Five Hundred Kingdoms is a series of fantasy novels and short stories written by Mercedes Lackey. The books are a strange mix of myths, legends, and fairy tales.
Order of Five Hundred Kingdoms Series
|1||The Fairy Godmother||2004||Description / Buy|
|2||One Good Knight||2006||Description / Buy|
|3||Fortune's Fool||2007||Description / Buy|
|4||The Snow Queen||2008||Description / Buy|
|5||The Sleeping Beauty||2010||Description / Buy|
|6||Beauty and the Werewolf||2011||Description / Buy|
|7||A Tangled Web||2012||Description / Buy|
The Five Hundred Kingdoms, the setting that Lackey uses to tell her stories, is a unique place.
The lives of the people of the Five Hundred Kingdoms are shaped and controlled by The Tradition.
The Tradition is a magical force that works continually to fit its subjects into very specific fairy tales and folk tales and fables and the like.
Every man and woman ever born must live out a recognizable role in one of several traditional plotlines.
As such, Elena, the heroine of The Fairy Godmother, the first novel in the series, has always known that her lot in life was to fill the shoes of Cinderella. She grew up with a stepmother who hated and mistreated her.
While her stepsisters lived and loved and lounged, Elena cooked and washed and cleaned. But when the time came for her to finally fulfill her destiny as Cinderella, things went completely wrong.
The prince that should have descended to save her from a miserable existence turned out to be an 11-year-old boy.
So Elena was forced to fall back into the destitution of her life as a helper to her stepfamily.
It took the intervention of a powerful figure that finally took note of Elena’s plight, saw her true potential and assigned her to a role that would finally give her the satisfaction she desired.
The Fairy Godmother lays out a fairly accurate blueprint for the Five Hundred Kingdoms series as a whole. Like Elena, the heroines of each installment in this series are stranded in traditional tales that they are either unsuited for or which they would rather not pursue.
So they keep fighting for a chance to escape, to forge their own path. And that is the primary drive of this entire series.
The Tradition keeps trying to fit men and women into specific archetypes, and whenever it fails, once they refuse to play along, things spiral out of control.
Mercedes Lackey’s heroines are thrown into an entirely new story, one that isn’t quite as easy to control or predict.
It should be mentioned that even though all the books in this series take place in the same general setting, they are also quite independent of one another. You don’t need to read any one book to understand another.
That beings aid, a few themes, and concepts repeat. For instance, you have the Champions, the figures whose job it is to do all the fighting that happens in traditional stories.
Then there are all the good wizards, fairies and godmothers who are frequently fighting against the wicked stepmothers and evil sorcerers.
Every so often, romance will blossom, though it is rarely the primary story element of any given book.
Best Five Hundred Kingdoms Books
These books are quite popular amongst Mercedes Lackey fans who praise them for using one of the most unique approaches to the retelling of Traditional Fairy Tales, with some of the best books in the series including:
The Fairy Godmother: Elena Klovis is Cinderella, or rather she should have been. After a life spent cooking and cleaning for her evil stepmother, when Elena’s prince charming finally came, she was shocked to find that he was all wrong for her.
Elena was ready to commit to a miserable existence under her stepmother’s heel. But then she was given the most unexpected job offer of her life.
The Sleeping Beauty: Rosa was raised with the belief that her happiness hinged on the love of a good prince and the power of a decent king. She was also taught never to trust stepmothers.
But then she was kidnapped and a deal with her stepmother put her in a place where she had to choose between tradition and the future she desired.
Other Book Series You May Like
You may also like the “Alpha and Omega” Series by Patricia Briggs. Anna’s life changed when a violent attack made her a werewolf. After that, she tried to keep her head down, to stay off the radar. But then the son of a prominent wolf came into her life and told her that she was a rare Omega wolf.
Another great series is the Dragonriders of Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey. Lessa was a kitchen girl serving the same people who betrayed her father. Then she met a queen dragon and realized that it was her destiny to protect the world from an evil called the Thread.
What Is The Next Book in The Five Hundred Kingdoms Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Five Hundred Kingdoms Series. The newest book is A Tangled Web and was released on January, 1st 2012.