Author: Mercedes Lackey
Publisher: Daw Books
Series: Elemental Masters, Bk 9
Obtained: Library copy
Why this book?:
I'm a Mercedes Lackey fan. And I enjoy the Elemental Masters series.
So there are certain subjects (such as abuse and rape) which are incredibly hard for me to read. That is, I have a very weak stomach when it comes to reading that kind of scene. If that's the majority of a book, I simply can't read it. Fortunately, while this book does have some of those subjects, the rest was as enjoyable as I find many (not all) Mercedes Lackey books to be.
I did like Katie, Jack, Lionel, and the rest of the music hall group/performers. I was surprised, but not disappointed, in how mellow the Fire elemental mages were in this. But perhaps that is because most of the others seen throughout the series have been masters. Or maybe because characters, like people, are different and unique.
The setting/background was also interesting - working at a circus and music hall with illusions and special dances, etc. Particularly the illusions, as those are always fun and interesting to watch, and while hearing them described can't be as good, it comes in closer than I would have imagined. The story is apparently based on The Steadfast Tin Soldier, a tale I'm not familiar with.
So something I noticed while reading this book... I'd be into the story and reading relatively quickly then I'd get to a point and have to pull back, because I'm suddenly remembering this is a Mercedes Lackey book. I'm not sure quite how to explain this, except that sometimes I felt like the characters were "channeling" (a term I've seen writers use - hope I'm using it correctly) ML instead of the other way around. It was that same voice that goes from book to book, but it came off somewhat strongly. I don't know if that makes any sense. And I don't mean it to sound so negative either.
In general, I appreciate ML's voice. Why else would I be a fan of her books? I mean I can't wait to read the next book in this series or in the Valdemar world. Which brings my to my overall - I enjoyed this. I zipped through it actually - always a positive.