Tag Archives: Mercedes Lackey.

The Bartered Brides

4 Feb

In “The Bartered Brides”, the thirteenth Elemental Masters novel by Mercedes Lackey, Sherlock Holmes is apparently dead, and Lestrade needs the help of Watson, along with Nan and Sarah to solve the crime of who is beheading young women dressed as brides, and throwing the headless corpses in the Thames.

Mercedes Lackey has turned out a gorgeous tale of magic and murder.

The joy of the Elemental Masters books with Sherlock Holmes in them is that Holmes isn’t a magician, and has difficulty with the concept, though, being the logical man that he is, when he is given evidence, he takes it on board.

Towards the end of the novel there is a delightful tip of the hat to Arthur Conan Doyle’s abysmal continuity, that made me chuckle.

This is the third Elemental Masters book with the cast of Nan, Sarah, John & Mary Watson, and Sherlock Holmes. In each book the characters grow and develop just that little bit more.

“The Bartered Brides” is a delicious addition to my permanent Sherlock Holmes collection.

Highly recommended.

I noted on Good Reads that a fourth book is due out towards the end of this year.  I will look forward to that with great anticipation.

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A Scandal in Battersea

18 Feb
“A Scandal in Battersea” by Mercedes Lackey is a direct sequel to “A Study in Sable”, in fact the villain of the piece is a character who was mentioned in passing in the first book.

Nan, Sarah, John & Mary Watson, and even Lord Alderscroft are indulging young Suki in all the trappings of Christmas. But along side the joy and the fun, something dark is brewing.

A magician finds a hand written book and deliberately sets forth to let an ancient horror loose in this world. The only clues are the mindless young women wandering the streets of London, and a young lass in a private insane asylum who is anything but insane.

As the darkness gathers, Sherlock Holmes must once again join forces with the others to battle something he could not even imagine ever existed.

Absolutely loved this book. My copy was a library one, so now I’m on the hunt for a copy for my collection.

From A High Tower

6 Nov

“From a High Tower” is the tenth Elemental Masters book by Mercedes Lackey.

This book is an interesting take on the tale of Rapunzel.

Giselle is an Air Elemental Master was magical growing hair… she’s also a sharp shooter, and after her adoptive mother dies, she joins a Wild West show traveling around Germany.  This is the key for a number of interesting adventures, especially when Rosa from “Blood Red” enters the story line.

Wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this one as much as the others I’ve read, but it turned out to be just as entertaining and fun.

If you like light fantasy, you could do a lot worse than read the Elemental Masters series.  There’s a smidgen of romance in most books, but not enough to qualify as fantasy romance.  The women in this series tend to be extremely strong.  Men complement them; they don’t complete them.

“From a High Tower” is extremely readable and enjoyable.  Highly recommended.

Blood Red

23 Oct

In “Blood Red”  Mercedes Lackey, in the Elemental Masters series, lets loose on the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood.

Rosa’s adopted grandmother is murdered by werewolves, and she herself nearly killed, until her magical call for help brings, not only an enraged elk, but a band of Hunt Masters, who kill the werewolves and rescue Rosa, taking her with them to be trained as an Earth Elemental Master and to eventually become a Hunter Master herself.

Imagine a version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ( who can talk to elementals) living in the 19th century Black Forest of Germany, and slaughtering vampires and werewolves with skill and passion.

Then along comes a Hungarian, Markos Nagy and his cousin Dominik, who need help killing werewolves in their homeland.  There’s just one problem.  Markos is a born werewolf and one of the good guys.  Rosa’s not too sure she believes it, but at insistence of the Count, who heads the White Lodge she’s been staying at, she sets off with Markos and Dominik for an adventure that is going to be bloody and deadly.

Fantastic story.  I am so glad I decided to start reading this series again.  “Blood Red” is well written, exciting, and a bloody good read.

Highly recommended.

A Study in Sable

16 Oct

In “A Study in Sable” by Mercedes Lackey, Sarah Lyon-White and Nan Killan, a medium and a mind reader attached to the White Lodge, are assigned by Lord Ashcroft to assist a gentleman who resides at 221 Baker Street.  Not Sherlock Holmes, but John Watson, Water Elemental Master, and his wife, Mary, an Air Elemental Master.  They handle the magical cases that Holmes refuses to touch.

But when one of John and the ladies cases intersects with one of Sherlock’s cases, then the great Sherlock Holmes gets a lesson in improbable versus impossible, and finds out that, really, very little is truly impossible.

Wonderfully written.  Holmes and Watson are not out of character.  Even as an Elemental Master, Watson is still Watson.  Solid and down to earth.

The story fairly bounces along.  You don’t need to be familiar with Mercedes’ “Elemental Masters” series, as she makes enough references for the general reader to grasp how the world works and who the characters are.  I had read a couple of the series years ago, but am now enthused to go and read them all.

I got “A Study in Sable” from my library, but I will now be sourcing a copy for my Sherlock Holmes collection.

Highly recommended to all lovers of urban fantasy, Victoriana, and Sherlock Holmes.

Here Be Dragons: Sherlock Dragon AU Fan Fiction

13 Feb

I’m back exploring the world of Sherlock AU (alternate universe) fan fiction.  The last week or so it’s been the wonderful world of dragon AUs.  Yup, you heard me, Sherlock and Dragons.

Whilst I celebrate the imagination involved, so many of the stories require, not just the suspension of disbelief, but suspension of it by the neck until dead!

A lot of the stories I’ve come across are cross overs to many and varied dragon based fantasy worlds.  Although, to my surprise, I never came across the one I thought was the most obvious, Anne McCaffrey’s “Pern” world.  I’m sure there must be some out there, I just haven’t come across them yet.

The combinations are many and varied, Sherlock as dragon with John as his rider/handler.  John as dragon and Sherlock as his rider/handler.  Dragons (ie Mycroft) ruling England.  Wars between dragons and humans.

By far the most disturbing ones are the Johnlock ones, which unless handled properly tend to have a rather disturbing patina of bestiality attached to them.  Even if the beast in question is mythical.

Many writers have got around this by having dragons have an interesting ability – the ability to take human form.  And before anyone says anything about that being a useful cop out, I can remember this very same device used in a novel by a very successful fantasy novelist, Mercedes Lackey, in her Serrated Edge series.  Same goes for the interbreeding of human and dragon.  Mercedes got there first.  Though in the book I remember it wasn’t a human/dragon crossbreed, it was dragon/kitsune.  However, it’s the idea that counts.

One big problem with this particular AU genre, is that due to it being basically fantasy, it seems to be too difficult for many writers to keep the characters in character.  Far too many of the stories have characters named “Sherlock”, or “John” or “Mycroft”, but you don’t get a sense of the actual Sherlock characters.  They’re just random characters who happen to have these names.  It does let the stories down somewhat.  You need at that point to stop reading them as Sherlock fan fiction, and switch your mind to thinking of them simply as reasonably good fantasy stories. 

I did come across one major exception to this.  I was browsing on AO3, when I came across a story called “Sacrifices Must Be Made” by a fan writer using the handle Winter_of_our-Discontent.  This story is sheer magic.  Sherlock is the dragon and John is the human sacrifice from his small village.  The story is funny, witty, and warm, but also manages to keep both John and Sherlock in character.  I had absolutely no difficulty in hearing Martin and Benedict delivering the lines.  My favourite:  “Look,” John said, “there’s being a dragon and then there’s being an arsehole…”

If you would like to read it, here’s the link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/904589  Be warned, however, it is Johnlock, so enter at your own risk.

In summary, as much as i enjoyed the one particular story, I have to say that Sherlock dragon stories are just not for me.  Maybe I’ll try werewolves next, or faeries.

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