Friday, October 06, 2006

Wizard of London; M. Lackey

Certain elements of this story reminded me of Katherine Kurtz & Deborah Turner Harris' Adept series, but Ms. Lackey puts her own stamp on things. Set in England during that wonderful exploratory age of steamers & trains, Wizard of London has an ensemble cast featuring two schoolgirls, several Indians, magic, fairies & mystical creatures. BTW, this is book four of the Elemental Masters series. Yet again I have started a series bass ackwards.

This version of life has three types of people: plain humans, humans with psychic talents (clairvoyance, telepathy, etc) & humans with elemental talents (water, fire, earth or air). The first category doesn't concern us at all in this story. The second two do. The little girls in question, Sarah & Nan, are psychically gifted. Sophie is a medium & Nan is to be a 'Warrior of Light' when she grows up.

Basically the set up is this- Sarah & Nan attend a school where their talents can be nurtured & trained & protected. Despite this they are attacked. Somehow the headmistress manages to protect them, although only with the help of friends long in her past. Mixed into this is a sorceress who will do anything to remain young & beautiful forever; her male protege, who is really dumb as a brick, IMO; two birds as the girls' familiars; fairies & ..ta da!! My favorite- Puck.

The similarities to Kurtz & Harris' work is superficial & relates mainly to terms used: elemental powers, warrior of light & a few general themes. WOL seems to stand on its own, apart from the others in the series. Well, I don't feel as though I've missed anything from the previous three like I did when I accidentally got Anne Bishop's Pillars series wrong. It's a fascinating glimpse into a little world I'd like to get to know better.

2 comments:

Rosario said...

Actually, the reason why it stands so well on its own is that it takes place chronollogically before the rest of the books in the series.

I thought this one was very so-so, kind of lacking in focus. The other books in the series (including The Fire Rose, which some people don't count as part of the series, maybe because it takes place in the US, not England, but which I'd recommend reading first of all) are MUCH better.

Bookwormom said...

Rosario-

Thanks for the info on this title.
I'll be sure to hunt for Fire Rose too. With nothing to compare this one to, I enjoyed it, but I'm really looking forward to the others- much more than before.