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Retellings > Elemental Masters Series by Mercedes Lackey

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message 1: by Sue (last edited Dec 25, 2012 06:12AM) (new)

Sue | 39 comments A fairy-tale inspired series that I have been enjoying is the Elemental Master series by Mercedes Lackey

Each book is loosely based upon/inspired by a different classic fairy tale; all have a historical/cultural setting in mid-nineteenth century to early-twentieth century England, with tie-in to actual social issues (e.g. medical care for the poor) or historical events (e.g. World War I). The series is tied together by Lackey's fantasy theme of the Elemental Masters - individuals endowed by their heredity with supernatural powers, associated with the elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water. The Elemental Masters live amongst 'normal' human beings and are unknown to most of the 'normal' people (in a way, like the wizarding community in the Harry Potter books.)

I would say the individual stories in the series are enough different from the original fairy tales that I would classify them more as 'inspired by' than an actual retelling.

The book and fairy tale pairings are:

The Fire Rose - Beauty and the Beast
The Serpent's Shadow - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
The Gates of Sleep - Sleeping Beauty
Phoenix and Ashes - Cinderella
The Wizard of London - The Snow Queen
Reserved for the Cat - Puss in Boots
Unnatural Issue - Donkeyskin
Home From the Sea - Selkie tales

I've just started reading the sixth book in the series, Reserved for the Cat.


message 2: by Tracey (last edited Dec 26, 2012 07:36AM) (new)

Tracey (stewartry) Do they need to be read in order, do you think, Sue? I know I have several of them, and I've been looking forward to them.


message 3: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
Nope, no need to read them in order. There's very little overlap in plots and major characters.

There's occasional characters that cross over, but it's usually more like a cameo role than an actual character.


message 4: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) Oo, fun. Thanks!


message 5: by Sue (new)

Sue | 39 comments Yep, I agree - they do not need to be read in order - Enjoy!


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1388 comments Mod
If anyone wants to do a buddy read with you, feel free to start a thread.


message 7: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4438 comments Mod
I've only read The Fire Rose and The Serpent's Shadow. I was not aware that The Serpent's Shadow was a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves! How so?


message 8: by Christine PNW (last edited Jan 06, 2013 01:55PM) (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) Mercedes Lackey also has the Five Hundred Kingdoms series, which are also fairy tale based. The first one is The Fairy Godmother, which is based on Cinderella. I enjoyed it.


message 9: by Melanti (last edited Jan 06, 2013 02:07PM) (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
Jalilah wrote: "I've only read The Fire Rose and The Serpent's Shadow. I was not aware that The Serpent's Shadow was a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves! How so?"

Maya fled her home on fear of death.
The pets replaced the 7 dwarfs.
(view spoiler)

There's probably a few more things, but that's all I really remember.


message 10: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4438 comments Mod
I am adding the latest of this series Steadfast (Elemental Masters #9) by Mercedes Lackey , based on the Tin Soldier. Thanks Shomeret for letting us know about it!
Here is the list of the entire series:
http://www.goodreads.com/series/40363...


message 11: by Serena (new)

Serena | 19 comments Also: Elemental Magic All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters by Mercedes Lackey


message 12: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2125 comments Mod
By the way, Elemental Magic: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters is an anthology of stories set in the same universe, but only one is by Lackey herself. Sort of the same idea as her Valdemar anthologies - and I was never happy with the writing quality in those, even back when I still liked Lakey's writing.


message 13: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 286 comments I read Elemental Magic: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters and really liked Michelle Lang's story. Anthologies do tend to be uneven though.


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