From the best-selling author of the Heralds of Valdemar series comes an enchanting new novel.
In the land of 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 an accident of 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 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!
And so begins a whole new tale....
©2004 Mercedes Lackey (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I like Fantasy & Science Fiction but not into Zombie. Due to Health issues, listen to Audiobooks/read ebooks where I can enlarge the print
An excellent start to a new series and a captivating & emotionally gripping story by Mercedes Lackey.
The narrator does an commendable job, each character seems to come alive as a separate entity. I don't think the sample is as good a choice as it could have been to show off the narrator.
The 500 Kingdoms are inhabited by a manner of good and evil magical beings, beasts and humans, from the Fae, Brownies and Unicorns to Giants, Dragons, and Evil Witches, Mages and Sorceresses and their minions
The 500 Kingdoms are imbued with magic and the powerful force of tradition which tries to bend its peoples Magical or otherwise to its will for good or bad.
Tradition intended Elena to be a Cinderella, except that her would be prince was only eleven when she turned twenty-one, so her evil stepmother abandons her and decides to try her fortune hunting in other lands.
Elena, penniless and alone decides to become a paid servant, but her Fairy Godmother decides to take her on as an apprentice.
The magical potential that has built up in her through the unfulfilled tradition gives her huge magical powers. Thus Elena's tale and trials begin, but at least now she has a home and people that care for her and last but not least a purpose . . .
Warning whilst most of this book is G rated in small sections mainly near the end of the book it ups the eroticism for a bit but its not over done in my opinion but it may upset some readers.
There is a nice tone of humor throughout and It has great multilayered characters that grow as the story progresses.
This is an Fantasy adventure story with a side of romance and Elena is a remarkably strong female lead that has a vulnerable human side.
yes, kept me from skimming, really enjoyed the narration very skillfully done. A delightful story with great characters. left me wanting more.
had humor, nice twist on the fairy tale
very good performance
lots of giggles
Being able to listen to a new fairytale, not the classics we normally are used to. It's refreshing to read a fairytale book that gave deeper meaning to it's explanations, and to have a tale with a heavy story structure to support it. The "tradition" is definitely an entity that many other tales can be built upon.
Elena of course! She was the main character, but her experience was so unique that it made the journey of the story even more enjoyable.
I believe Gabra narrated Memoirs of a Geisha. If so, she did an excellent job on that book and she does on this one as well.
I'm a hopeless romantic and found myself swooning at the moment when the lovers finally reveal their feeling for eachother. It was so passionate and also didn't involve a highly detailed and vulgar sexual description. :)
I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything
Elena Klovis (AKA Ella Cinders) misses her chance at Prince Charming because he's only 6 years old. It looks like she'll live out her days as the abused servant to her wicked step-mother and selfish step-sisters. But they skip town on their creditors, leaving Elena behind. The creditors take everything left in the house, so Elena decides to try to find a job serving in someone else's household. But no one will hire her because, by law, as an un married woman she still belongs to her step-mother. Along comes her fairy godmother, who takes her on as an apprentice. And so follows a retelling of some fairy tale traditions.
The biggest problem with this book is that the author felt the need to explain and define every little thing. It was almost like she thought her readers had never been exposed to fairy tales, so she needed to explain how they work in order to diverge from the form. I skipped a two hour block and felt like I missed nothing. I also checked FB, caught up on GR, and referred to my Audible wish list while I was listening. I listened with "half an ear" and still understood what was going on.
Narration was average. There was a bit of over-emoting, but it's a fairy tale so perhaps understandable. I had heard this reader's narration of the Sophie Katz mysteries and enjoyed her performance. Sometimes a narrator can't really switch between genres, but I think Ms Zackman was able to do so.
I got this on sale, and I suppose it was worth the money. Not so much the time.
Second lowest after Divergent
ABC's Once Upon a Time with no evil characters.
I bought this book because I remember enjoying Lackey as a teenager, but listening to The Fairy Godmother made me realize I'm no longer a Lackey fan. The story is a bit too predictable and the characters have little depth-- no one is particularly likable. It was particularly disappointing that there was so much that Lackey could've played with or manipulated from the rich fairy traditions, but alas, there's shamefully little imaginative transformations. This may be a unfair/harsh assessment though, because I'd just finished the Mistborn trilogy before starting this one, and eating crackers after a gourmet meal is just not that appetizing.
Addicted to happy endings!
Not your typical fairy tale story - even though a source of power called "The Tradition" is always trying to make a fairy tale out of everyone's lives. That is where the Fairy Godmothers come into play. Their job is to guide the tradition and people so that their lives become more of a blessing than a tragic fairy tale. We are following the newest godmother, so in the background we can see how certain fairly tales started and why they turned out the way the godmothers want them to. The prince who became a donkey deserved it! He needed a good lesson, and while a "quest" to get a princess will teach a lesson, he was determined not to learn. He was "above all that nonsense". Godmother E is a powerful and WISE godmother, but no godmother is perfect, and all lonely ladies need a friend, or something more...Does our donkey disserve a second chance?
Gabra Zackman isn't my favorite narrator, but I can absolutely see why they picked her. Not too sardonic, and not too serious. Not comical, but has some humor.
I would recommend this book :)
Army wife, mother of two and member of ZΦB Sorority. I ♥ all geeky goodness. I love a great book..I'll settle for a good book. :-)
The story was such an interesting take on the world of Fairy Tales.
The overall theme of the book made me compare it to Lackey's Phoenix and Ashes from the Elemental Master's Series. In truth with the exception of the common basic theme, the two books are incredibly different, but this was my introduction to the 500 Kingdoms series and I did not know that going in.
I found that Gabra Zackman has a very level voice throughout, which lagged the slower parts of the book and I craved variance.
I did like the introduction of the romantic lead.
Say something about yourself!
When the main character turned to the prince and said.."act like an ass and a ass you will be!
Her reading engaged my imagnation.
When choices had to be made.
A fine, surprisingly imaginative tale.
First I have to say that I am stunned by the abundance of positive reviews of this book. Perhaps this is aimed at children and I purchased it in error, but if so then the rather graphic scenes and overall writing style seem somewhat out of place.
In short, this book lacks respectable editing and any semblance of conflict.
This may sound pedantic, and perhaps if it only occurred once this criticism would be, but the number of times that statements like, "He briefly gave her a long look," appear throughout the book has me grinding my teeth.
There is no real conflict in this book. At no point was I inspired with any actual concern for the fate of a single character. The outcome of every exchange is a given: fairy godmother wins.
Perhaps this was written in response to the mediocre-at-best TV show Once Upon a Time's popularity...? At any rate, it does no flattery to Mercedes' reputation as an author. Trite, uninspiring writing comprising a flat tale of borderline-dull characters.
"A good twist on an old favourite"
It’s one of my favourite stories to listen to, I can’t say that I have rankings as there are too many I enjoy
This is a new twist on an old tale, we are so used to fairy tales that’s it’s refreshing to see a new spin on them. The idea that someone can break their “destiny” is a fun one and also one we can empathize with.
Any of Mercedes Lackeys books are worth reading, she has a way with words that makes characters real. They are not fairy tale characters with a happy ending, they usually have to fight to get it. Fantasy with a dose of reality hidden behind the story.
"An entertaining read"
This audiobook was very well written and and kept me entertained and engaged. Lackey has produced a story that takes a very wry and alternative look at a well known fairy tale (Cinderella) and has produced a version of the story that veers away from the traditional pathway and into another, more interesting path.
In this book the central female character, who is normally portrayed traditionally as the 'helpless girl in need of a rescuer' (invariably male in the traditional tales) is the architect of her own rescue and indeed the shaper of her own destiny. In this tale the characters (including the fairy godmother) are constantly waging a war against 'The Tradition', which is constantly trying to move the characters and situations into the well-worn grooves of the traditional tales (champions must always slay dragons, stepmothers are always evil, witches always wear black…). There is humour aplenty amid the reworking of this tale and was enjoyable all the way through.
The narrator is excellent, with a beautiful voice, well suited to the story.
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