Elemental Masters is a series of historical fantasy novels written by Mercedes Lackey. The books basically attempt to rework and retell popular Fairy Tales like Snow White and Cinderella, except that the magic they introduce is so much more complicated.
Order of Elemental Masters Series
|1||The Fire Rose||1995||Description / Buy|
|2||The Serpent's Shadow||2001||Description / Buy|
|3||The Gates of Sleep||2002||Description / Buy|
|4||Phoenix and Ashes||2004||Description / Buy|
|5||The Wizard of London||2005||Description / Buy|
|6||Grey's Ghost (Short Story)||2005||Description / Buy|
|7||Reserved for the Cat||2007||Description / Buy|
|8||Unnatural Issue||2011||Description / Buy|
|9||Home from the Sea||2012||Description / Buy|
|10||Elemental Magic||2012||Description / Buy|
|11||Steadfast||2013||Description / Buy|
|12||Blood Red||2014||Description / Buy|
|13||From a High Tower||2015||Description / Buy|
|14||A Study in Sable||2016||Description / Buy|
|15||A Scandal in Battersea||2017||Description / Buy|
|16||The Bartered Brides||2018||Description / Buy|
The setting is a parallel Earth in the 1900s, one that mirrors the real world in every way, featuring the same major historical occurrences and catastrophes, but magic is also real.
Magic in the Elemental Masters series takes many forms. Most prominent are the elemental powers themselves.
There are individuals who can control the four major elements of fire, water, wind, and earth. And in England, where most of the stories play out, magicians are classified based on the level to which they have mastered their element.
You also have entire regions of the country and the world whose culture and traditions have been largely shaped by the specific Elements their magicians practice.
This ability to control the elements has been blamed on the capacity that particular people have to see and control spirits.
Elemental magic is the most significant magic practiced in Mercedes Lackey’s world. For that reason, every single novel in the Elemental Masters series has at least one powerful Elemental as either a protagonist or the antagonist.
That being said, the books also play with various other magical forms. You have the power of ice, which is a perverse and destructive ability that any elemental can control, regardless of their primary elemental affinity.
There’s also necromancy which grants its user power over death, psychic gifts that permit their wielders to tame familiars and even create Avatars of light, and so on and so forth.
Mercedes Lackey goes to great lengths to make the magic of her setting feel real and solid, and dynamic.
And even though she bases her stories on Fairy Tales, she works to infuse powerful women into every single retelling.
Her female protagonists are, for the most part, easy to recognize. And anyone that has read classic Fairy Tales won’t encounter much of a challenge in spotting the likes of Snow White.
That being said, Lackey’s women do not just sit by waiting for a handsome hero to save them. They are fighters, warriors, magicians in their own right. And while they definitely stumble into situations that attempt to force them into the damsel-in-distress corner, they always play an active role in their own rescue.
There are themes that repeat. The heroes and heroines are typically attractive and it doesn’t take them long to fall in love with one another.
But Lackey also adds grander stakes into the mix, great conflicts between good magic and evil magic.
Best Elemental Masters Books
These novels are normally praised for their magically rich setting and creative approach to classic fairy tales, with the best books in the series including:
The Serpent’s Shadow: Maya is a biracial girl who never felt like she belonged in her father’s snow white circle. When her parents die under mysterious circumstances, she leaves India for London. She suspects that some power out there might attempt to harm her.
But she refuses to allow those fears to keep her from pursuing her medical career. Also, she trusts in her magic and the loyal servants of her household to keep her safe.
Maya thinks she understands the stakes at hand. She doesn’t yet know that a determined enemy will stop at nothing to enslave her in his efforts to tap her enormous potential.
Phoenix and Ashes: A wicked woman has enslaved her stepdaughter. She thinks she has what it takes to keep the intelligent young woman under her boot.
She isn’t counting on the elemental powers a noble but scarred WWI pilot will bring to the table.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “Cold War Magic” Series by W.L. Goodwater is another great read. The Soviets changed everything when their magicians closed occupied Berlin off with a magical wall.
The international community frowned on their actions. But they knew the wall was necessary to maintain the peace, and peace is exactly what they got for ten years.
But now the wall is failing and Karen, an American Magical Research and Deployment Officer, is determined to find out why.
You may also enjoy the “Dragon Jousters” Series by Mercedes Lackey. Vetch was just an ordinary farm hand. He spent his days suffering the abuse of his cruel master. Then he met Ari, a dragon rider who took note of his unjust suffering and stole him away.
What Is The Next Book in The Elemental Masters Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Elemental Masters Series. The newest book is The Bartered Brides and was released on October, 2nd 2018.