The sixth novel in Mercedes Lackey's magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale Donkeyskin in a richly-detailed alternate Victorian England
Susanne Whitestone, an Earth Master magician, had always lived in Whitestone Manor and liked nothing more than to keep the land itself and its animal inhabitants thriving. For the last eleven years, she has had a special teacher in the forest—a powerful fae known only as Robin. Susanne, at twenty-one, doubted any mortal Earth Master could find fault with the practices that Robin taught her.
But though Susanne was her father’s only child, she had never set eyes on him, for Richard Whitestone lived as a recluse in a sectioned off wing of the manor. Richard Whitestone was also an Earth Master, but since his beloved wife’s death in childbirth, he had lived a kind of half-life. He hated even the thought of the child who had ended his wife’s life. His own life had withered, and as he had grown bitter, and blighted, so had everything he could see from his windows—the once-beautiful private garden was now as stark and wizened as his heart.
But as the years passed, Richard found that there was one thing that gave him solace—the thought, an obsession, that he could bring his Rebecca back to life through necromancy. He would need an appropriate vessel for her spirit, a young woman, preferably one who looked like she did and was approximately the same age that Rebecca has been at the time of her death—twenty-one....and Susanne was the image of her mother.
About the Author
Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com or on Twitter at @mercedeslackey.
Praise for the Elemental Masters series:
“The Paris of Degas, turn-of-the-century Blackpool, and the desperation of young girls without family or other protection come to life in a story that should interest a broad readership.” —Booklist
“All in fine fairy-tale tradition…. It’s grim fun, with some nice historical detail, and just a hint of romance to help lighten things.” —Locus
“The action and dialogue flow freely, mingling with beautiful descriptions of European countryside and just a hint of romance…. A well-developed heroine and engaging story.” —Publishers Weekly
“The fifth in the series involving the mysterious Elemental Masters, this story of a resourceful young dancer also delivers a new version of a classic fairy tale. Richly detailed historic backgrounds add flavor and richness to an already strong series that belongs in most fantasy collections. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal
“Lackey’s fantastical world of Elementals, plus her delightful Nan and Sarah, create an amusing contrast for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and John Watson…. The mix of humor, history, fantasy, and mystery is balanced in a way that any reader could pick up the book and thoroughly enjoy it from beginning to end.” —RT Reviews
“The Elementals novels are beautiful, romantic adult fairy tales. Master magician Mercedes Lackey writes a charming fantasy.” —Worlds of Wonder
“Ms. Lackey is a master in fantasy, and this visit to an alternate historical England is no exception. Vivid characterization and believable surroundings are flawlessly joined in a well-detailed world.” —Darque Reviews