book review: A Study in Sable by Mercedes Lackey

A part of her Elemental Masters series, this novel is a fun cross. We have her well established Psychics, Sarah and Nan with their feathered friends along with a new take on some very well established classic characters from the past.

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are brought to us in a world alike yet very different from where they are usually found. Holmes is much the same brilliant detective who believes everything has a logical explanation. On the other had Dr Watson is actually an elemental master.

This is a very nice melding of magic and psychic ability, along with some interesting looks at things outside of her established cannon. Written with an over all theme but a series of what feels like short stories, this novel is a quick and fun read.

What I liked the best is that she is finally introducing a practitioner of the five type of elemental magic. We have had many mages of Earth, Air, Fire and Water but she had not yet shown us a mage of the fifth element, Spirit. Here is hoping we will see a novel with a mage of Spirit in the future.

Also in this book Ms Lackey brought to light magic outside of the Elemental group.  While the Watsons decided that it was Earth Magic, this was quite obviously to those of us in the know, Priest magic. A farmer was practicing ancient priestly magic. While these books are set in a time period clearly Christian, finding magic that goes back to ancient pagan rights made me smile. She did not turn the priest into a criminal or a blood mage but what he was, a priest who continued the ancient rites connecting man to the land and insuring the health and prosperity of the land around him.

While there were a few places in the novel that made me wince or roll my eyes, mostly how easily Sarah was taken in by the villain, this book is well worth the read.


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