I have been looking for some new series to get into as I have thoroughly exhausted my regulars, so I have been scouring the bookshelves for something new to try. Mercedes Lackey is an author I enjoy, and she has about 1000 different series for me to choose from, so I picked up The Serpent's Shadow, the first in the Elemental Masters series. I LOVED IT! As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Snow White in particular with the whole old woman with the poisoned apple bit, the seven small animals/companions, and even the kissing the dusky maiden awake thing (though that was for a reason, not just true love). The few things I did not enjoy so much were pretty minor, I felt like the author was shoving the women's lib and racism down our throats, it got a bit heavy handed at times, but did not detract from the over all story so it was bearable. A few times I felt that the solution to some of the characters problems were a bit pat, or a bit over the top, but it was still fun. The other thing that was a bit more of an issue was that the reader does not get a whole lot of info on how the Elemental Masters thing worked. The focus was more on Maya and her unconventional combining of magics and techniques and her training was glossed over pretty quickly. We see Peter use his Water Mastery a bit, but again no real insight into how it works. I am hopeful later books will remedy this. Overall the story flowed beautifully, the characters where fairly well fleshed out, the little extras that make a book special were all in there, and the cover was just awesome. I give this book an 8 out of 10 shadow snakes.