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The Wizard of London

(Elemental Masters #4)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  6,640 ratings  ·  228 reviews
Set in Victorian London-where magic is real and Elemental Masters control the powers of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth-the fourth novel in this best-selling series tells the story of Lord Alderscroft, Master of the British Elemental Masters Council-the most powerful Fire Master ever to lead the Council. Loosely based on The Snow Queen, The Wizard of London delves into Lord Al ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by DAW (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,640 ratings  ·  228 reviews


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Cait
Oh God, I'm so ashamed of enjoying this at all.

This book was extraordinarily scattered; it couldn't fix on a protagonist, a storyline, or even on a personality for any character which could be maintained for longer than a few pages without contradiction. Everything was entirely predictable except for one possible twist in the ending which I was really hoping for and, alas, did not in the slightest receive.

Really, the best part of this book was that I was reading a library
...more
Ruby Hollyberry
Jun 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is the perfect example of what Mercedes Lackey does to me. She makes constant errors in spelling and grammar. She apparently can't remember what she wrote in the last book and contradicts herself. She is very sloppy with minor characters. She sometimes puts speeches into the wrong major character's mouth. Her books are unpredictable in quality, some great, some awful, some patchy. This one is very patchy, zooming ahead and then dropping you awkwardly. I don't agree with her morality at ...more
Margaret
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf, london
I only went and read this one as I discovered it introduced the characters of Sarah and Nan (and Grey and Neville) to the stories.

I'm glad I read it. The story is, ostensibly, about how Lord Alderscroft, known as the Wizard of London, was saved from his own stupidity and the machinations of an evil female Elemental Master. Mostly, though, the book gave us the story of how Sarah and Nan came to be at the Harton School, meet Puck, and develope their Gifts.

A good workman lik
...more
Vivienne
This tale in the series is very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen.

Again I enjoyed this very much as it provided background on David, Lord Alderscroft, who has been a supporting character in other books in the series. Unlike the last book this was very vague on when it was set aside from the fact that it was during Queen Victoria's reign and The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was in existence making it likely mid 1890s. Aleister Crowley is also mentioned and his invo
...more
Tracy
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on
The story just never grabbed me. I gave it 100 pages and while I can't say it was bad, I just never really cared about the characters or what happened. So I put it aside....
CatBookMom
9/30/14 - this time of listening I heard a lot of mispronunciations, bobbled/transposed words, and a couple of places where the text repeats/stutters. I guess I'm a more-experienced listenter, or less accepting of this sort of mistakes.

From my Audible (audiobook) review, 2010:

Much as I love these tales, this is the weakest of the Elemental Masters novels. Most of the story involves Sarah and Nan, young, magically-talented girls who come to live at the Harton School in London, run by
...more
M—
Feb 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, gave-up
I thought the premise was good, and there were a few interesting characters I like enough to keep me going. At first, Nan; I love how she is street-wise, resourceful, and exact. And then, Grey and Neville. I love Isabelle Harton, although she seems too perfect to be true. To me she represents an ideal as she embodies equality, harmony, motherly and unconditional love, maturity and a down-to-earth attitude towards life.

Okay. Other than that, I honestly don't know what the point of the story is.
...more
Kara
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ft-1-fairy-tales
Oh Ms. Lackey, where do I start?

Basically, besides nothing happening, the biggest problem is the re-telling of 'The Snow Queen' forgets that at its heart is the story of a person willing to go to the ends of the earth and go through hell to rescue someone she loves. In this case, the woman just happens to be next door when the guy is in danger, and rescues him almost as an after thought to her day.

Edit:

Two things worth mentioning:

One: A very minor
...more
Jannah (Cloud Child)
3/5
A nice story overall, to fill the spaces in between on the subway. I always enjoy the meandering pace and characterisation of Lackey. The friendship of Sarah and Nan is nice to see, Nan herself is the more interesting of the characters with her street origins. Memsaab was a delightful character..if a bit too perfect and I wanted to have more on her past and her personal motivations.
As another reviewers said the author seems confused on who the protagonist was here, and the children whi
...more
Kat  Hooper
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
The Wizard of London is the fifth of Mercedes Lackey’s stand-alone novels in her ELEMENTAL MASTERS series of fairytale retellings. It’s so loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” that you probably won’t even notice the few similarities. There’s an ice queen, but the theme of The Wizard of London (if there is one, which I doubt), has nothing to do with the theme of “The Snow Queen.”

The story starts when a little girl named Sarah arrives from Africa (where her paren
...more
Greta
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
A Victorian England setting for the Snow Queen. Interesting in that it's set in the same "world" as the rest of the Elemental Masters series, but deals with the "Warriors of Light"; disappointing in that it never really explores what being a such a warrior entails, nor does it explore in any great depth the conflict between those warriors and the mages.
Kathryn
May 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is one of Misty's Elemental Master's series, where she rewrites fairytales into a real world, historical setting. The Wizard of London is based on "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Anderson, and is set in Victorian London.

First, a little background is needed. Generally, the characters are elemental masters, able to command supernatural creatures of fire (salamanders, lyons), water (nymphs, selkies), earth (fawns, brownies) or air (sylvans, dryads). In addition there are people with psychic abil
...more
Kate
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, library
I'm not really sure why I finished The Wizard of London. It wasn't particularly horrible, but it doesn't really seem to fit in with the rest of the series. While it does take place in the same universe as the Elemental Masters, it mostly doesn't involve Elemental Masters (the two who are major characters aren't really present until the end of the book). Instead, it is about three characters who have psychic powers. Two of them are young girls who have animal companions (and, fitting with most of ...more
Aurora
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As always I find myself drawn to this series time and time again. I would suggest it to those who are pro-fantasy and stories of heroine girls (who just happens to possess a magical parrot and is an accomplished medium). Sarah and Nan end up meeting on the edge of London's out of sight Boarding School. They grow into their powers and find themselves in the midst of a great evil that yearns to capture the world under it's claw. The only thing I didn't appreciate was the drone of politics in the n ...more
Libby Ames
Jan 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Mercedes Lackey is hit and miss with me. I usually enjoy her books that have hints of old fairy tales in a different setting. The Wizard of London contained hints of The Snow Queen, but I missed some of the more direct correlation. I enjoyed the young characters of Sarah and Nan--a change for Lackey to have some of her main characters be children. The story was interesting, but nothing gripping or unique. I enjoyed the read, but it wasn't really remarkable.
Mir
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school, victorian, fantasy
I liked the concept, and the two little girls, but the book as a whole was poorly balanced and needed editing. The tone was too self-righteous and didactic, and the bulk of the pages were devoted to set-up and criticism of Victorian society (merited, but hardly requiring a lengthy exposition in a modern fantasy novel). When conflicts/dangers occur they get handled too easily to create much tension.
Sandra Strange
This series blends historical settings and events with fantasy: magicians who draw their powers from the four elements and use them to promote or fight evil that influences world events. Really fun, though plenty dark! Positive
CatBookMom
Felt like re-reading, not listening. The best part of this story is the bits about Sarah and Nan. See my longer review on the audible edition
Helen Bendix
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Snow Queen retelling. This volume of the Elemental Masters introduces Sarah, Nan, Isabelle and Frederick Harton and their school, and also Peter Alderscroft at greater length. It follows Sarah and Nan being accepted into the Harton's school and learning their abilities, while solving a bunch of ghost-related mysteries first in London and then in the country. Also features Robin Goodfellow, a lot of Shakespeare references, and I guess a plot about an Ice Master trying to kill Alderscroft and turn ...more
D.L. Morrese
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Counting the prequel, this is the fifth book in the Elemental Masters series but is set at an earlier time than any of them. No specific dates are given, but Victoria is still queen and Prince Albert is already dead. David Alderscroft, a fictional character who is a respected master in previous books, is in his twenties in this one, which suggests that it this one takes place in the last decade of the 19th Century, at least twenty years prior to the setting of Phoenix and Ashes.

This installme
...more
Roberta Biallas
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I actually like 'The Wizard of London' better than the last Elemental Masters Book (Phoenix and Ashes). Maybe it was because I didn't know the fairy tale of 'The Snow Queen' ahead of time. Either way, 'The Wizard of London' was quite enjoyable. Word of warning, it's not necessarily a 'Standalone' book in the series. You would need to know some of the background of the Elemental Masters series in order to fully understand and appreciate this installment.

That being said, it was nice to
...more
Silvio Curtis
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book must be set a few decades before the earlier-published ones, since the eponymous Wizard of London is probably the father of a character in The Serpent's Shadow. However, the main characters are kids this time, and not quite orphans. One has been sent back to school in England by her parents, who in theory are missionaries but in fact mostly secular teachers, and one is rescued from the street by the same school. Most of the students at this school, including these two, and of course the peopl ...more
Mercurybard
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abby
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This book has a lot of hallmarks of what I tend to associate with British fiction, and specifically British fantasy. By this I mean it had a curious mismatch of mysticism, magic, and religion that all--strangely--seemed compatible, class tensions, plucky orphans, country estates, ghosts, murder, and to top it all off a splash of Shakespeare (although curiously I just found out the author is American, haha). And while I was jumping in on book four (not realizing it was a series until I'd already ...more
Ladygwen
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Filia Martin
Jun 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
This took me seemingly forever to finish. And I have no idea why.
I have been hoping for a Mercedes Lackey book to be different for awhile now. I was starting to dread reading her books for fear of more of the same. It's always aome boring girl who barely can touch magic (would it kill her to have a mc be a Master?) meets some guy who is infinitely more interesting than she is and insta loves him, tie in some fairy tale bits for the heck of it, throw in some super jerk for a villain, and th
...more
Chris
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, historical
I just don't know about this series. I decided to give it a second chance after someone I know on another website started reading their way through the series, but oh dear bog.

This had pretty much the exact same problems as the other book in this series I read: the awkward attempts at being diverse*, the (I suspect) questionable historical accuracy, the plot showing up well over halfway through the book, the rushed ending... I don't remember Lackey's books being this much of a mess i
...more
Margaret
Now we're talking! I have been enjoying the fairy-tale retellings (this time it is the Snow Queen) and seeing the Elemental Masters & Mages & their magic.

But now we see that there are OTHER people in this world also who have Esoteric Gifts / [paranormal] Talents! People who can not only see but speak with dead folks, people who can sense others' thoughts [telepathy], animal familiars with magical powers, etc.

Turns out that the Talented and the Elemental Masters are well awar
...more
Sam
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fantasy, r-daw
This is a really good series! Loosely based on fairy tales, the books are always interesting, with really dark villains. I was a little hesitant about this entry, as it title indicates an earlier life story for Lord Alderscroft, who is a pompass ass in Book 2. He is even more so in this book, but fortunately most of the story deals with two delightful little girls, their "familiar" birds and the discovery of their psychic Talents. I liked the mix of these powers with the series regular Elemental ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #71 - The Wizard of London 1 2 Mar 30, 2016 01:15PM  

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6,947 followers
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

Other books in the series

Elemental Masters (1 - 10 of 15 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)
  • 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)
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“Not forgiving someone is like not pulling a thorn out of your foot just because you weren't the one to put it there.” 21 likes
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