I didn't read the book
Dr. Maya is a rich character living in a filthy, backwards & chaotic historical past. She manages to be modern and relatable without being out of place, and you root for her from start to finish.
It was lovely to meet the imaginary characters in this light and enjoyable fantasy, especially when they are placed in my favourite time period. I would have loved to work beside Maya and admire her strength of character and determination.
Fan of urban fantasy, supernatural, Victorian, and gothic literature.
I first heard this as an audiobook on CD, and was not impressed. However, that was some years ago, and Audible re-recorded it with Michelle Ford reading, and it is a drastic improvement! Michelle does good voices with decent accents, and reads clearly. Compared to her, Erin Jones (the original reader) sounds like a computer with about as much feeling and differentiation of characters. The difference in readers radically changes the experience of the audiobook.
Regarding the story, it's an interesting retelling of Snow White set in London, 1909. Mercedes Lackey seems to enjoying telling stories of women at the turn off the century, experience the changing times and culture with the rise of the Suffragette Movement, the Spiritualist Movement, and other world events. The reworking of the fairytale is fun, though sometimes I begin to feel hit over the head with all the reiterations of how cruel the world is to women. Though historically accurate on a number of points, it's also an over-simplification at times, and from a storytelling perspective, it gets old after a while. I like this particular book in the Elemental Mages series better than some of the others in part because it also brings to light other populations that were victims of harsh prejudice, such add Eastern immigrants and the Irish.
To sum it up, if you enjoy retellings of fairytale with strong female characters and a touch of sweet romance, this is a good book for you.
I've been a lifetime fan of Mercedes Lackey, and while some of her stories are weaker than others, she remains one of the authors who I'll buy her stories if I only have enough for one book. Even if I've already read it in one format or another. Her Elemental Masters series is my favorite of her many-imagined series, with this story being one of my favorites among these books.
I've been a member of Audible for years, and while I don't usually write reviews (who actually has time for that?) the various negative reviews irritated me enough to write to counter them. If you enjoy YA books, or Disney-esque good versus evil, I strongly suggest this book. Just enough darkness to make this into an entertaining literary meal, without being so dark as to make this depressing, or too light as to be a popcorn read. In short, the tone is right, the plot strong, and the character development believable.
The narrator is English, so yes, many of the pronunciations are not American, and that is a good thing because it adds to the authenticity of the narration, given that the book takes place in the early 20th century in London. The story is well-written and enjoyable. The ties to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves are there, but not blatant. I'm looking forward to the rest of the books in the series.
Engaging and fast paced, I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that I liked this book.
I was expecting a smarmy, love story but that's not what I got.
The world was well developed as was the concept of the magical realms, and the inclusion of the Hindi deities was very nice. It kept me going back to google trying to find out more and more about the background setting and I found I learned about the Hindi Pantheon and even colonial India's history as a side benefit of the read.
I was able to see the references and allusions to Snow White, but they were not intrusive and the story could well stand on its own merit.
Read the book a while back and loved it. I was so excited to find it again as an audio book and was very pleased with Michelle Ford's performance! Eager to continue the series.