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Blood Red (Elemental Masters) Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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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
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.
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Unfortunately, this is combined with an unwelcome helping of words that don't even display properly on my Kindle, let alone are unpronounceable. Do we, the readers, REALLY need an endless summary of the towns they are visiting on their way to go from place to place and the food that the characters ate there? It adds nothing to the plot, and some of the words are confusing and the context is enough to say "this is a kind of food" but not what. I don't read the Elemental Masters books for a guidebook on the local cuisine of wherever the books take place. It made sense in Phoenix and Ashes and Gates of Sleep, because the differences in food helped make a contrast between poor characters and rich characters, but for the most part of this book, the emphasis on the food makes no sense. Yes, it's a character who couldn't otherwise afford expensive food. Why is she dwelling on the random village food they eat as they travel?
Additionally, I personally do not like this policy of selling random chapters from a book as standalone short stories, and the first chapter of this book is an already released short story.
So this was a refreshing change in that the business with the wolf and the grandmother's cottage gets taken care of in the prologue and then we jump to an adult red-cloaked werewolf huntress, fully trained and building her reputation. She doesn't need heroes to come save her, she fights her own battles, and the romance subplot is merely hinted at, with her not pairing off with the Obvious Love Interest at the end of the book.
Between the love plot remaining unresolved and the business with the Graf networking on her behalf to start bringing her cases from further afield than her own forest in Germany (which, as other reviewers have noted, seemed really unecessary in plot terms), this reads like a book that should be followed by at least one sequel. Rosamund is being prepared to become a wandering troubleshooter like Lord Peter Almsley or Nan and Sarah in some of the earlier books in the series, and it would be a pity not to see any future adventures with her.
As others have pointed out, some of the descriptions of trains, food, etc. were occasionally tedious, and there was still some echos of Lackey's feminist soapbox. But, overall, Blood Red was definitely a breath of fresh air after the last few books in the series, and hopefully this signals a change for the better.
Most recent customer reviews
Not her story with Rosa and Makros featured. I loved it as always!
She challenges and is challenged by social, gender and even some religious standards of her...Read more