Monday, June 18, 2012

Home from the sea by Mercedes Lackey

Mari Prothero lives by the sea in a little cottage she shares with her da, it is a simple life and the only one she has ever known.  Their lives are unremarkable, except for her fathers unbelievable luck on the sea and the little creatures that Mari sees when she is near water.  The reason for the luck is explained when Mari reaches her birthday and her father tells her that an ancient pact binds their family to the Selch - that each generation of Prothero take a Selch for their spouse with one of the resulting children staying with the Prothero family, and the other returning with their Selch parent to the sea.  It is a hard bargain for Mari to keep, but to keep her father safe she makes a bargain with the chieftain of the Selch clan, but it is a bargain that still bears a terrible cost.  To make matters worse a new constable has come to their village, and he is determined to find malcontents and misfits, and because of where they live and the tragic loss of Mari's mother, the constable soon sets his sights on Mari and her father.

Home from the sea is the latest in the Elemental Masters series from Mercedes Lackey, and one of the things I love about this series is that it takes fairy tales and traditional tales and reworks them and brings them into a more modern time, twisting elemental magic around the main characters.  It sounds like it should be complicated or difficult to follow, but I really enjoy the echoes of the originals that come through in Lackey's updated version of the stories, and from talking to other readers they enjoy the same thing.  While most of the series has been easy to place (Sleepy Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella) some have not been so easy, and Mari's story is one that I can't place - but that didn't stop me from enjoying the story.

While this series is not for everyone, particularly Unnatural issue, this is an engrossing story that became something of a guilty pleasure while I was supposed to be doing other things.  The story builds and builds and just when you think you know what is going to happen there is a twist or a turn that keeps you reading until the satisfying conclusion.  Another great read from a modern fantasy master.  If you enjoy this series then you may also enjoy the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series.

If you like this book then try:
  • The Fire rose by Mercedes Lackey
  • The serpent's shadow by Mercedes Lackey
  • Reserved for the cat by Mercedes Lackey
  • Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey
  • Firebird by Mercedes Lackey
  • Deerskin by Robin McKinley
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Rose daughter by Robin McKinley
  • Spindle's end by Robin McKinley
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Reviewed by Brilla

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad I got this one out of the library, rather than buying. I do like the world, and Mari was a strong character... but there seemed to be little world-building within the novel itself. It relied on the reader having a knowledge of previous books in the series but, just to make things easier, quoted from the books. A fun read, but not up to the strength of the previous books in the series.