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The Fairy Godmother

(Five Hundred Kingdoms #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  16,645 ratings  ·  961 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 fai
ebook, 496 pages
Published July 1st 2010 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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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,645 ratings  ·  961 reviews

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Rachel Reads Ravenously
Sep 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (The Introverted Reader)
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, fantasy, magic, 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
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 path of that tale.

As her disgruntled fairy Godmother tells her, there is no Prince available for her. The only one near enough is still just a toddler. And Elaine herself isn't getting any younger. And since the Fairy
Anne Osterlund
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ranting Dragon
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
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
*** 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.
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
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.
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, owned
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
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
Jadis LeFeu
Dec 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series is pretty much ideal for my tastes - a world of blended fairy tales. I really, really love new takes on fairy tales. The romance aspect in this, while a bit cloying, is at least well done in that the lovers are compatible. And I very much like the world that is introduced, with the Tradition hovering over and steering everything, turning girls into Cinderella or Fair Rosalinda or Ladderlocks (Rapunzel, obviously). There was one passing reference to a story that I didn't recognize tha ...more
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.
Kylie Cantwell
Loved the story, the story-telling, the warm little moments that brought a blush to my cheeks!
Mariete Verwey
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED IT. Fairy tale with a twist, but still with the happily ever after required by fairy tales.
Victoria Zigler
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I officially give this book 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up, because I always do. Anyway, this was a good read, though it wasn't amazing. The first chapter hooked me in nicely, though there were several chapters that dragged in the first half during the Fairy Godmother training. I mean, did we really need that many detailed chapters about it? Still, it picked back up after a while, especially once the prince showed up, and the ending was fantastic. The characters were interesting, and the worldbu ...more
Abby-Rose Margarida Sparrow
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
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
Jayme(the ghost reader)
This is the first book in the series. I have read "Sleeping Beauty" before this and I wish I read this book first. It explains the Tradition which is how the fairy tales are supposed to go according to plan. This story is about Elena which is supposed to be Cinderella but she missed her chance to marry her prince so she becomes the Fairy Godmother instead by becoming an apprentice to the current fairy godmother. Then she takes over. I liked this story because it mentions some of the traditional ...more

The 500 kingdoms are ruled by the "Tradition" a supernatural force that pushes people down a certain fairy tale path ... lame. No one has a choice in the matter. Elena, supposed to be Cinderella but lacking a Prince to fulfill her story, gets apprenticed to her kingdoms fairy Godmother instead and uses her inherent magic to become a godmother herself.

First 10 chapters consisted of drawn out boring world building. While the novel is well written grammatically, I had an issue with the
Aug 28, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, however (although she loves this book) I did not find the same joy in it as I did.

I found the writing to be juvenile, and the characters rather boring. I would say it would be perfect for the 6th or 7th grader if it wasn't for the crude sex scenes.

I love fantasy novels. But this was rather disappointing. I only finished it because it was similar to a train wreck.... I just wanted to see if the characters managed to get any deeper, the plot any better

Lyndi W.
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
This was a slow journey and I found myself almost giving up a few times. I'm glad I pushed through because this was a good one. The mythology was the best part. The Tradition and Questers and Ladderlock paths were so awesome - I've never read anything even remotely like it. It took a lot of explaining, so the world building felt kinda extensive. Worth it in the end, though. I stayed up the whole night reading it... it's 5am now and I just finished. Also worth it.
I stopped reading after 86 pages. It turned out to be really too slow for my taste. All those ultra-detailed interior and fairytale-fashion descriptions were wearing my patience thin and the few things that actually happened more or less bored me to bits.
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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 &am ...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
“... sometimes good people [are] helpless... terrible things happen... to good people... there [are] sad endings as well as happy ones.” 16 likes
“Once the blinders are off, it's rather hard to go back to seeing things the way you used to.” 14 likes
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