The Fairy Godmother
reviewed by Jerry Wright
The Fairy Godmother|
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Hardback: January, 2004
I like Mercedes Lackey. Her "Heralds of Valdemar" series is known and loved throughout the "civilized" world. SO, I was pleased when a new book, The Fairy Godmother, came across my desk. First thing I noticed was the book's imprint--Luna. Never heard of 'em. However a bit of internet digging, and we find that Luna is the new Fantasy imprint from of all publishers, Harlequin. However... They have signed such authors as Mercedes Lackey (of course), Catherine Asaro, and Sarah Zettel, first rank writers all. So, the publishers started off, last January, with The Fairy Godmother.
So how is it, as a book? Lackey would be hard-pressed to write a bad book, and this book, though slight, is a fun read. It is called a story of the 500 Kingdoms, and these 500 kingdoms are the kingdoms of fairytale. And the people therein know it, sort of. The Tradition forces many people into fairytale story molds, and if something happens that the story can't be properly completed, the magic gathers around the character, somewhat like static electricity, but the discharge would be a lot less fun.
Elena is the subject of one of the traditions. Wicked stepmother, ugly sisters, living in the ashes and always cleaning... Yep, the Cinderella tradition. Only, there is a major problem. The prince in her storybook kingdom is a pre-teener. Whoops.
So, the magic gathers. Normally, in these cases, a fairy godmother swoops down on the unsuspecting wight and drains the excess magic, so as to replenish her own. But in this case, it is time for Elena's FGM to retire, and so Elena is recruited to become a fairygodmother herself.
The tropes and tired concepts of the "fairy story" are herein turned on their heads by Ms. Lackey, and by Elena. You'll recognize quite a few stories of old, but what the author does with them is very funny, and moving.
If the rest of the books from this imprint are as well done as The Fairy Godmother, then readers who enjoy fantasy will be pleased. As for me, I'm looking for Catherine Asaro's The Charmed Sphere next, which, of course, is also from Luna. You might visit their website at www.luna-books.com.
Copyright © 2004, Jerry Wright and Bewildering Stories