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The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

The Fairy Godmother (2004)

by Mercedes Lackey

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1,870533,695 (3.88)74
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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
The Fairy Godmother is set in a place where a powerful magical force called “the Tradition” shoves fairy tale lives down people’s throats. And the fairy tales aren’t your disney-fied versions either, but the original Brothers Grimm type of tales. Basically anyone whose circumstances resemble that of an already existing fairy tale is screwed into having to live the fairy tale. For some that’s good because they get their happily ever after, for others it dooms them to certain death. The Tradition is like Russian roulette and I love it.

Anyway, when the Tradition saw Elena Klovis with her wicked stepmother and step sisters treating her like slave its little fairy tale radar decided that she’d be her kingdoms Cinderella. Except the Tradition doesn’t always check to make sure everything is in place for the fairy tales to work, because Elena’s prince charming is an 11 year old. Thus, she is screwed.

I loved Elena. She’s smart, witty, and knows what she’s doing. She doesn’t sit around and bemoan her bad luck when things go wrong in her life. Instead she sets out to actually change what’s wrong. So, when her step mother decides to head off to greener pastures where she and her daughters are neck deep in debts, Elena sees it as her chance to finally escape, because she, of course, is being left behind to guard the house. The minute Elena gets the chance she books it out of there with the plan of becoming a paid servant in someone’s house. Unfortunately, the Tradition is still working on her and being a paid servant in someone’s house does not go with the Cinderella life style it has picked out for her. Just when Elena’s almost given up hope a crazy old lady shows up on a cart pulled by a hump backed donkey wearing a straw hat. After having a spot of tea, the old lady reveals herself to be Elena’s fairy godmother who, after explaining where the hell she’s been all of Elena’s life, offers Elena a chance to take over as fairy godmother. Elena doesn’t want to go back to her old life, so accepts almost point blank.

So Elena starts getting good and comfy with her new role as fairy godmother and one day she signs up to test three princes. The first one fails miserably by completely ignoring the ugly old beggar woman, so she banishes him to being trapped in the forest until he learns a lesson. The second prince, Alexander, fails just as miserably except even more so cause he manages to piss off Elena. So after Alexander almost runs the old beggar woman over Elena decides that since he’s already an ass by personality he might as well look like one too. So she turns him into a donkey. Anyway the last prince is nice and gets the prize of a bunch of cheat codes for how to get to and save the princess. So Elena’s happy because the tests went well and she’s totally multi-tasking, because she needed a new donkey anyway and at the same time she’s also doing her godmotherly duties by teaching Alexander a lesson.

Alexander is a huge jerk at the beginning of this, but he evolves and it was nice to see that and it was done in a way that it was convincing too. Anyway, I was expecting a show down of some kind involving the Tradition near the end, but that never really happened. It felt like everything was resolved a bit too easily in this story, but that’s really my only complaint, because the rest of this book was great. Lackey does some amazing world building in this and how she applies the different fairy tales and magical creatures into this book is fantastic. I will defiantly be checking out the next book in the series. ( )
  Book_Minx | Jan 24, 2015 |
A fun, creative take on fairy tales and a re-imagining of the fairy tale world. In the Five Hundred Kingdoms, a source of magic known as the Tradition aims to propel people through the "Traditional" tales and into the proscribed roles of princes, princesses, knaves, knights, and adventurers. Overall, this tale made for fun reading and I'll likely continue the series. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Dec 18, 2014 |
I can't wait to read the next one!!!! ( )
  CAMMD | Aug 4, 2014 |
I like the mash-up of various fairy tales, and the background story that justifies this world. Not sure Elena's maturation is convincing, particularly as she is shown as a worker, but not particularly clever or ambitious in the first chapter. She's been waiting for that prince, though she consciously rejects that trope. The prince that eventually does appear is very nicely drawn. His growing awareness and self-awareness make the story come alive. He and his brothers and Elena's staff are all well-rounded characters. Enjoyable. Will read more of the series. ( )
  2wonderY | Oct 22, 2013 |
As I commented before, Elena is a wonderful main character; her initial ignorance to the Tradition and magic provides a clever way for Lackey to introduce these concepts to new readers of the series. I highly recommend reading this book as an opening to the series (not only because Lackey intended it that way, but also as a personal suggestion).

Also, I love that Alexander isn't the traditional Hero or romantic partner. He takes some refining and a lot of patience to deal with, which in my case made him more endearing over time. Lackey conducted his change brilliantly.

( )
  hanbridturner | Sep 25, 2013 |
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Dedicated to the members of the FDNY, lost 9/11/01
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This is not the way to spend a beautiful spring morning!
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373802455, Mass Market Paperback)

From the bestselling author of the Heralds of Valdemar series comes an enchanting novel.

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 supposedto be her kingdom's Cinderella--until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! So she set out to make a new life for herself. But breaking with "The Tradition" was no easy matter--until she got a little help from her own fairy godmother. Who promptly offered Elena a most unexpected job. . .

Now, instead of sleeping in the chimney. She has to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who keep trying to rise above their place in the tale. And there's one in particular who needs to be dealt with. . .

Sometimes a fairy godmother's work is never done. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the mystical realm of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, the newest Fairy Godmother tries to help three impossible princes find the women of their dreams, while fending off an evil sorcerer who is determined to destroy her kingdom.

» see all 2 descriptions

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