The Wonder of Story

Have you ever held a new book in your hands, fresh and clean and so ripe with possibilities? You want to start reading, immediately, leap into its pages, but you don’t know where to start, as silly as that may sound. This is one of those books.  For those of you who may not know, I am in love with Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters books. So when her first anthology of fellow-author-written stories based in the world of Edwardian England under the veil of the White Lodge (Elemental Magic) was published, I was ecstatic. I bought a hard copy, as well as an e-copy on my Kindle. I read it to my infant daughter to put her down for  naps and thrilled at it in the quiet of my private time.

And, then, this morning – Christmas morning – I unwrap a gift from my husband to find this particular beauty waiting for me. I was wide-eyed, slack-jawed, and absolutely thrilled. I jumped up, ran to the bookshelf, and picked up the previous anthology to make sure that they were indeed different, and then I did a little happy dance in the living room and told my husband that he is simply amazing (which is very true). But I cannot describe the butterflies in my stomach as sit here with this book next to me. It’s like I want to rip into it but, at the same time, I want it to be the right time. The right time when I can have a substantial amount of time to myself to dive into these stories properly. I just can’t wait!


“So I Fall in Love with Novel Characters…”

…don’t judge me!

Why is it that Mercedes Lackey is so talented at writing male characters that just make me swoon? Lately, it’s the re-emergence of Robin Goodfellow (Puck) in her newest Elemental Masters novel Home From the Sea, along with a new character by the name of Idwal, an Elemental creature himself, though nowhere near as powerful as Robin, who is the Oldest Old One on land in all of Britain.

When we first met Robin was way back in the book Wizard of London, technically book #5 of Elemental Masters series, but what began as my FIRST foray into this beautiful world. I have been pulling memories and associations from it as I read the other books ever since. In Wizard, our main characters Sarah and Nan were but little girls and so Robin appeared to them as a winsome, mischievous boy, a playmate. Now that they are grown, like Aslan, he appears to have grown with them. Of course, Robin can appear anyway he pleases, but he chooses to match their age, perhaps a little older, in order to keep his friends comfortable. I love the image of him appearing and greeting the girls with arms held open and kissing the tops of their heads when they run to embrace him. There is something alluring and tantalizing about him, while at the same time, utterly ungraspable. His almost-unflappable good nature makes me smile constantly, as does his fierce loyalty towards and protection of the girls.

I suppose that is part of what would make him dangerous: the ability to easily fall in love with him, fickle and flighty Old One that he may seem to be. The tingle of magic is around him, the aura of Summerland, the power of the Oldest Ones. But, overall, he is kind, he is merry, he is friendly, and he is loyal and those are beautiful traits.

Then there is Idwal. Idwal is an elemental creature and holds the titles of mage, Druid, and teacher. He is the consummate teacher: patient, kind, understanding, and knowledgeable. He listens to questions and answers them wisely, explaining details and rewarding hard work and deep thought. His nature is calm, joyful when his student excels, and caring of their well-being. Idwal would be the kind of man that I could enjoy being around, talking to, and learning from. He has a very pleasant nature, though he will call a spade a spade if you are being deliberately foolish or ridiculous.

Lackey has a wonderful, beautiful ability to create these male characters for whom I can instantly come to feel something, often something deep and abiding that lingers and brings me joy when I see those characters once more. I enjoy her female characters, most definitely, root and cheer for them. But it’s those few guiding males that I often pay more attention to, as their work goes on behind the scenes in order to strengthen and help the female lead(s). It is a gorgeous talent and, for that, I thank you, Mercedes Lackey! ^_^