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Elemental Masters Series

Mercedes Lackey
The Elemental Masters series features loosely connected, standalone novels, each inspired by a reimagined fairy tale, set in an alternate turn-of-the-century England where magical masters control the powers of Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
The Bartered Brides by Mercedes Lackey
Available ON (09-24-19)

The Bartered Brides

Book 13
Paperback $7.99

Elemental Masters Series : Titles in Order

Book 14
The fourteenth novel in the magical alternate history Elemental Masters series continues the reimagined adventures of Sherlock Holmes in a richly-detailed alternate 20th-century England.

While Sherlock is still officially dead, John and Mary Watson and Nan Killian and Sarah Lyon-White are taking up some of his case-load–and some for Lord Alderscroft, the Wizard of London.

Lord Alderscroft asks them to go to Dartmoor to track down a rumor of evil magic brewing there. Not more than four hours later, a poor cottager, also from Dartmoor, arrives seeking their help. His wife, in a fit of rage over the children spilling and spoiling their only food for dinner that night, sent them out on the moors to forage for something to eat. This is not the first time she has done this, and the children are moor-wise and unlikely to get into difficulties. But this time they did not come back, and in fact, their tracks abruptly stopped “as if them Pharisees took’d ’em.” The man begs them to come help.

They would have said no, but there’s the assignment for Alderscroft. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

But the deadly bogs are not the only mires on Dartmoor.
Book 13
The thirteenth novel in the magical alternate history Elemental Masters series continues the reimagined adventures of Sherlock Holmes in a richly-detailed alternate Victorian England.

The threat of Moriarty is gone—but so is Sherlock Holmes.

Even as they mourn the loss of their colleague, psychic Nan Killian, medium Sarah Lyon-White, and Elemental Masters John and Mary Watson must be vigilant, for members of Moriarty’s network are still at large. And their troubles are far from over: in a matter of weeks, two headless bodies of young brides wash up in major waterways. A couple who fears for their own recently-wedded daughter hires the group to investigate, but with each new body, the mystery only deepens.

The more bodies emerge, the more the gang suspects that there is dangerous magic at work, and that Moriarty’s associates are somehow involved. But as they race against the clock to uncover the killer, it will take all their talents, Magic, and Psychic Powers—and perhaps some help from a dearly departed friend—to bring the murderer to justice.
Book 12
The twelfth novel in Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series reimagines Sherlock Holmes in a richly-detailed alternate 20th-century England

Christmas is a very special time of year.  It is special for Psychic Nan Killian and Medium Sarah Lyon-White and their ward Suki, who are determined to celebrate it properly.  It is special for their friends, Doctor John Watson, and his wife Mary, both Elemental Masters, who have found great delight in the season seeing it through young Suki’s eyes. 
 
It is also special to others…for very different reasons.
 
For Christmas Eve is also hallowed to dark forces, powers older than mankind, powers that come awake on this long, cold night.  Powers best left alone.  Powers that could shake the foundations of London and beyond.
 
It begins slowly.  Women disappearing in the dark of night, women only missed by those of their own kind.  The whispers only begin when they start to reappear—because when they do, they are no longer sane.  And when Nan and Sarah and the Watsons are called on to examine these victims, they discover that it was no ordinary horror of the streets that drove them mad.
 
But then, the shadows reach for other victims—girls of good, even exalted families, who vanish from concerts, lectures, and evening balls.  And it will take the combined forces of Magic, Psychic Powers, and the world’s greatest detective to stop the darkness before it can conquer all.
Book 11
The eleventh novel in Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series reimagines Sherlock Holmes in a richly-detailed alternate 20th century England

Psychic Nan Killian and Medium Sarah Lyon-White—along with their clever birds, the raven Neville and the parrot Grey—have been agents of Lord Alderscroft, the Elemental Fire Master known as the Wizard of London, since leaving school.

Now, Lord Alderscroft assigns them another commission: to work with the famous man living at 221 Baker Street—but not the one in flat B. They are to assist the man living in flat C. Dr. John Watson and his wife Mary, themselves Elemental Masters of Water and Air, take the occult cases John’s more famous friend disdains, and they will need every skill the girls and their birds can muster!

Nan and Sarah’s first task: to confront and eliminate the mysterious and deadly entity that nearly killed them as children: the infamous Haunt of Number 10 Berkeley Square. But the next task divides the girls for the first time since they were children. A German opera star begs Sarah for help, seeking a Medium’s aid against not just a single spirit, but a multitude.

As Sarah becomes more deeply entwined with the Prima Donna, Nan continues to assist John and Mary Watson alone, only to discover that Sarah’s case is far more sinister than it seems. It threatens to destroy not only a lifelong friendship, but much, much more.
Book 10
The tenth novel in Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale Rapunzel in a richly-detailed alternate Victorian world

Giselle had lived fourteen years of her life in an abandoned tower. Her mother kept Giselle, a young Air Master still growing into her abilities, isolated for the sake of herself and others.
 
This life left her unprepared when a handsome young man appeared at the base of her tower. But when the young stranger entered her window, he tried to force himself on her. She was saved by Mother, an Earth Master, who hurled the man out the window he had climbed in.
 
The Foresters of the Black Forest were Earth Masters whose job it was to cleanse the ancient forest of evil elementals, and over the next four years, they shared their fighting expertise to teach Giselle self-defense. By the age of twenty, Giselle was an expert markswoman, and it was this skill that she used to survive when Mother died. Cutting her long hair, she masqueraded as a boy to enter shooting competitions, and used the prize money to support herself.
 
But she could not forget the first man who assaulted her, for when that stranger had fallen from her tower long ago, his body had never been found. In Giselle’s heart, she was certain his magic had helped him to survive the fall. Surely, it was only a matter of time before he found her and sought revenge. Was she prepared to stand against him?
Book 9
The ninth novel in Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale Red Riding Hood in a richly-detailed alternate Victorian world

Rosamund is an Earth Master in the Schwarzwald, the ancient Black Forest of Germany. Since the age of ten, she has lived with her teacher, the Hunt Master and Earth Magician of the Schwarzwald Foresters, a man she calls “Papa.” Her adoptive Papa rescued her after her original Earth Master teacher, an old woman who lived alone in a small cottage in the forest, was brutally murdered by werewolves. Rosa herself barely escaped, and this terrifying incident molded the course of her future.
 
For like her fellow Earth Masters of the Schwarzwald Lodge, Rosa is not a healer. Instead, her talents lead her on the more violent path of protection and defense— “cleansing” the Earth and protecting its gentle fae creatures from those evil beings who seek to do them harm.
 
And so Rosa becomes the first woman Hunt Master and the scourge of evil creatures, with a deadly specialty in werewolves and all shape­shifters.
 
While visiting with a Fire Master—a friend of her mentor from the Schwarzwald Lodge— Rosa meets a pair of Elemental Magicians from Hungary who have come looking for help. They suspect that there is a dark power responsible for a string of murders happening in the remote countryside of Transylvania, but they have no proof. Rosa agrees to help them, but there is a catch: one of the two men asking for aid is a hereditary werewolf.
 
Rosa has been taught that there are three kinds of werewolves. There are those, like the one that had murdered her teacher, who transform themselves by use of dark magic, and also those who have been infected by the bite of these magical werewolves—these poor victims have no control over their transforma­tive powers. Yet, there is a third kind: those who have been born with the ability to trans­form at will. Some insist that certain of these hereditary werewolves are benign. But Rosa has never encountered a benign werewolf!
 
Can she trust this Hungarian werewolf? Or is the Hunter destined to become the Hunted?
Book 8
The eighth novel in Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale The Steadfast Tin Soldier in a richly-detailed alternate Victorian England

Katie Langford had been part of her family’s acrobatic troupe working in a small traveling circus—until a terrible fire killed her parents. Years later, still with the circus but stuck in an abusive marriage, Katie fled from her increasingly dangerous husband to Brighton. As a seaside resort town, Brighton’s music halls meant no circus needed to visit. It was as safe a place as she could find.
 
Lionel Hawkins was a professional magician who had a permanent job at the Palace Music Hall in Brighton. His shows never failed to enchant the ever-changing crowds, for his magic was more than just tricks. Lionel was an Air Magician, and he wasn’t the only one at the Palace who had magical abilities. Jack Prescott, the Palace doorman who had lost a leg in the Boer Wars, had preternatural awareness of all flame, which had saved the Palace from burning on more than one occasion.
 
When Katie answered the Palace’s call for a new assistant with stage experience, it seemed like all her problems were solved. But it soon became clear that Katie was a Fire Magician like Jack and that something had blocked Katie’s access to her own abilities—a dangerous situation for everyone around her. Fire, the most volatile of all the elements, was a power that could easily turn deadly when fueled by strong emotion. And Lionel and Jack could tell that Katie was hiding something. Something that frightened her. Something that could set their whole world ablaze if they couldn’t help her master her Element in time.
Book 7
The seventh novel in Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon in a richly-detailed alternate Victorian England

For as long as she could remember, Mari Prothero had seen things—things that shouldn’t, that couldn’t be real: tiny manlike creatures that were mischievous and wore only seaweed, and beings that spoke to her kindly, but seemed to be made of water. Mari had grown up in tiny Welsh fishing village where she lived alone with her father, Daffyd, a master fisherman—her mother and brother having drowned when she was a child. Mari had long ago given up trying to talk to her father about the creatures she saw.
 
But on the morning of her eighteenth birthday, her father finally told her the great secret of the Prothero family. Her family had an ancient covenant with magical shape-shifters, the Selch, who were half-human, half-seal people. Her lost mother and brother were not truly dead, but neither were they human. Now Mari must abide by her family’s magical compact, or face dire consequences.
 
But Mari was not without protectors. The tiny creatures she had seen her whole life counseled her to bargain with the Selch. While in faraway London, Lord Alderscroft, head of the Elemental Masters, was aware that a powerful but untrained Water Master on the far coast of Wales was being threatened by some of the Elemental Elder Spirits, and he had dispatched some very unique champions to come to Mari’s aid….
Book 6
The sixth novel in Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale Donkeyskin in a richly-detailed alternate Victorian England

Susanne Whitestone, an Earth Master magician, had always lived in Whitestone Manor and liked nothing more than to keep the land itself and its animal inhabitants thriving. For the last eleven years, she has had a special teacher in the forest—a powerful fae known only as Robin. Susanne, at twenty-one, doubted any mortal Earth Master could find fault with the practices that Robin taught her.

But though Susanne was her father’s only child, she had never set eyes on him, for Richard Whitestone lived as a recluse in a sectioned off wing of the manor. Richard Whitestone was also an Earth Master, but since his beloved wife’s death in childbirth, he had lived a kind of half-life. He hated even the thought of the child who had ended his wife’s life. His own life had withered, and as he had grown bitter, and blighted, so had everything he could see from his windows—the once-beautiful private garden was now as stark and wizened as his heart. 

But as the years passed, Richard found that there was one thing that gave him solace—the thought, an obsession, that he could bring his Rebecca back to life through necromancy. He would need an appropriate vessel for her spirit, a young woman, preferably one who looked like she did and was approximately the same age that Rebecca has been at the time of her death—twenty-one….and Susanne was the image of her mother.
Book 5
Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series recasts familiar fairy tales in a richly-imagined alternate Victorian world

Ninette Dupond was a dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet. She had been very lucky—if she had not been pretty, and a natural dancer, she could only have become what her mother had been: a washerwoman.
 
But Ninette’s good luck ended the day that the lead dancer sprained her ankle and Ninette was chosen to dance her part at a matinee. Her reviews had been very good—too good. Shortly thereafter, Ninette had been fired in an attempt to soothe the wounded ego of the ballet’s primary soloist.
 
Alone, unemployed, and filled with despair, Ninette had returned to her apartment to find a thin, rangy, tabby-striped tomcat sitting on her windowsill. He seemed like just another stray, until abruptly he spoke to her, mind-to-mind.
 
Ninette though she was going mad, but the cat offered her an alternative to a life of destitution, albeit a very odd one. He proposed that she impersonate a renowned Russian ballerina, Nina Tchereslavsky, and go to work in a specific music hall in Blackpool, England. The cat also told her that he would take care of her in every way—he would somehow convey the English and Russian languages to her, supply her with money, and guide her every move. With no other option open to her, she place her life in his paws.
 
What Ninette didn’t know was that the cat was an Elemental Spirit sent to protect her, and that the music hall in Blackpool was owned by an Elemental Master. But she also didn’t know that the real Nina Tchereslavsky no longer existed. For the real Nina had been “absorbed” by an Elemental Spirit of the darkest kind that was now bent on Ninette’s destruction….
Book 4
Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series recasts familiar fairy tales in a richly-imagined alternate Victorian world

The letter that introduced twelve-year-old Sarah Jane Lyon-White to Isabelle Harton, who ran the Harton School in central London, seemed quite simple and straightforward. But it was what was not written in the letter that resonated to Isabelle’s own finely tuned “extra” senses: “Sarah has gifts we cannot train,” the letter whispered to her, “nor can anyone we know. Those we trust tell us that you can….”
 
And it was true, for the Harton School was far from ordinary. It was Isabelle’s job to train children who possessed the odd types of magic that could not be trained by London’s powerful Elemental Masters: clairvoyants, telepaths, those with the ability to sense hidden danger, the vision to see into the past, and even that rarest of all talents: the ability to see and communicate with the dead.
 
But Isabelle was uneasy, for though she knew that Sarah Jane had a touch of telepathy, there seemed to be something else about the girl—something that had not yet manifested.
 
And Isabelle was right to be worried, for as soon as Sarah’s full talents became evident, there was an attempt made on her life. For Sarah was that rarest of magicians: a true medium, and for some reason, a powerful Elemental Master wanted her dead.
 
Isabelle knew that to protect her ward she would have to seek help from the Elemental Masters of the city. That meant she would also see Lord David Alderscroft, the man she had once loved, but who had inexplicably chilled toward her and broken her heart long ago—for he was the leader of the city’s Elemental Masters, the man who was now called the Wizard of London.
Book 3
Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series recasts familiar fairy tales in a richly-imagined alternate Victorian world

Eleanor Robinson’s life had shattered when Father volunteered for the Great War, leaving her alone with a woman he had just married. Then the letter came that told of her father’s death in the trenches and though Eleanor thought things couldn’t get any worse, her life took an even more bizarre turn.

Dragged to the hearth by her stepmother Alison, Eleanor was forced to endure a painful and frightening ritual during which the smallest finger of her left hand was severed and buried beneath a hearthstone. For her stepmother was an Elemental Master of Earth who practiced the darker blood-fueled arts. Alison had bound Eleanor to the hearth with a spell that prevented her from leaving home, caused her to fade from people’s memories, and made her into a virtual slave.

Months faded into years for Eleanor, and still the war raged. There were times she felt she was losing her mind—times she seemed to see faces in the hearth fire.

Reginald Fenyx was a pilot. He lived to fly, and whenever he returned home on break from Oxford, the youngsters of the town would turn out to see him lift his aeroplane—a frail ship of canvas and sticks—into the sky and soar through the clouds.

During the war, Reggie had become an acclaimed air ace, for he was an Elemental Master of Air. His Air Elementals had protected him until the fateful day when he had met another of his kind aloft, and nearly died. When he returned home, Reggie was a broken man plagued by shell shock, his Elemental powers vanished.

Eleanor and Reginald were two souls scourged by war and evil magic. Could they find the strength to help one another rise from the ashes of their destruction?

Book 2
Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series recasts familiar fairy tales in a richly-imagined alternate Victorian world

For seventeen years, Marina Roeswood had lived in an old, rambling farmhouse in rural Cornwall in the care of close friends of her wealthy, aristocratic parents. As the ward of bohemian artists in Victorian England, she had grown to be a free thinker in an environment of fertile creativity and cultural sophistication. But the real core of her education was far outside societal norms. For she and her foster parents were Elemental Masters of magic, and learning to control her growing powers was Marina’s primary focus.

But though Marina’s life seemed idyllic, her existence was riddled with mysteries. Why, for example, had she never seen her parents, or been to Oakhurst, her family’s ancestral manor? And why hadn’t her real parents, also Elemental Masters, trained her themselves? That there was a secret about all this she had known from the time she had begun to question the world around her. Yet try as she might, she could get no clues out of her guardians.

But Marina would have answers to her questions all too soon. For with the sudden death of her birth parents, Marina met her new guardian—her father’s eldest sister Arachne. Aunt Arachne exuded a dark magical aura unlike anything Marina had encountered, a stifling evil that seemed to threaten Marina’s very spirit.

Slowly Marina realized that her aunt was the embodiment of the danger her parents had been hiding her from in the backwoods of Cornwall. But could Marina unravel the secrets of her life in time to save herself from the evil that had been seeking her for nearly eighteen years?
Book 1
The first novel in Mercedes Lackey’s magical Elemental Masters series reimagines the fairy tale Snow White in a richly-detailed alternate Edwardian England

Maya Witherspoon lived most of the first twenty-five years of her life in her native India. As the daughter of a prominent British physician and a Brahmin woman of the highest caste, she graduated from the University of Delhi as a Doctor of Medicine by the age of twenty-two.
 
But the science of medicine was not Maya’s only heritage. For Maya’s aristocratic mother Surya was a sorceress—a former priestess of the mystical magics fueled by the powerful and fearsome pantheon of Indian gods.
 
Though Maya felt the stirring of magic in her blood, her mother had repeatedly refused to train her. “I cannot,” she had said, her eyes dark with distress, whenever Maya asked. “Yours is the magic of your father’s blood, not mine….” Surya never had the chance to explain this enigmatic statement to her daughter before a mysterious illness claimed her life.

Yet it was Maya’s father’s death shortly thereafter that confirmed her darkest suspicions. For her father was killed by the bite of a krait, a tiny venomous snake, and in the last hours of her mother’s life, Surya had warned Maya to beware “the serpent’s shadow.” Maya knew she must flee the land of her birth or face the same fate as her parents.
 
In self-imposed exile in Edwardian London, Maya knew that she could not hide forever from the vindictive power that had murdered her parents. She knew in her heart that even a vast ocean couldn’t protect her from “the serpent’s shadow” that had so terrified her mother. Her only hope was to find a way to master her own magic: the magic of her father’s blood. But who would teach her? And could she learn enough to save her life by the time her relentless pursuers caught up with their prey?

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