Book Reviews of The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1)

The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1)
The Fire Rose - Elemental Masters, Bk 1
Author: Mercedes Lackey
ISBN-13: 9780671877507
ISBN-10: 067187750X
Publication Date: 11/1/1996
Pages: 448
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 164

4.1 stars, based on 164 ratings
Publisher: Baen
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

14 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I love fairy tales. As a young child I devoured every fairy tale collection book I could find.
Later, I graduated to fantasy novels, with Mercedes Lackey being my go-to author. I went through my teenage years with her Valdemar series, growing up with her characters. Always finding an escape from reality, as soon as I let the story envelop me.

Then, I discovered the "Fire Rose". An Edwardian retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
What a world to sink into!
Imagine that magic is real, and is based on the four elements: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Imagine that there are magicians who can control one of these elements, and use the powers for the benefit of humanity, or to selfishly destroy the world as we know it.
We are introduced to our heroine in Chicago, where the death of her father has left her destitute. She has been working on her Doctorate in Medieval Studies, and considers herself to be a learned spinster.
A mysterious letter arrives, offering her a way out of her troubles, if she will relocate to San Francisco, ostensibly to teach two young children.
Our heroine has no choice. She can stay in Chicago, and try to find a teaching position, or she can take herself to San Francisco, and try to have a bit of adventure.
The knowledge of a vial of laudanum, enough to take her out of this world if life becomes too unbearable, gives her the courage to set out on her journey.

On arriving, our intrepid heroine finds she has been mislead, and, instead of teaching children, she is to be reading and translating ancient manuscripts for her mysterious employer, whom she will never see.

We all know that there is to be a happy ending, most fairy tales do, but the journey to this happy ending is what makes it interesting.

I love the time period, I love the setup, I love the laws of magic in this world and how it effects the natural world.

I've read other retellings of Beauty and the Beast, most notably "Beauty" and "Rose Daughter" by Robin McKinley as well as a different Mercedes Lackey retelling in a different universe, "Beauty and the Werewolf", and thoroughly enjoyed them. But, there's something special about these Elemental Masters stories that suck me in, like no other tale can.

Try this book. Especially if you have never read anything by Mercedes Lackey. See if you can fall under the same spell as I have, and get transported to a land where magic is not only possible, it's part of what makes life wonderful.
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Good one...One of my favorites...mixed with elemental magic, a little history, and the bit of mysterious romance we love about the story, it's an easy read, and great take on the retelling of Beauty and the Beast...
Still on my shelf and will not be swapping!

^_^
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 386 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a good, easy read version of Beauty and the Beast, with an ending I like better than any of the other versions I've read. Unlike Robin McKinley's Beauty, however, this is a little more adult, with many references to opium, the white slave trade, Chinese prostitutes, breaking in new girls, etc. No graphic descriptions, but one of the side characters is really into it & it comes up often. There are also many, many references to classical literature we're either supposed to understand or shrug off. It's distracting, but you don't need to understand them to keep up with the story.

Although this is book one in the series, it is not connected to the other books and can be read in any order.
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 459 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
ANNOTATION
One of the hottest writers in the fantasy genre, Mercedes Lackey boasts an audience that is impressively large and rapidly growing. This unusual new fantasy tells the story of a brave young woman caught in a clash between enemy sorcerers in San Francisco in the 1900s--on the eve of the San Francisco earthquake!
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I don't normally read this genre and have never read anything by Mercedes Lackey, but once I started reading this book I find it a pleasure and completely enjoyable.
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 386 more book reviews
This is a good, easy read version of Beauty and the Beast, with an ending I like better than any of the other versions I've read. Unlike Robin McKinley's Beauty, however, this is a little more adult, with many references to opium, the white slave trade, Chinese prostitutes, breaking in new girls, etc. No graphic descriptions, but one of the side characters is really into it & it comes up often. There are also many, many references to classical literature we're either supposed to understand or shrug off. It's distracting, but you don't need to understand them to keep up with the story.

Although this is book one in the series, it is not connected to the other books and can be read in any order.
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 42 more book reviews
A tale similar to Beauty and the Beast. A beautiful story of magic and love.
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 31 more book reviews
Almost an alt history book with magic thrown in. Heroine was believable. Lackey rarely is bad and this is no exception. If it's a series, I'll read the rest
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Very well-written story, the characters were fully fleshed-out and the details of the various locales put you right in the story. Interesting play on the Beauty and the Beast tale, but wonderfully-placed in the early 20th century, mostly in the San Francisco area, and culminating with a very famous local event. The love story was well-drawn out and the magical portions of the tale were a nice change from the urban-fantasy machinations of werewolves and vampires, though the main character was a werewolf of sorts. Altogether a great read, I was taking the book everywhere I went, and hated to have to put it down for any reason.
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 386 more book reviews
This is a good, easy read version of Beauty and the Beast, with an ending I like better than any of the other versions I've read. Unlike Robin McKinley's Beauty, however, this is a little more adult, with many references to opium, the white slave trade, Chinese prostitutes, breaking in new girls, etc. No graphic descriptions, but one of the side characters is really into it & it comes up often. There are also many, many references to classical literature we're either supposed to understand or shrug off. It's distracting, but you don't need to understand them to keep up with the story.

Although this is book one in the series, it is not connected to the other books and can be read in any order.

The page for the hardcover version has a fuller discription of the plot. I don't know why this page only has those couple sentences that really don't have much to do with the book at all.
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 17 more book reviews
Fresh take on the Beauty and the Beast story.
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
A wonderful fantasy, well written and fast moving!
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 21 more book reviews
Absolutely loved this fantasy novel!
reviewed The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) on + 34 more book reviews
I'd call this science fiction light. I enjoyed reading it but it is more of a 'beauty and the beast' type love story with a little science fiction thrown in.