Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love Mercedes Lackey. I own practically every book she’s written in either dead-tree or e-form. But in this latest addition to the Elemental Masters series, she…rambles is the only word that comes to mind to clearly describes what I felt while reading it.
After establishing a heart-breaking opening with a tragic family, they completely disappear. Gone, poof, with no sense of completion to the departure.
After the near-rape, her guardian, Annaliese, emphasizes the need to make sure an Air master be brought up in a peaceful, cheery homelife. Nowhere else in the series has this ever been mentioned or even hinted at. Doesn’t that extreme volatility seem to necessitate some mention to the magus as training takes place? Giselle has hardly a novice in the use of her powers. Annaliese has been mentoring her. Emotional stability and the need for isolation should have been addressed and explained *before* she was attacked.
Then her mentor dies suddenly, she learns to shoot, kills a man in self-defense, runs away and joins the circus of all cliches and nary a nightmare or errant breeze?
The villain and his crew show up again at the end in an obligatory manner and are so quickly dispatched in the expected “oh, look who’s behind you” twist that it just felt tired. Perhaps Misty needs to set this series aside to rest a while and freshen itself in her imagination. Of course, I’ll rush out to buy the next one, and the next, but this is definitely not one I would recommend to anyone looking for an intro to what she can do with a story.