Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Fire Rose-Mercedes Lackey

The Fire Rose
Mercedes Lackey
Baen, Jul 1 2014, $18.00
ISBN 9781476736501

In 1905, Chicago heiress and medieval scholar Rosalind Hawkins has no time to grieve the death of her father as she finds herself in financial straits.  With no choices she accepts a position as a governess of Jason Cameron’s children in San Francisco.

However, her new job proves strange since her enigmatic employer has no children or for that matter apparently any family either.  Instead Jason hired her due to her medieval language translation skills.  She translates ancient French texts through a tubular gizmo to him but never sees Jason, who explains to the scholar that he suffered a horrific disfigurement.  Jason conceals from his employee that a spell he cast contained a fatal flaw that leaves this Fire Elemental Master in a werewolf-human abominable convergence.  She is his only hope, but neither expected to fall in love before she saw his visage.

This reprint of the wonderful first Elemental Masters fantasy is a delightful rendition of Beauty and the Beast in early twentieth century California.  The enchanting storyline retains its magic due a terrific cast; starting with the changing relationship between the protagonists enhanced by strong support characters and a natural disaster about to shake the City On The Bay.

Harriet Klausner

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