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The Fairy Godmother (Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 1) Hardcover – January 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
The prolific Lackey (the Valdemar series) draws on the darker, Brothers Grimm side of fairy lore for her enchanting tale, the first title under a new Harlequin imprint to spotlight romantic fantasy. In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, the Tradition, that ineffable magic, holds the promise of happily-ever-after for all deserving young maidens and courteous princes charming. But the Tradition also leads some in its thrall to pain, suffering and gruesome death. Feisty 19-year-old Elena Klovis seems destined to be an Ella of the Cinders (Cinderella), at the mercy of her wicked stepmother and greedy stepsisters. To escape their clutches, Elena tries to get work as a maidservant, but her fairy godmother, Madame Bella, has other plans for her. Elena becomes Madame Bella's apprentice, doing her best, among other challenges, to ensure that evil does not subvert Tradition. The only problem is that fairy godmothers are not themselves allowed to fall in love. It's up to Elena, who has vowed to reform a wayward prince, to tease out the threads of a new Tradition. Lackey has created an intelligent, self-possessed heroine with whom many readers will identify.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The prolific Lackey will enchant readers with this delightful twist on traditional fairy tales. In the land of Five Hundred Kingdoms, "Tradition" rules, and everyone is expected to fit into established fairy tales. Enslaved by her wickedly avaricious stepmother and stepsisters, Elena should have had a Cinderella-like life, but when things didn't work out, she flees and seeks work. Her fairy godmother, in fact, the fairy godmother of several kingdoms, makes her apprentice fairy godmother, and it's her duty to prevent the bad things that come with Tradition. Her life takes yet another curious turn when, disguised as a crone to test three questing princes, she loses her temper with Prince Alexander. He acts like an ass, so she turns him into one. Unwilling to let a defenseless donkey wander the woods alone, she takes him home and puts him to work transforming his life. Lackey's satisfying fairy tale will captivate fantasy readers with its well-imagined world and romance fans, who will relish the growing relationship and sexy scenes. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The land where The Fairy Godmother takes place givens birth to many tales, and people exhibit certain patterns that can be seen to be one tale or another. People show tendencies to be Cinderellas or Rapunzels and often they end up living their tales. However, sometimes things don't quite work out. Ella's, prince, for instance, is just a baby. So, not having a place in her own story, she becomes a fairy godmother and, thus, a key figure in other peoples' stories. And yet, the fairy godmother still ends up making a romantic fairy story for herself.
I enjoyed this book. I think Lackey's writing can be a little blotchy at times, and if she finds a particular word she likes, it creeps up in her narrative many times. (Try to see how many times she uses the word "twist", especially in the first few pages.) Still, the novel was very creative and ended romantically. The errors within her writing, though numerous, can be overlooked. For lovers of Lackey, or of fairy tales, The Fairy Godmother is a good pick.
In this world, there is a force called Tradition that moves events into the path most resembling a Fairy Tale. However, sometimes the circumstances just won't allow the Fairy Tale to have a happy ending, as in this story--Cinderella's prince is just a little boy, so she languishes unrescued instead of living happily ever after.
Now in this world, the person who is the focus of the fairy tale feels the force of magic gathering around them more and more as they go further down the road of unresolved Fairy Tale Completion--the longer it goes on without resolution, the more the magic builds. Most often, either an evil sorcerer comes and takes their magic, resulting in the death of the unfortunate focus of the fairy tale, or a good wizard comes and takes it in a kindly fashion, and they settle for something less.
This Cinderella thinks about settling for less, but doesn't do it...and that makes all the difference.
If you like fantasy, this is worth a try for sure.
Most recent customer reviews
When will more 500 Kingdoms stories be coming out? Can't wait!
I had a good time.Read more