Reserved for the Cat is another one of Mercedes Lackey‘s send ups of old fairy tales, still predictable and still entertaining. It’s a fine retooling of Puss in Boots, but as with all of the other Elemental Masters stories you can’t expect too much in the way of surprises. Well, that’s not quite true: it does diverge from the original story to offer the heroine a more decisive place in the final climax, but I’ve come to expect that from Lackey’s reworked fairy tales and can’t really count it as a surprise.
I doubt that Reserved for the Cat will win any particular awards, but if you’ve enjoyed the other entries in the series I expect that you’ll like this one too. In fact, you’ll probably like it more than some of the others; unlike in Shadow of the Serpent, the heroine here actually has a chance to take care of her own problems. And unlike the original Puss in Boots, the cat here creates nearly as much trouble as he solves and has to deal with the problems his own overconfidence has created. I find that altogether more satisfying than the alternative.
My thoughts on the book’s high notes after the break.
The Wizard of London is Mercedes Lackey‘s reconstruction of The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen. It comes as the fifth book in her Elemental Masters series, and follows in her tradition of giving the heroines of the story considerably more power and input than they had in the original versions. As with almost all of the other entries in this series, this one is also set in England in the early 1900’s.
If you’ve read any of Lackey’s other books in this series (or indeed, nearly any of her other books at all), then this story’s style will be intensely familiar to you. Even if you don’t know the original fairy tale, there are few surprises to be had here; the biggest puzzle I faced came in deciding which of the groups of main characters would be the primary representatives of the original fairy tale. That said, Lackey is a solid author and routinely manages to make the predictable entertaining, which in my opinion is quite an accomplishment.
Do I think you would enjoy it? Most likely, yes. Do I have a few other thoughts to share? Read on.
The next installment in the Heirs of Alexandria series is here! It took me all of three days to read it, tops, and that was while I was doing other things. Actually it might have been two days, I kind of lost track. Burdens of the Dead offers yet another compulsive read, much like the other books in the series, and explores a fantastical Renaissance-that-might-have-been in which magic works, demons plot the conquest of mankind, and forgotten gods still roam the Earth. If you haven’t read the other books in the series and any of that piques your interest, I strongly recommend that you pick up The Shadow of the Lion, the first installment in the series. I really love this series…