This year's goal: making my way through the 15 books in author Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series, magical/paranormal retellings of classic fairy tales. And in case you're wondering, plenty of ghosts, eerie events and such to keep paranormal people happy!
The latest in noted sci fi/fantasy author Mercedes Lackey's offerings, Jolene, offers a slight twist on the Dolly Parton song of the same name, with the unusual paranormal and magical elements she's known for.
This, #15 and the latest in her Elemental Masters series, which reimagines classic fairy tales, centers on a retelling of the Queen of the Copper Mountain and is set in America for the first time. Set around Tennessee's coal mines, the story centers on a poor girl Anna May who's sent to live with her aunt, the local herbal, "witchy" woman. Anna May works on developing her magical powers even as she falls in love with the local stone mason, who also has caught the eye of the mysterious and magical Jolene.
REVIEW: Great story and characters, though the heavy use of dialect for Anna May was hard to read and had me skipping over those parts. But it's a great story. Love this series and glad I came back to it as I remember being so impressed with the first book, The Serpent's Shadow, years ago. I don't know how I failed to get back to this series. I'm thrilled to begin reading it again and glad I'll have a long series to keep reading!
I also just finished The Gates of Sleep, (book 2 in the series). Now that I'm hooked on this series, I'm trying to read from the beginning though I also wanted to get back to the later books with Holmes/Watson. The Elemental Masters series centers on classic fairy tales with a fantasy/paranormal/magical twist. This one made me think of Sleeping Beauty, which it is apparently based on.
Marina is taken from her loving "adoptive" parents after the mysterious death of her parents into the home of her evil aunt. She soon finds that dark magic is tied to the family even as her aunt tries to reactive the ages-old evil curse she put on the baby Marina.
REVIEW: Again, great paranormal elements, fascinating characters and dark history woven in, but the problem with this one is a lot of back story and description, with the real crux of the story not really showing up until a quarter way in. The book gets really interesting later, but it takes a while to get to the more magical and darker parts of the story. I still enjoyed it and was glad how it turned out in the end.
Next, I wanted to continue the Holmes story so I'm reading book 14, The Case of the Spellbound Child. (It seems okay to read the books out of order, but I've since learned that a couple of these are continuations with stronger connections so I am reading A Study in Sable (#11) as well. It turns out this I started mistakenly reading these out of order and backwards, but it hasn't ruined the enjoyment of the stories.)
7 Home From The Sea, (Someone on Goodreads mentioned this is a part sequel to The Wizard of London, and introduces a grown-up Nan and Sarah.) Mari Prothero turns 16 and learns her family's fishing luck depends on each generation marrying a sea-dweller. (Is this based on the Greek tales of Poseidon perhaps or?)