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©2002 Mercedes Lackey; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"Mercedes Lackey returns to form in The Serpent's Shadow...."This story takes place in the London of 1909, and is based on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Lackey creates echoes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, pays affectionate homage to Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey (who plays an important role under a thin disguise), and turns the dwarves into seven animal avatars who masquerade as pets of her Eurasian heroine, Maya." (Amazon.com review)
Life-long reader, 10 years listening
This is my favorite of Mercedes Lackey's re-told fairy tales, and I was pleased to find it available in audio format. Maya Witherspoon is a terrific character and you immediately become engrossed in her story as a young Anglo-Indian woman who has successfully conquered the barriers of the male-dominated English medical/surgical profession in the late 1800s. The people she meets in her London charity hospital work and her private medical practice are vividly portrayed, and many become her friends and supporters.
Michelle Ford does a quite good job of differentiating the characters' voices and accents, both male and female.
Highly recommended, and I know I'll listen to this again and again.
I enjoyed this story very much, my first from Mercedes Lackey. It was such an interesting mixture of England, India, Turn of the Century, Women's Suffragettes, and magic, with a splash of romance thrown in, for good measure. Michelle Ford did a good job of narration, though she mis-pronounced several words. Difference between English and American pronounciations? Not sure.
No. The reader/performer did not do a very good job with pronunciation. It would have been nice if she had done some research about the correct way to pronounce words like epitome. If you can ignore that, she does a great job with the voices.
The richness of the background world.
I hated the incorrect pronunciation of common words. I loved the voices.
Yes, almost did too.
I read/listen to drown out the nonsense.
I read this book when it was first released about 11 years ago. My mother actually gave it to me as a gift. I was hooked and didn't even know that it was a part of a series until 5 years later. I've since listened to it and reread it at least 4 times. The heroine is absolutely wonderful with her strength and intelligence while maintaining her femininity and being a true heroine. The story is compelling and the character development is clear and well done. I have and will listen to this repeatedly.
Maya, of course!
Running from her past pursued by killers, beautiful half Indian Dr. Maya Witherspoon flees from her Indian roots to the foreign streets of London. An outsider and exotic magical presence catch the attention of the "White Lodge" magical masters of London. Soon Maya finds herself learning the ways of her fathers people and finding out new powers of her own attached to her animals she calls pets. With fast paced action, magic and even romance, Mercedes Lackey takes us on fantastic romp in early 20th century London.
I think Mercedes Lackey writes very well, but apparently I just can't read her stuff. I started some other series of hers a number of years ago and couldn't finish it because there was so much terrible stuff done by the bad guys. I decided to try her again with this book, and I'm having the same problem. I think she has done an admirable job of painting an accurate picture of life in London in the early 1900s. Unfortunately, if you were a woman or a poor person, that was a pretty horrible place. For every pleasant or happy scrap of story, there are 19 pieces about the atrocities committed upon the poor by the rich or just the horrors of life before antibiotics and decent hospitals.
I got nine and a half hours into this twelve-hour book, and just had to stop. I was so depressed I was ready to lay down and die. I'd like to know how the story ends, but I may just look on Wikipedia to see if someone has posted a complete plot summary. I see that this book has gotten many positive reviews, and I don't doubt that this book deserves them.
Before getting this book, you need to ask yourself how you react to detailed, historically accurate portrayals of life among the downtrodden. If you can read such stories with enjoyment, then this will probably be a good book for you. If you need your stories to cheer you up, then this book may not be right for you.
Michelle Ford's wonderful narration brings this story of good and evil and a clash of cultures and their ridged lack of acceptance of strange new ideas.It is a story of overcoming adversity, delightful animal helpers, and staunch old and new friends.Throw in magic, what more could you want. I could barely put it down.
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.
Quite a decent reader, which is extremely important. The only beef i have is that the woman reading the book seems to think that the Irish doctor in the book is actually Jamaican. I have never heard such a bad 'Irish' accent. Really.
A good story with strong characters. My only misgiving, but only a very miner one, was the story seemed, to myself at least, to be very slow in places. But still a recommended story.
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