The Fairy Godmother- Mercedes Lackey

Written By: Kellie - Apr• 02•12

Synopsis: In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can’t carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale….

Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom’s Cinderella — until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! Determined not to remain with her stepfamily, Elena set out to get a new job — and ended up becoming the Fairy Godmother for the land. But breaking with “The Tradition” was no easy matter. True, she didn’t have to sleep in the chimney, but she had to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who kept trying to rise above their place in the tale. In fact, one of them was so ornery that Elena could do nothing but change him into a donkey.

Still, her practical nature couldn’t let him roam the country, so she brought the donkey — er, the prince! — home to her cottage to teach him some lessons. All the while keeping in mind that breaking with tradition can land everyone into a kettle of fish — sometimes literally! -Goodreads

Review: I read this book for the first time back in 2005, not too long after it had come out and liked it but  couldn’t fully get engaged in the story. For some reason, I’d been getting this nagging feeling lately like it was time to reread The Fairy Godmother and I’m glad I did. The 500 Kingdoms series is a perfect blending of old fairy tales with new twists and turns which manages to offer something to all kinds of fantasy fans.

First off, I love that this story is self contained. The rest of the books in this series explore the same world but mainly focus on a new character for each book so we really got see the main character Elena from the beginning of her journey to a point where everything is wrapped up and we are left to imagine our own, what happens next. It’s great! I know a lot of us like an occasional change of pace in knowing that a book will leave us desperately needing the next book and instead we can get some closure

The big draw to the 500 Kingdoms books is the world that Mercedes Lackey has created. Within The 500 Kingdoms, there is an unseen force at work, pushing people down well worn paths of well known fairy tales. The tradition wants these types of stories to keep happening and doesn’t care one way or the other if it’s a happy ending or a tragedy. There is so much potential to be worked within these stories as any character can find themselves in any story as long as the circumstances are right.

What makes The Fairy Godmother a great first book in this series is that the main character, Elena is being introduced to this concept as well as she is recruited to be a new Fairy Godmother within a small set of kingdoms and so we learn with her how to guide The Tradition to give things the best shot at a happily ever after and to see how all of this has shaped the world all of these characters live in. Elena is a great character, head-strong and really likeable, so it’s a lot of fun to watch her go from a would be Cinderella to someone helping to shape the world around her.

I’m almost tempted to rate this book a five star because it really is a perfect example of what it’s supposed to be and I loved it. It just wasn’t a mind-blowing, can’t put it down book for me (it’s a fairly long read) but I can totally imagine it is exactly that kind of story for other people like die-hard fantasy or fairytale fans. I’m looking forward to checking out the next books in these as I’m pretty sure I’ll keep falling more and more in love with these stories.

Buy the book @Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN)





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