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The Serpent's Shadow (2001)

af Mercedes Lackey

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

Serier: The Elemental Masters (2)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2,055247,998 (3.84)82
Fantasy. Fiction. Mythology. Historical Fiction. HTML:The first novel in Mercedes Lackey's magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale Snow White in a richly-detailed alternate Edwardian England

Maya Witherspoon lived most of the first twenty-five years of her life in her native India. As the daughter of a prominent British physician and a Brahmin woman of the highest caste, she graduated from the University of Delhi as a Doctor of Medicine by the age of twenty-two.
 
But the science of medicine was not Maya??s only heritage. For Maya??s aristocratic mother Surya was a sorceress??a former priestess of the mystical magics fueled by the powerful and fearsome pantheon of Indian gods.
 
Though Maya felt the stirring of magic in her blood, her mother had repeatedly refused to train her. ??I cannot,? she had said, her eyes dark with distress, whenever Maya asked. ??Yours is the magic of your father??s blood, not mine....? Surya never had the chance to explain this enigmatic statement to her daughter before a mysterious illness claimed her life.

Yet it was Maya??s father??s death shortly thereafter that confirmed her darkest suspicions. For her father was killed by the bite of a krait, a tiny venomous snake, and in the last hours of her mother??s life, Surya had warned Maya to beware ??the serpent??s shadow.? Maya knew she must flee the land of her birth or face the same fate as her parents.
 
In self-imposed exile in Edwardian London, Maya knew that she could not hide forever from the vindictive power that had murdered her parents. She knew in her heart that even a vast ocean couldn??t protect her from ??the serpent??s shadow? that had so terrified her mother. Her only hope was to find a way to master her own magic: the magic of her father??s blood. But who would teach her? And could she learn enough to save her life by th
… (mere)
  1. 20
    The Fire Rose af Mercedes Lackey (391)
    391: Another in the Elemental Masters series, this one dealing with 1906 San Francisco.
  2. 10
    Beauty af Robin McKinley (kiri_wren)
    kiri_wren: If you like fairy tales, Lackey's Elemental Masters series gives the classics a fun twist -- historical fiction meets magic.
  3. 10
    Toads and Diamonds af Heather Tomlinson (infiniteletters)
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» Se også 82 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 24 (næste | vis alle)
1.5/5 maybe. It's so awkward when the eeeeevil villain is totally right about the evils of colonialism.

Gosh I forgot how much Lackey likes to Tell, and in slightly ridiculous detail. Does she... edit? ( )
1 stem caedocyon | Feb 23, 2024 |
A top of the series

One of the best of the Elemental Master series, maybe the best besides 'Reserved for the Cat'.
Original and beautifically done plot. ( )
  acb13adm | Sep 13, 2023 |
{Second of 17 Elemental Masters series ; fantasy, urban fantasy, parallel Earth, magic, Overdrive, NLB} (2001)

(The library I borrowed this book from has it listed as the first in the series, possibly because The Fire Rose was written several years before this and was apparently published by a different publisher.)

Set in Edwardian London on a parallel Earth where magic exists; Maya is a half Indian, half English female doctor and has had to fight hard for her rights in a male dominated world. She grew up in India but both her parents died and, after discovering that her family had an enemy who commanded dark magic, Maya fled to London where she overcame the odds to be registered as a doctor and continue practicing medicine. She has magic of her own, too, but has never been taught so her inexpertly crafted shields attract the attention of the Exeter Club where the (upper class, English, male) Elemental Masters of magic, who defend the country, gather. But Maya's unknown enemy has followed her to London and has another agenda - which deeply concerns the Exeter Club.

This was a decent adventure, not absolutely gripping at the beginning though it picked up towards the end. I think the London setting was to allow elements like suffragettes, class hierarchy and the prejudice against women in exclusively male enclaves of society to be worked into the story. I read this many years ago, close to when it was first written but I didn't continue with the series (since most of it hadn't been published yet) and I was curious as to how it turned out. I plan to continue with The Gates of Sleep anon.

Apparently each book in this series is a riff on different fairy tales. This story is supposed to evoke Snow White although I didn't really see that.

February 2022
3.5 ( )
  humouress | May 20, 2022 |
East meets West

This is a re-read of one of the first Elemental Masters books I had read by Mercedes Lackey. What fun to revisit such beloved, familiar characters.

I love how the story mixes the lush, exotic smells and colors of Colonial India with the grit and despair of working class England. And still manages to tell the truth about the prejudicial and cruel caste systems in India as well as the severity of the separation of the monied classes in England.

The Serpent's Shadow is a wonderfully written tale weaving together two societies, two religions and two cultures. Every character is relatable.

Dr. Maya Witherspoon, half East Indian and half British has lived most of her 26 years being rejected by both of her parents cultures. But she is no wilting female; she comes to London after her mother dies, and, against all odds, achieves certification to work as a doctor.

Maya faces many obstacles, including prejudice, discrimination, a growing knowledge of her own magical power and the looming threat of losing her life to an unknown magical enemy.

It was lovely to visit Maya's world again. And to witness the power of good triumphing over evil. This, and most of Mercedes Lackey's books are well worth a second read. ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
This was an engaging historical fantasy with echoes of the fairy tale Snow White.

Dr. Maya Witherspoon was born and raised in India. Her father was a British doctor. Her mother a Brahmin who gave up her family and caste to marry him. She was also a practicing magician and assisted by aspects of Hindu gods. However, she didn't teach her daughter how to use magic saying that her daughter's magic came from her father's tradition.

After her parents' deaths - her mother's from cholera and her father's from the bite of a krait - Maya gathered up her household and fled to London. It was 1909 and Maya had to deal with a variety of prejudices due to her desire to practice medicine and her mixed heritage. She finds a job in a hospital and a free clinic and also establishes a practice working with women from the theatrical world and demi-monde where she teaches birth control and specializes in "female complaints".

But her enemy - her mother's sister who practices dark magic - has followed her and wants to consume Maya's power and get revenge on the British who invaded her country.

Maya's untutored magic has drawn the attention of the Elemental Masters in London and Paul Scott, former sea captain, current merchant, and Water Master, is sent to see if Maya is a danger. Despite the Master's prejudice against female Elemental Masters, Paul is determined to teach her what she needs to know about her magical abilities.

With her aunt getting closer to finding her, Maya needs to get control of her Earth Master abilities. She also falls in love with Paul.

The worldbuilding here was excellent. I loved the combination of Western and Hindu magic. I also enjoyed the combination of 1909 women's suffrage and magic. The characters were fascinating and well-rounded. The writing is lyrical and descriptive.

This was a reread for me. I first read it near its publication date in 2001 when I was automatically buying and reading everything by Mercedes Lackey. It is also the first in a series that has grown to sixteen books, many of which are inspired by fairy tales. ( )
  kmartin802 | Sep 23, 2021 |
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Fantasy. Fiction. Mythology. Historical Fiction. HTML:The first novel in Mercedes Lackey's magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale Snow White in a richly-detailed alternate Edwardian England

Maya Witherspoon lived most of the first twenty-five years of her life in her native India. As the daughter of a prominent British physician and a Brahmin woman of the highest caste, she graduated from the University of Delhi as a Doctor of Medicine by the age of twenty-two.
 
But the science of medicine was not Maya??s only heritage. For Maya??s aristocratic mother Surya was a sorceress??a former priestess of the mystical magics fueled by the powerful and fearsome pantheon of Indian gods.
 
Though Maya felt the stirring of magic in her blood, her mother had repeatedly refused to train her. ??I cannot,? she had said, her eyes dark with distress, whenever Maya asked. ??Yours is the magic of your father??s blood, not mine....? Surya never had the chance to explain this enigmatic statement to her daughter before a mysterious illness claimed her life.

Yet it was Maya??s father??s death shortly thereafter that confirmed her darkest suspicions. For her father was killed by the bite of a krait, a tiny venomous snake, and in the last hours of her mother??s life, Surya had warned Maya to beware ??the serpent??s shadow.? Maya knew she must flee the land of her birth or face the same fate as her parents.
 
In self-imposed exile in Edwardian London, Maya knew that she could not hide forever from the vindictive power that had murdered her parents. She knew in her heart that even a vast ocean couldn??t protect her from ??the serpent??s shadow? that had so terrified her mother. Her only hope was to find a way to master her own magic: the magic of her father??s blood. But who would teach her? And could she learn enough to save her life by th

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