as a changing portrayal of Thomas, the cat (it feels rather tacked on that Thomas is (view spoiler) ...more
Feb 09, 2016 annapi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series has another worthy addition to its ranks. This story, a variation of Puss in Boots, involves Ninette, a poor young ballerina trying to make her way in the world by attempting to attract a patron rich enough to ensure her elevation from poverty. When Ninette's successful solo debut earns her the enmity of a prominent ballerina who fears the loss of her patron to her younger rival, her cat reveals itself to be a magical creature who helps her leave Paris ...more
Oct 26, 2007 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff
It feels a bit more like a children's story than I expected, though I do know that quite a bit of Lackey's audience is in the younger age ranges, I've never been quite as aware of it feeling young as in this one.
Ruby Hollyberry
My thought so far is that Mercedes Lackey may be going downhill. Foundation and the first part of Intrigues which I haven't finished, really did not give me this impression but they did give me a slight feeling of uneasiness due to some bits where it sounded like polemic, like the believe-your-own-hype problem had started to set in. Agenda sticking out from behind the curtain. Haven't had that problem with this book so far, but it is also not as good. It is more like the usual problems I have wi ...more
Dec 01, 2010 Summer rated it liked it
This was an amazing author writing an o.k. book. It was readable, and I enjoyed it for the most part - but I'm not going to re-read it, and I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a "must-read". Parts of the plot never got resolved (is the cat ever going to tell the main character who he really is?) and I felt the author did not delve into the world she created far enough to entrance me. There was so much left unexplored that I was more curious about the world around the characters than th ...more
Heather Landon
Aug 19, 2015 Heather Landon rated it did not like it
I slogged through about 50 pages before giving up entirely. There is just nothing special about this book. It is plain and boring and not well written. I give books a fair shot, but 50 pages in and I just don't care about Ninette or the cat. Ninette's most desperate desire is to be a kept whore, which we learn in the first few pages. Other than this single desire, she has NO substance - she is a cardboard cut-out of a girl. I can't even remember what she's supposed to look like. This was for a b ...more
Nov 13, 2007 Annie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
The Elemental Masters isn't exactly a series, more some vaguely inter-related books. Characters don't (or very rarely) carry over from book to book.
The series is interesting from its use of fairytale motifs as each is (sometimes very loosely) based on traditional tales. Unless I'm totally confused, this would be 'Puss in Boots'.
Ninette is an impoverished ballerina who is fired from her position and is encouraged by a talking cat to follow his instructions. These lead her to across France and th
Oct 11, 2013 Joan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Recommended to Joan by: June Krell
I thoroughly enjoyed this title in the Elemental Masters series. Someone under the guidance of a cat who is actually someone else is impersonating someone who is being impersonated. Did you follow that? If you did, I'm impressed. It actually makes a lot of sense but I'm not going to explain it. The main character is a really nice young lady who's had a lot of bad luck except for her cat who seems to rescue her financially and otherwise throughout her life. When she gets fired through no fault of ...more
I always love stories about cats and this magical cat was very appealing. Having read a number of these tales, there does seem to be a similar theme running through them of an innocent threatened by an evil magic user. Still one could say that is the theme of many fantasy novels and fairy tales. I did not feel this was one of the stronger in the series though I still enjoyed it.

This was a dual read/listen and I felt that Mirabai Galashan did a wonderful job of voicing the characters including Th
Oct 08, 2014 Jackie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fantasy
This story in the Elemental Masters series features an almost frightenly practical heroine. Ninette is a ballerina whose chance at success turns into a disaster as she smiled at the wrong man in the audience. The ballerinas can’t see anyone in the audience but she accidently smiled at the “gentleman friend” of the star of theatre. Receiving a very favorable review in the paper also insulted the star, so Ninette has to go and now she has no job and nothing left to sell except herself. Just as thi ...more
Aug 08, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors. Several years ago I discovered her Elemental Masters series at the library and spent the summer reading them. This book is one of her weakest.

Normally Mercedes Lackey is excellent at characterization, especially of her plucky orphans. Ninette is a classic plucky Lackey orphan. I like her grit and determination. I can even appreciate the despair which led her to so easily accept Thomas the magical, talking cat. And Thomas is a solid character. I enjo
Jul 14, 2016 Joyce added it
Shelves: discarded
This is far from Mercedes Lackey's best book, but it strikes me in some sense as the one that is truest to herself, which I personally find more interesting. Its setting in the world of ballet and music hall made me realize that this author's talents aren't essentially novelistic so much as they are theatrical in the broad-gestured Belle Époque manner so memorably captured by Degas, Manet, and Toulouse-Lautrec. She would have made a fine librettist back when that was a thing.

Another thing I gree
The premise of this story interested me. It opens up with the dancer Ninette being made the replacement for the lead in the matinee of the ballet the Parisian Ballet is preforming that day. But then after Ninette gets a really good review on her preformance which angers the lead ballerina she replaced, Ninette is fired. This leads to her meeting the cat who tells her to go with him, so she won't have to live on the streets. The entire part with Ninette at the ballet and her going to England up u ...more
Fantasy Literature
Dec 29, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it it was ok
Reserved for the Cat is the sixth stand-alone novel in Mercedes Lackey’s ELEMENTAL MASTERS series of fairytale retellings. As the title might suggest, Reserved for the Cat is a “Puss in Boots” story and it’s actually recognizable as such (unlike some of Lackey’s other retellings that go too far afield from their sources).

Ninette, our heroine, is an orphaned ballet dancer who has lots of talent but is fired from her gig with a famous Parisian ballet company after inadvertently evoking the jealous
Erika Williams
Sep 24, 2014 Erika Williams rated it really liked it
Despite being a Mercedes Lackey fan for years, Reserved for the Cat is the first Elemental Masters novel I've read. Admittedly, it was the one I picked up first because of the titular cat. I'm a sucker for books that involve cats as major characters.

Ninette is a dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet. She's not the lowest on the program, but in spite of her hard work, she's not one of the stars either. Until one day she gets her lucky break when the Etoile cannot make her performance, and Ninette is
Aug 29, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok
Misty Lackey was one of my favorite fantasy writers when I was a teenager. My bookshelf still contains a good number of her early works. I picked up this novel on a whim (it was my crazy cat lady tendencies calling).

It was a fairly good yet simple read. There's not a whole lot of depth to this series but I didn't want anything heavy. I enjoyed the details of the time and world this took place in (as my history is pretty fuzzy) and the story line moved along well.

The epilogue was unnecessary, how
E. Barrera
Mar 13, 2015 E. Barrera rated it it was ok
Initially I was excited to read a science fiction story based around a cat and his mistress. The beginning of story sets the scene of early 1900's France and the life of Ninette Dupond, a poor, but talented and ambitious dancer. We quickly learn her plans don't work out and her adventure begins. The cat is one of the most intelligent characters in this book (I'm not surprised!), but Thomas isn't featured nearly as much as I would have thought given the title of the book, so I was disappointed. S ...more
Mar 18, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I used to dance and still love cats, so it's possible I liked this one a bit more than I otherwise would have. Lackey does detail well, and it's fun to go behind the scenes of the ballet and music halls. I've also stopped expecting much from Lackey beyond brain candy. She's always readable, often enjoyable, and rarely re-readable. Reserved for the Cat was a quick, fun read for me that was marred slightly by Lackey's trademark evil-without-a-cause villain (not a sympathetic or even int ...more
Hannah Givens
Aug 20, 2015 Hannah Givens rated it liked it
It's based on "Puss in Boots." You guessed it--talking cats! Woohoo!

I love talking cats!

Anyway, the basic story is that a Russian ballerina comes to England and pretends to be a famous Russian ballerina, at the behest of the talking cat.

This book was fun. It wasn't mindblowing and the writing wasn't magnificent, but I did enjoy it. I had a good time trying to figure out who the prince was going to be (it could have been one of three or four people at one point,) and there were machinations! I al
Maggie Jackson
Sep 14, 2014 Maggie Jackson rated it really liked it
This was a surprisingly good book. The author shows all sides of the story, which I find incredibly hard because once the audience knows what the monster is, it becomes less scary. We know who the monster is an its backstory, but we never get a description until the very end. I also take immense pleasure in finding the book title in the actual novel, so the last line of the book was perfect. Certainly a hit and miss kind of read, you like it or you don't, but you neither love it nor loathe it, w ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Matthew rated it liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
I guess this story was okay. Again, not much romance compared with the early novels of the series. The romantic heroine was not entirely likeable. Yes... she was poor and miserable and a cat started talking to her and persuaded her to engage in deceit... but she didn't do herself much good, didn't seem like the nicest person, and all the characters were blind to the obvious. Yes, the readers were told the obvious all along so it didn't seem as bad that the characters did not realize it, but... w ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Eli rated it it was amazing
Like all the books I’ve read so far in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, this was a fun and exciting book; often light-hearted but with plenty of danger and adventure too. The background of the characters is believable, as are their motives. And the descriptions of the Edwardian area is enjoyable all on its own.

The author really has woven a beautiful alternate world where there is magic and power in the elemental forces. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series! They’re grea
Sylvia McIvers
Re-read. Still fun. Puss-in-boots knew that the way to turn a peasant into a prince is to have a thief steal his master's clothing, that's why he's not wearing silk, right? This cat uses a non-existent yacht going down in the storm, and what gentleman would ask too many questions when a girl in torn finery is shivering on the beach? Instant publicity!

Love the dance scenes. Dancing is -hard work- and while Our Heroine Ninette passes herself as Nina famous Russian dancer, she really does work hard
Feb 20, 2016 Doris rated it it was amazing
Although the story Reserved for the Cat starts a “Puss in Boots” story, with elements from several other storylines, it works well with the introduction of several characters who are not really strong magicians, nor are they powerfully wealthy and charismatic. The most interesting character to me is the cat, although he is not introduced immediately, and his true identity not made known for a while into the story.

Our main female character is Ninette, a ballerina in France, who due to rivalry is
Feb 13, 2012 Hanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I've read this book so many times I can practically recite it, but it just gets better and better with every reread. I wasn't actually going to post about it here, but it's given me so much pleasure of the years that I felt I kind of owed it a review. Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series is possibly my ultimate favourite of all fantasy books. Each one is based on a different fairytale and set in an alternate England in the early 1900s. Instead of your typical fairytale however, Lackey uses ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3)
  • Once Upon an Autumn Eve (Faery, #3)
  • In Celebration of Lammas Night
  • Tiger Burning Bright
  • No One Noticed the Cat
  • If I Pay Thee Not in Gold
  • The Godmother's Web (Godmother, #3)
  • The Hob's Bargain
  • The Unhandsome Prince
  • To Visit the Queen (Cats of Grand Central, #2)
  • No Quarter (Quarters #3)
  • Deepwood (Karavans, #2)
  • The House on Durrow Street (Mrs. Quent, #2)
  • Black Thorn, White Rose
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 12 books)
  • The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, #0)
  • The Serpent's Shadow (Elemental Masters, #1)
  • The Gates of Sleep (Elemental Masters, #2)
  • Phoenix and Ashes (Elemental Masters, #3)
  • The Wizard of London (Elemental Masters, #4)
  • 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

“How DARE the villainous cads be as clever as the heroes.” 31 likes
More quotes…