Unnatural Issue by Mercedes Lackey (Elemental Masters series)

Of all the book series about magic and mages, Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters books are by far some of my favorite. Magicians are associated with one of the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Some Magicians even become Masters of their elements and are thus inducted into London’s White Lodge of Mages. I love the correlation of the elements with their mages and the Elementals with whom they interact and the correlation amongst their

This book, based loosely on Perrault’s fairytale “Donkeyskin” (or as we know it from “The Storyteller”, “Sapsorrow”), focuses on an Earth Master named Richard Whitestone. Struck by tragedy Whitestone soon falls into despair and darkness, blighting the land for which he was supposed to care. Meanwhile, his motherless daughter, his wife having died in childbirth, grows up in obscurity and power. Susanne is a Master herself and must soon come to terms with her father’s descent into darkness and what he now plans to do.

I hesitate to go on because it will give away a compelling story that strives in directions that I did not expect. This book is easily laid alongside Lackey’s Phoenix and Ashes as the overarching event of World War I is the same, as it details its effects on these Elemental Magicians. Lackey is also a master at dialect and the thick couintry Yorkshire brogue employed during the first half of the novel is written brilliantly.

I am vastly picky about my magical fantasy but the Elemental Masters books will always have me eager to read. 🙂

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