Author: Mercedes Lackey
Length: 384 pgs
Summary: Mercedes Lackey is one of the best fantasy writers out there. Her Elemental Masters quartet is one of MANY reasons to read her. This book, Firebird, is a departure from her usual fantasy series, though. It is a stand-alone novel set in Old Russia, and heavily draws on Russian fairytales and magic. If you’ve read Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, you will feel right at home with this book.
Why should you read this book?
I almost suggest reading Enchantment before Firebird, however, because in my opinion, Enchantment just seems more…earthy? Compelling? Ilya, the main character in Firebird, tends to think a lot. There is a lot of family description at the beginning of this book that isn’t entirely needed. For instance, Lackey likes to tell us that Ilya’s father, Ivan, is a mean man. His actions alone tell us that, so why be so blatant? I also thought the ending was slightly rushed. But that’s just me.
Read this book for clear description, interesting characters, and a well-written retelling of the generic fairy-tale about heroes who magically learn to speak to animals and save beautiful women from scary sorcerers.