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Reserved for the Cat (Elemental Masters, Book 5) Hardcover – October 30, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Elemental Masters (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: DAW Hardcover; Book Club edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756403626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756403621
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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

More About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the acclaimed author of over fifty novels and many works of short fiction. In her "spare" time she is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. Mercedes lives in Oklahoma with her husband and frequent collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.

Customer Reviews

This is the fourth time I have read this book, and it is still one of my favorites.
Kristy Elliott
I like the theme of the Elemental Masters stories and it gives me what I want; an interesting escape that engages my attention and imagination.
This book reads like a rough draft, complete with several glaring typos, plotholes, and inconsistent character description.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Huston on November 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This time, however, there's quite a bit of a twist to the tale of someone being born with magical talents. What if you were born into a magical family, but didn't have any magic of your own? That is precisely the problem that Ninette Dupond finds herself in. That is, if she doesn't starve to death first.

She's an aspiring young dancer at the Paris Opera when the story opens, hoping that some rich old man will be smitten with her, and turn her into a mistress, complete with her own apartment, money and security for the future. It's a cold-blooded way to look at romance, but Ninette has seen life as a child being raised on the uglier side of Paris. When a leading ballerina is upstaged by Ninette and Ninette suddenly finds herself out of a job, and no where to go.

That is, until Thomas shows up. Thomas is a somewhat bedraggled cat -- that speaks -- and he says that he's been 'watching' over Ninette for years. He assures her that all she has to do is trust him and let him guide her, and he will see to it that she will not just prosper but more...

Which means England. Ninette tries to impersonate an Russian dancer in the town of Blackpool, but she doesn't speak the language, and she knows no one there at all. Then she is taken in hand by two music hall composers, Nigel -- an Air Master, and Arthur, who is no mean magician himself, and their talking Grey African parrot, Wolf. The trio have been putting out shows in the music halls of England, and they need something new -- and the _new_ is Ninette. When they 'rescue' Ninette, her story provides just what they need to create a smash. And it also allows Ninette to meed Jonathan, a dashing Fire Master who may be love of her life -- if she can trust him that far.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Moth Ella on February 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of the Elemental Masters series since The Serpent's Shadow. I've always thought Ms. Lackey does a good job of blending the fairy tale elements cleverly with her own world-building. Unfortunately, she seems to be slipping of late. Her villains are invariably older women, cruel and cold, and the troll in this book is no different. In fact, if you were to transplant any one of the villains from the other books into this one you would probably not even notice. The stories which started off so fresh and clever are starting to feel redundant and stilted.

The backstage bits in this one are the best part, and there are too few of them. Ninette's ballet performance is enjoyable but is over far too quickly, and the reader does not get anymore. Jonathon's magic show is likewise a tantalizing tease and a clever idea(a real master making his living as a stage illusionist!) that never comes to fruition or takes center stage. This story feels underdevelopped and poorly executed.

There were also numerous typos and plot holes throughout the work that left me wondering if Mercedes Lackey is too famous now to even have a copy-editor make sure she hasn't missed some typos. The consistency of her elemental masters world is also compromised, systems, modes and laws that have been established in previous books seem to have magically changed between the other books and this one.

The romance in the book is such a non-event it barely needs a mention, and several plot threads that she takes pages and pages to set-up never go any further, leaving the reader wondering: why is this part in the book at all?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Duneb on February 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the previous reviewer that Lackey's lost her touch in recent books. I LOVED reading her work years ago, especially my favorite, The Black Swan, but I quit reading her newer books several years ago because they was becoming tedious to read, and that is never a good sign for fantasy novels. I was in the library last week, craving something reliably in the realm of fantasy to read, so I decided to give her latest book a try because it was about cats and ballet (two things I am fond of). Of course, I found myself disappointed, par the course for Lackey's current writing.

The comments about the cardboard villain are spot on. I actually found myself skipping paragraphs and paragraphs whenever the villainess Nina was in the narrative because she was SO blah, so predictable, so cliche. I've seen the same woman in so many of Lackey's other books I literally no longer have to read to know what they'll do. Sad. Lackey could have done more with her, being a rare specimen of her magical type.

As opposed to the other books in the Elemental series, the British magical community now does not seem to have much organization- Lackey limps around and around the search for an earth master, and finally brings in an intended deus ex machina of an air master to find the Villainess near the end that turns out to be a limp red herring, whom we hear nothing of afterwards. Poor kid. Oh, and Arthur! He disappears for chapters and chapters and was never developed past "orchestral prodigy and elemental mage." Pooh.

The only redeeming things about Reserved for the Cat were: Wolfgang Amadeus the Parrot, Ailse the Maid, Thomas the Cat, Johnathon the Illusionist, and the narratives of Ninette's flight to England and interactions with Ailse, Johnathon, and the destruction of the Villainess- which was well done, thank goodness... (though unfortunately Ninette decided to hide the fact she was the real destroyer to avoid wounding male pride... )
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