Phoenix and Ashes (Elemental Masters Series #4)

Phoenix and Ashes (Elemental Masters Series #4)

4.3 59
by Mercedes Lackey
     
 

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In this dark and atmospheric rendition of the Cinderella fairy tale, an intelligent young Englishwoman is made into a virtual slave by her evil stepmother. Her only hope of rescue comes in the shape of a scarred World War I pilot of noble blood, whose own powers over the elements are about to be needed more than ever.

"A dark tale full of the pain and devastation

…  See more details below

Overview

In this dark and atmospheric rendition of the Cinderella fairy tale, an intelligent young Englishwoman is made into a virtual slave by her evil stepmother. Her only hope of rescue comes in the shape of a scarred World War I pilot of noble blood, whose own powers over the elements are about to be needed more than ever.

"A dark tale full of the pain and devastation of war...and a couple of wounded protagonists worth routing for." —Locus

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With colorful characters, Lackey makes her variation of the Sleeping Beauty story great fun to read."—Booklist

"[Lackey] turns her hand to historical fantasy in this intriguing and compelling re-creation of England in the waning days of its imperial glory."—Library Journal

"Beautiful phrasing and a thorough grounding in the dress, mannerisms and history of the period help move the story along gracefully...fully fleshed out and credible.  This is a wonderful example of a new look at an old theme."—Publishers Weekly

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Phoenix and Ashes, the third installment in Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series -- which includes The Serpent's Shadow and The Gates of Sleep -- is a dark and fantastical retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale set in WWI England.

For young Eleanor Robinson, life is idyllic -- her widowed father is a wealthy business owner, everyone in the small English community happily coexists with everyone else, and Eleanor even has aspirations of attending Oxford in the fall. But then, in a matter of months, her whole world is turned upside down. Arriving home from an out-of-town business trip, Eleanor's father shows up with a new wife on his arm, as well as her two daughters. The warm, loving household is suddenly turned upside down by the evil machinations of a truly wicked woman and her two materialistic offspring. With the beginning of WWI, Eleanor's father voluntarily enlists and is killed in action -- leaving poor Eleanor in the hands of her stepmother. To make matters worse, her stepmother is a powerful Elemental Master who, through ritualistic black magic, binds her to the house. No matter how hard she tries, Eleanor is forever enslaved inside her own home. But as the stepmother and her daughters plot to seduce a local military hero (who happens to be handsome and rich), Eleanor begins to come to grips with her own budding Elemental powers.

Fans of fantasy novels with strong fairy tale elements -- like Patricia A. McKillip's Alphabet of Thorn and In the Forests of Serre -- will enjoy Lackey's newest, especially the happily-ever-after ending. Paul Goat Allen

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756402723
Publisher:
DAW
Publication date:
10/04/2005
Series:
Elemental Masters Series, #4
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
466,416
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"With colorful characters, Lackey makes her variation of the Sleeping Beauty story great fun to read."—Booklist

"[Lackey] turns her hand to historical fantasy in this intriguing and compelling re-creation of England in the waning days of its imperial glory."—Library Journal

"Beautiful phrasing and a thorough grounding in the dress, mannerisms and history of the period help move the story along gracefully...fully fleshed out and credible. This is a wonderful example of a new look at an old theme."—Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.

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Phoenix and Ashes (Elemental Masters Series #4) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey, and found it to be an intriguing book. It is a fantasy novel about a young woman named Eleanor Robinson and a young war hero, Reginald Fenyx. Eleanor is the character the author develops the most, even though Reginald (Reggie) is a very important character. The author mostly uses actions and dialog to develop the characters, with the occasional internal thought here and there for variety. The setting in this story is extremely significant, because it plays into the plot. It is set during World War I, with the trench warfare and whatnot, and the older airplanes that Reggie flies. Most of the story is set in a little town in England called Broom, where most of the men had been shipped off to war, or had come home completely changed. This sets the mood for the story, which really makes it all the more interesting. I think that the main things the author likes to do are dialog, and suspense and action sequences. I enjoyed the fact that there were hardly any idle chapters there was always something important happening. Also, the chapters would switch between Eleanor to Reggie¿s point of view, which gives the reader a chance to understand what is happening from two different perspectives. I also liked the realism about the war. When one of the characters is walking around the town, the author usually makes a point to describe some point of life that has changed, for better or worse, because of the war. One of my favorite quotes is ¿All the shellshock victims were in this end of the ward, together. Sometimes Reggie thought, cynically, it was so that their screaming in nightmares and shaking fits by day wouldn¿t bother anyone else.¿ The reason I like it is because it introduces the blunt way the author writes her story early on, so you know it¿s not going to be a frilly, avoid-the-bad-parts book. I really liked how thorough the author was in her descriptions of people and places, but what bugged me was the lack of development in Reggie¿s character. How she set it up made it seem like Reggie was going to be a very important character, but then most of the focus was on Eleanor. Not that I didn¿t love her character, but I would¿ve liked to learn more about Reggie, and what happened to him in the war, maybe a little more of his personality. I would really recommend this book to anyone who likes fast-paced fantasies. If you like a lot of politics, this doesn¿t have it, so I wouldn¿t recommend it. It has a lot of magic and a bit of a love story, too, if you like that. Overall, I think it is a really good book, and I¿m looking forward to reading more of Mercedes Lackey¿s books.
harstan More than 1 year ago
While World War I rages in Europe, in Broom, England widower Charles Robinson is a successful merchant raising his daughter Eleanor. One day he returns from a business trip with a surprise for Eleanor; he introduces her new ¿mother¿ his wife Alison and her two daughters. Almost immediate after the nuptials, he signs on for trench warfare and dies in combat.--- Alison, a dark Earth Master, binds Eleanor to the house with an obedience spell. Meanwhile former pilot and Air Master Reggie Fenyx returns home believing he lost his magical prowess when he was tormented by earth elementals. Though depressed the family ball is coming up and he will play the role of good host. Eleanor, who has loved Reggie, begins serendipitously to learn to use her skill as a Fire Master. If Alison finds out what she is doing too soon she knows she is doomed, but perhaps at the ball Reggie will realize she is his life mate and together combining the power of fire and air with love they can defeat earth.--- This is an intriguing retelling of Cinderella that combines history and fantasy to tell an adult fairy tale. Alison is a terrifically sinister malevolence while Eleanor is her perfect unsure opponent and slave. Reggie suffers from battle fatigue that has sapped him of his natural abilities leaving him magically impaired, which makes him an interesting protagonist. Though the story line at times is overwhelmed with historical details that seem unnecessary even if they provide in most cases a World War I era ambience, Mercedes Lackey provides a fine rendition of the classic tale with her latest Elemental Masters novel.--- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a huge Misty Lackey fan since Arrows of the Queen way back in 1980 something. I love her Valdemar series and her Bardic Voices and the Serrated edge series is good as well. But her Elemental Masters leaves something to be desired. The basic premise of the series--rewriting old fairy tales--is loaded with potential. In fact, I loved the Fire Rose, which was the first book in it, and is oddly enough not listed in the title selection. But the other two books in the series--Serpent's Shadow and The Gates of Sleep are poorly edited and her characters and plot are either boring or cliche, with none of the surprises or character definition I've come to expect from this author. I just don't get it. This last book, from the jacket, seemed like a better book than the previous two. It's a retelling of Cinderella, set during World War I in England. Eleanor, a wealthy merchant's daughter who dreams of going to Oxford, is also a latent Fire Master. Her father marries Alison, the wicked stepmother who is a dark Earth Master along with her two selfish arrogant daughters, who also possess a bit of magic. Then Eleanor's father is killed in the war and Alison makes her a slave by using a dark magic rite to bind her to the house and obeidience with her own finger. Meanwhile you meet Reggie Fenyx, a lord whom Eleanor was half in love with, standing in for the prince. Reggie is a pilot and Air Master who has been horribly traumatized by battle, injured, and suffering from Post traumatic stress syndrome. He was shot down, had his co-pilot die, was badly injured and then buried alive in a bunker and tormented by evil earth elementals. he believes he's lost his magic and no one can help him, so they send him home to convalesce. he happens to live right near Eleanor. That was the beginning of the book, and it seemed like a good start. However, the whole focus of the story gets bogged down with too many details about the villainesses and what they're wearing, doing, and eating, mentions of certain spells they've cast (at one point Alison makes a plague strike the Americans to keep them out of the war--was Lackey referring to the Spanish flue epidemic that hit the US around that time and delayed their entry into combat? I don't know and you never find out, it never gets mentioned again)there is about two paragraphs of a guest list for the ball mentioning friends of Reggie's that you never meet or see which is utterly pointless because you don't care about them. There are also several descriptions about how Eleanor learns how to use her powers that are interesting, but yet she never demonstrates her knowledge, not even in the final battle. And there was not enough interaction between her and Reggie. They meet a few times in a meadow, have a stupid fight, and then he invites her to the ball, where she blurts out that she loves him that's it. Reggie, who has been suffering reoccuring bouts of fear is miraculously cured by his godmother, I think, a person who we don't even meet until well into the novel and who frankly we could have done without. I felt as if something were missing--again! It should have been Eleanor, as Reggie's supposed soul mate, that should have helped him discover his powers again and helped him heal from his disability--not some deus ex machina godmother. Why bother giving Eleanor intensive training in how to balance and heal mind, body, and spirit if you're not going to have her make use of it on the one who needs it? I was very disappointed, I felt like I was cheated of what could have been a really wonderful magical love story. Ever After with Drew Barrymore was done much better, in my opinion!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If anyone remembers me im backk! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The wounded kit walked in with a small gash on its chest, and .mewls. he bumps into fowpower an falls, K.Oed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tessa11111 More than 1 year ago
All of Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Magic series are educational...on a subliminal level.  Surely, she is using Grimm as a template, but it is well worth the information she shares.  She has done her homework, and given much more within the covers of a tale, then you'd ever get in most "wiccan" tombs.  It's delightful to roam through each book and find new items to think about.  Don't miss this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Idk
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it&hearts
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MissKittyLL More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't love a Cinderella story? This version is set in WW I England. It has a noble prince, actually a wealthy young lord, who is a pilot recovering from shell shock. Cinderella is magically bound to be her step-mother's servant, and though there is a fairy godmother type character, Ella does most of her own rescuing. The wicked step-mother is deliciously vile and her daughters are Edwardian era mean girls. Woven throughout the story is Lackey's world of elemental magic beneath the surface of high society England. If you enjoyed PBS's recent series "Downton Abbey" and like good fantasy literature, you'll love "Phoenix and Ashes". Although it's part of tbe Elemental Masters series, you don't need to have read the other stories (but you really should they are all excellent) to read "Phoenix and Ashes".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An endearing tale i immediatly loved it. I own it in paperback ;) just in case batteries die.
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