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The Fairy Godmother

(Five Hundred Kingdoms #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  17,337 ratings  ·  1,015 reviews
In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can't carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale...

Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom's Cinderella--until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! So she set out to make a new life for herself. But breaking with "The Tradition" was no easy matter--until she got a little help from her own fairy
Paperback, 479 pages
Published October 25th 2004 by Luna Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Charissa Pacheco Nope. Not unless you want your middle schooler reading erotica. Granted, it is only a small portion of the book but it is definitely inappropriate for…moreNope. Not unless you want your middle schooler reading erotica. Granted, it is only a small portion of the book but it is definitely inappropriate for kids.(less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  17,337 ratings  ·  1,015 reviews

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Rachel Reads Ravenously
Sep 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Rachel Reads Ravenously by: Kelcey
3 Tradition stars!

“Once the blinders are off, it's rather hard to go back to seeing things the way you used to.”

So, before I read romance I was a huge fantasy reader. And basically from the years 2000-2010 I was devouring anything Mercedes Lackey. She's fantastic! In this newer series by her, she twists known fairy tales into new retellings and creates an interesting new premise.

When Elena (Ella Cinders) reaches the age of 21 she had lost hope that her prince (or any man) would come to her
JG (Introverted Reader)
May 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to JG (Introverted Reader) by: Rachel
Elena Klovis is badly mistreated by her stepmother. She is forced to clean the house, cook the food, and dress her stepmother and her two stepsisters, while she herself dresses in rags and goes hungry. Sound familiar? That's because Elena is supposed to be her kingdom's Cinderella. But her "Prince Charming" is completely wrong for her. So magic just keeps building and building around her. Finally, Elena's Fairy Godmother steps in with a most unusual offer. Elena's life is changed in a way that s ...more
Jan 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: o
Shelves: read-in-2008
My pre-review: I was recommended this book by the same girl who introduced me to Stardust and Spindle's End, two books I really enjoyed, although the horrible cover of this book turned me off from reading it for a while (and really, I can't imagine myself carrying it around

I do love fun fairytale books though, and have heard great things about Mercedes Lackley, so I'm excited to read it!

Final reciew:

Meh. I really liked the parts about Elena becoming a Godmother and the things as
Oct 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: magic, fantasy, romance, series
I wanted to like this book so much. It started out so promising. You felt so unbelievably sorry for Elena, who was a victim not of her own accord -- the beginning was so great, describing how Elena would have liked to go against her stepmother, and how she would have liked to request shoes, but she couldn't -- because the one time she did, she was beaten with a cane, and if she reported it to the magistrate, they wouldn't do a thing about it, since she was the rightful property of her parent, as ...more
2020 - reread:

I remember really liking this when I read it before. Wondered if I still would. Yup. Really enjoyed. Listened on audio this time and Gabra Zackman does a great job narrating.



Super fun book.

At first it seems like you are reading a re-telling of Cinderella. I must confess, I have always hated the Cinderella story. It always struck me as plain old child abuse. But while Elaine's story starts off as Cinderella,it veers rather sharply away from the familiar pat
May 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairytales
A fun look at fairy tales. In the Five Hundred Kingdoms, it might be your fate to be Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty, or the Miller's Youngest Son. But what happens if the rest of your story doesn't fall into place? If your prince is too young for you, or too old? It's up to the fairy godmother to make sure it all works out. . . .

This is a Luna book, they are a new fantasy imprint of Harlequin, so randomly halfway through the romance took a turn for the Whooo, BAAABY! and then the plot continued
Anne Osterlund
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Elena is a fairy godmother-in-training. She drinks dragon’s blood (only once—yuck!), has a magic wand (basically for show), and learns how to fight The Tradition. The force in the five hundred kingdoms that insists upon replaying fairy tales over and over, no matter how many kings die, or princesses are locked in towers, or questers fail.

Alexander is one of those questers. The second son to be exact. In the story where there are three sons and the first two fail. But they don’t all fail as spect
Mandi Ellsworth
There is a reason I usually stick to YA and Children's literature. And this book defines my reason.

I really liked the story. It's set in a world called 500 Kingdoms, where a magical force called The Tradition forces life stories to fit nicely into a known tale. We see a failed attempt at a Cinderella story, a woman named Elena who has lots of magic surrounding her, trying to force her into a marriage with a prince, any prince. Her step family decides to run away from their creditors, leaving Ele
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sff
Well, I've just finished my annual reread and felt it was high time to leave an actual review. This is one of my favorite books, my go-to comfort read. It's not the most polished of stories -- the climax and resolution in the last 45 pages come out of nowhere and are pretty rushed and the bulk of the story is mainly worldbuilding but I love this story in much the same way I love a favorite, worn t-shirt. It's comforting, it helps me relax, and that all far exceeds cosmetic problems.

I haven't be
Ranting Dragon
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rebecca

The Fairy Godmother is the first book in Mercedes Lackey’s Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. Published under Harlequin Romance’s Luna imprint, the series seems targeted primarily at female romance-fantasy readers.

Loosely based on the Cinderella folk tale, The Fairy Godmother follows Elena Klovis, a girl all set up to be Cinderella—but the kingdom’s prince is just a child! When she takes matters into her own hands to escape her Wicked Stepmother, a
I am torn between: "Wow, that was really good." And, "Gosh, that could have been so much better."
In this fantasy/fairy tale world, "The Tradition" compels unsuspecting young men and women to their fairy-tale endings. It does not matter if the endings are happy or sad - "The Tradition" will accept evil rulers as willingly good ones. But the stories must happen. And when they don't...
Elena was supposed to be Cinderella. She experienced an evil-step mother, two wicked step-sisters, and a lifetime o
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I love fairy tale-based novels as much as the next person, but I thought I'd enjoy this one more than I did. For all its length it's written in a rather superficial, breezy style, more like a YA book. But it was an enjoyable twist on several fairy tales and I was thinking that my 12-year-old daughter would really like it when - surprise! explicit sex scenes. The sex just seemed like an odd mismatch with the rest of the text. Not a keeper for me in any case. ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found myself enjoying this book a lot. A little weird though, but a fun spin on the fairy tales
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Since I have been reading this series out of order, this one was actually the third book that I read. I loved The Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Werewolf, which were the last two in the Five Hundred Kingdoms' series. So I was pretty excited to finally get my hands on the book that started it all!
Eh. It was ok. It just... I don't know.
Since Elana is featured in almost all of the other books, it was worth it to find out more of her story, though.
I guess I was just expecting too much.
*** 1/10/18 On sale for the Kindle version for $2.99 ***

In these books fairy tales are templates, "paths", that fate-like force "Tradition" tries to force events to fit. It's the job of the Godmothers to use magic and will to turn Tradition to their will and away from unhappy events.
Utterly engrossing. Absolutely delightful! I loved this :-)
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy and Romance fans (especially women)
Shelves: fantasy, romance
Read the review about "The Tradition," a concept from the book: A Fantastical Force

The Fairy Godmother was my first experience with author Mercedes Lackey, and I admit that I was a bit disappointed. In looking at the overall story, Lackey had many elements that fantasy and romance genre fans would really enjoy. However, the execution of her story left much lacking.

The world she creates for the Five Hundred Kingdoms series is extensively detailed. It's a place where magic and fairy tales rule. Th
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Eh. Torn between 2 or 3 stars, so I'm rounding it up. I was pretty underwhelmed by this one. I thought the premise was interesting, but the book was much longer than necessary.

Some other thoughts-
(view spoiler)
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've owned this book for a few years and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. I really like the world, and the way "tradition" tries to guide peoples' paths. It was a great fairytale, and I'm looking forward to reading more books in the series. ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Abby Vincere
Ugh. Why do so many people champion this as an example of Mercedes Lackey's best work? In my humble opinion if this is ANYBODY'S best work, there is probably no hope for them. Luckily, I have read other Lackey novels which were enjoyable, so I know she CAN write, but this book does not prove it any more than her recent Beauty and the Werewolf junk did.

It starts off pretty solid, then gets clunky in exposition that takes over the ENTIRE plot. Now, I don't FAULT the book -- nor author -- for this
The first book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms by Mercedes Lackey. Elena Klovis is supposed to be the Cinderella of her kingdom but there is no prince to come and rescue her from her gloomy life. When her stepmother and stepsisters leave her to escape the creditors, she makes her way to the servant market to find work. Instead, she finds her fairy godmother who offers her a chance of a lifetime. And so Elena becomes the fairy godmother's apprentice.

Young adult fantasy based on fairy tales. It was u
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this retelling of Cinderella. The beginning was a lot like the fairy tale we all grew up with and then it twisted. I love that she got a career. She wasn't just sneaking off to a ball and falling in love at first sight. No, she learned a trade and worked hard. With that career came magical creatures like unicorns, brownies, fae, trolls and giants. The magic wasn't instantaneous either. She had to study first. I enjoyed how she guided "The Tradition" to go along the paths that sh ...more
Kylie Cantwell
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the story, the story-telling, the warm little moments that brought a blush to my cheeks!
Valentina Markasović
Pretty good, for a book with virtually no plot
Mariete Verwey
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOVED IT. Fairy tale with a twist, but still with the happily ever after required by fairy tales.
Nancy O'Toole
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, library, ebook
In a world where fairy tales are real, there are consequences to not getting your happily ever after.

Elena Klovis was supposed to be a Cinderella. But when her prince never showed up, she continued to live a miserable, impoverished existence. That is until her fairy godmother finally arrives and doesn't offer her a prince, but a job. Now in training to be a fairy godmother herself, Elena has a lot to learn about magic and The Tradition that rules everyone's lives.

I'm really glad I stumbled acros
Jane Stewart
Sep 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Interesting and clever premise for a series. Subtly subverting the archetype of Cinderella, Lackey interprets the fairy tale in an original and fun tale. I think the opening chapters fell a little bit flat, and were slightly boring the first hundred pages or so. I liked her idea for how magic works and is channeled through certain people via The Tradition, shaping and creating different versions of classic fairytales throughout the Five Hundred Kingdoms.
The main character was annoying at first,
This is one of the most exciting stories I have read in a long time. Set in a alternative universe, where The Tradition imposes fairy tales into the peoples lives, any fairy tale superfan is going to get goosebumps about the possibilities.

The story starts with Elena - a failed Cinderella story heroine. In her case, her prince is only 7 years and completely unsuitable for sweeping her off her feet. So instead, she gets an opportunity to reform her own destiny as a Godmother. And so, she enters t
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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 & M ...more

Other books in the series

Five Hundred Kingdoms (9 books)
  • One Good Knight (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #2)
  • Fortune's Fool (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #3)
  • The Snow Queen (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #4)
  • The Sleeping Beauty (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #5)
  • Beauty and the Werewolf (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #6)
  • A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms Volume 1: The Fairy Godmother\One Good Knight
  • A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms Volume 2: Fortune's Fool\The Snow Queen
  • A Tale of the Five Hundred Kingdoms Volume 3: The Sleeping Beauty\Beauty and the Werewolf

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