Mercedes Lackey's magical Elemental Masters series recasts familiar fairy tales in a richly-imagined alternate Victorian world
Katie Langford had been part of her family’s acrobatic troupe working in a small traveling circus—until a terrible fire killed her parents. Years later, still with the circus but stuck in an abusive marriage, Katie fled from her increasingly dangerous husband to Brighton. As a seaside resort town, Brighton’s music halls meant no circus needed to visit. It was as safe a place as she could find.
Lionel Hawkins was a professional magician who had a permanent job at the Palace Music Hall in Brighton. His shows never failed to enchant the ever-changing crowds, for his magic was more than just tricks. Lionel was an Air Magician, and he wasn’t the only one at the Palace who had magical abilities. Jack Prescott, the Palace doorman who had lost a leg in the Boer Wars, had preternatural awareness of all flame, which had saved the Palace from burning on more than one occasion.
When Katie answered the Palace’s call for a new assistant with stage experience, it seemed like all her problems were solved. But it soon became clear that Katie was a Fire Magician like Jack and that something had blocked Katie’s access to her own abilities—a dangerous situation for everyone around her. Fire, the most volatile of all the elements, was a power that could easily turn deadly when fueled by strong emotion. And Lionel and Jack could tell that Katie was hiding something. Something that frightened her. Something that could set their whole world ablaze if they couldn’t help her master her Element in time.
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
"I find Ms. Lackey's Elemental Masters series a true frolic into fantasy." —Fantasy Book Spot