Book Review: Phoenix & Ashes

Posted by Derek Chamberlain on Friday, August 22, 2014 Under: Book Review

Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey

Elemental Masters: Book Three

Daw, 2004

(paperback) ¥832

Comment: ☆☆☆☆☆

Phoenix and Ashes is a wonderful retelling of Cinderella set in Ms. Lackey’s Elemental Masters universe during WWI. Eleanor Robinson takes the role of Cinderella, a young Fire Master trapped in her own home by a wicked-witch stepmother who forces her to slave as the lowest of servants for herself and her two conniving daughters. Reginald Fenyx is the charming young lord of the local manor, an Air Master, and a pilot invalided out of the war. 

This is not a slavish retelling of the original fairy tale but there are enough points of connection to provide a reader conversant with the original a good deal of pleasure and anticipation and also to ensure that the story remains fresh. Major characters from the earlier novels reappear as minor characters in this one, providing delicate links between all the different stories. These appear be not so much instalments in a series as a set of linked stand-alone novels, many of them retellings of older stories. 

Mercedes Lackey is a wonderful writer who, in this book, has shown her mastery of her own element, that of evoking the spirit of a story in the reader. It was a pleasure to read, and I am looking forward to diving into further books in this series.

In : Book Review 

Tags: "mercedes lackey" "elemental masters" "fairy tales" 
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Meet the scribbler

I'm a writer, editor, indie publisher, and dedicated Magic Spreadsheet user. Originally from Adelaide, Australia, I've been living in Japan since 1995. I've had a life-long interest in writing and in speculative fiction. My first book was published in mid-2014.
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