The Fairy Godmother: A Tale of the Five Hundred Mass Market Paperback – Nov 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Despite the obvious genre mix-up, I gave this book three stars because I did enjoy the novel and will reread it, but definitely skipping over the love scenes.
If you've never read any Mercedes Lackey books, I personally recommend "The Arrows of the Queen" to start with, a wonderful series with adventure, heroes and heroines, and real light romance
Lackey takes the fairy tale and turns it on its ear. Yes, some of the conceits may be trite, some of the plot turns a bit forced, and some of the characters drawn with broad strokes, but isn't that the nature of the fairy tale genre to begin with? I found the concept of "the Tradition" intriguing, and the unicorns had me giggling. On the other hand, the Brownies tended to be annoyingly smug--protective, but smug.
What kept me from giving this book five stars was that in a handful of places Lackey did not provide enough detail--even in keeping with the "broad strokes" of the genre. Sometimes those details are necessary for consistency in the storytelling.
All in all, Fairy Godmother is a lighthearted romp through the fairy tales that makes for a good summer or vacation read.
However, sometimes I feel that the story was hurried. For instance, there seems to be quite the jump from Elena's training to Madame Bella leaving. Sometimes it's a bit disconcerting between chapters to see such a gap in time. It can take you out of the story, and make you go back to make sure you didn't miss anything.
The author also occassionally leaves out a detail I was hoping would be explained later, which also contributes to the hurriedness and gives a sense of wanting more out of the book's ending. I particularly had hoped that there would be a better explanation of the Elven king's mark on Elena and Alexander. Just what did it do other than make his approval seen?
I did enjoy reading this fantasy and would recommend it to those looking for a cheerful read. I've always enjoyed fairy tales, and I'm glad that as an adult I don't have to give them up. To warn you, there are some sexual situations, which seem somewhat incongruous with the style of the rest of the book, though I've decided the situations are important for the story as a whole. At any rate, if you're an adult who isn't ready to give up fairy tales, then you may enjoy this book. It's fun to see the 'Godmothering' behind the scenes of the tales you remember as a child.
Most recent customer reviews
This is the first book I read of the 500 Kingdoms books. It was interesting to read as it shows a different take on the Fairytales. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sean Talbot
This is a fun, light book for those who want to escape reality for a spell. We have a spunky heroine, a prince who initially makes a donkey of himself, a house that expands, and... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2007 by yvette
It started off strongly and at first I was enjoying the book with the same sort of enthusiasm I had enjoyed Arrows of the Queen some ten years ago. Read morePublished on July 16 2004 by Sarah Sammis
Admittedly this is the first book I've read by Mercedes Lackey, so I do not have any prior experience with her work to compare it to. Read morePublished on July 4 2004
That's the premise that the author starts with and carries it to a new conclusion. Mercedes Lackey takes us behind the scenes of fairy tales and gives a brand new slant to them. Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by dreamer1013
Mercedes Lackey has a wonderful grasp of the traditional fairy tails we all loved as children and the unique abilty to twist and weave them themes into new and exciting tails. Read morePublished on May 19 2004
I have been reading Norton's work for years and have been happy with it so when I got this book I thought it would be great. Instead I found it to be very boring. Read morePublished on May 16 2004 by zoey