Friday, July 8, 2011

Unnatural issue by Mercedes Lackey

I am a happy fangirl! Yay for Lackey’s return to the Elemental Masters world… And yay for taking on Perrault's Donkeyskin. Donkeyskin isn’t the most comfortable tale to use – with its incest-theme. Lackey manages to side-step the incest – mostly – by making this a tale of a ‘fallen’ Earth Master who plans to use necromancy and his daughter’s body, to bring his wife back to life.

Suzanne, said daughter, has a lot of Earth magic herself – and has been tutored by good ole Puck / Robin Goodfellow. She knows enough to realise she really, really needs to escape her father – even though he’s just begun to notice her existence.
Escaping, she finds refuge – in disguise of course – with the Kerridges’, local gentry and mages. There she falls for Charles, their oldest son. Also staying on the estate are Water Master Peter Almsley and his servant, Garrick. They have been sent by Alderscroft, the Wizard of London, to hunt down a necromancer working in the area.

Although not the best in this series, Lackey fans – like me! – will welcome a return to this world. And, thank goodness!, a love interest for Peter Almsley (‘twin’ of Peter Scott’s, from The Serpent’s Shadow).
Fairytale retelling + gothic + historical + romance + fantasy + Lackey = WIN! But, only 4 stars of win, unfortunately. But,  4 star Lackey is still a good option for a great winter curl-up read.
If you like this book then try:
  • The woman in white by Wilkie Collins – classic Victorian gothic mystery.
  • Deerskin by Robin McKinley – also based on ‘Donkeyskin’.
  • Smoke thief by Shana Abe – Victorian/Edwardian fantasy setting.
  • Phoenix and ashes by Mercedes Lackey – my fav Elemental Masters book.
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman – fantasy romance.
  • Blood brothers by Nora Roberts – modern gothic fantasy romance.
  • Second sight – Victorian/Edwardian fantasy romance gothic tale.   

~Reviewed by Thalia.

1 comment:

  1. Just finished this last night and have to agree that in this series this is a strong 4 out of 5 rather than a 5 out of 5.

    I love this series because it takes the "safe" fairytales that so many of us grew up with and turns them into something resembling their truer selves, and then adds a touch of Elemental magic, usually with a little cherry on top in the form of some sort of romance/relationship.

    My favourite in this series has to be Serpent's Shadow, and I love Fire Rose even though it is not oficially part of this series it is in the same vein.

    Unnatural issue was a little slow to get going for me, but it could have been because I was a little distracted by other things. This was also a decidedly darker novel than most of the series, but it was good that Lackey didn't squiggle away from the unpleasant topic of incest.

    Hopefully there will be more in the series over the coming years, although at the rate they are going all the main characters are going to be happily settled and married off soon.