Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fairytales for Grownups

I loved fairy tales as a kid. For me, they were so cut and dry. Bad always loses. Good always wins and in between there is high adventure, love found, love lost then found again and more adventure. Yum!
For years I’ve had to satisfy my fairy tale fix with romance, fantasy and children’s novels. Of course I didn’t call them fairy tales that would be childish, right? Well, a few years ago one of the most prolific and fun fantasy writers in the biz turned her attention to the genre of the fairy tale and I am so glad she did. Mercedes Lackey may be a very familiar name to you. Not only does she write solo but she is also a happy collaborator with a dozen of her writing friends. Every time I go to the library or bookstore I see a new book with her name on it. One would think from gryphons to mages Ms. Lakey’s talent would be satisfied but no. She has taken on the task of remaking classic fairytales and I for one am very glad she did. She has called the series” Tales of The 500 Kingdoms.”
Ms. Lackey has created a world where the traditions of fairy tales become the power of destiny for the different characters in each story. Godmothers are the protectors and directors of the TRADITION. They oversee their little kingdoms keeping a sharp eye out for a build up of tradition around their charges. When one person seems to be pulled into a certain fairy tale path it is the job of the Fairy Godmothers to provide magical assistance for the proverbial Happy Ending. Some characters get punished for their evilness and others are rewarded for their heroism and all provide a weekend of entertainment for the reader.
In “The Fairy Godmother”, (published 2004), a Cinderella character finds herself in difficult circumstances when her prince charming doesn’t show up and Elena changes her destiny by becoming a Fairy Godmother herself.

“One Good Knight”, (published 2006), takes on the Beauty and the Beast when the poor little rich Princess Andie finds herself being sacrificed to a pillaging dragon thanks to her evil and crazy mom, the Queen. She is rescued by an interesting hero in Sir George who is not what he seems. Romance grows as trouble brews. With the help of Godmother Elena and the Tradition a happy ending is in the offing.

In “Fotune’s Fool”, (published 2007), the Little Mermaid goes spy and gets kidnapped by an evil Jin. With her prince from the dry land she manages to not only escape but save all the other magical princesses held by the bad Jin.

The most recent offering in the series of “The 500 Kingodoms” is “The Snow Queen.” In this tale Ms. Lackey takes hints of traditional fairytales of Snow Queens, questing heroes and evil witches to create an adventure for the relatively new Fairy Godmother of the North. Godmother Aleksia brings vain young swains to humble heel while strengthening lovely damsels. The adventure takes off after she brings Kay, the young swain and Gerda, his light o’ love together. An evil witch is impersonating her and she along with 2 mages, a wise woman and valiant young girl confront the witch and win the day.


J L said...

I'm pleased you found me in the blogsphere -- and hope you'll enjoy my books. I've got 2 more coming out this year, and 4 next year, and a few more promised after that, so I'll be around a while!


Kristie (J) said...

She is an author I haven't tried yet but always mean too! Thanks for the review and reminding me of this author.

memejain said...

Thanks J and Kristie for stopping by and I will let you know as soon as I have new reviews for you to check out!


naida said...

these sound like some great books!