Elemental Masters

Elemental Masters is a fantasy series by American writer Mercedes Lackey, taking place on an alternate Earth where magic exists. The series largely focuses on Elemental Masters, people who have magical control over air, water, fire, or earth. Each elemental master has power over elementals, as well. Each book in the series is loosely based on a fairy tale.[1]

The Elemental Masters
AuthorMercedes Lackey
Cover artistJody Lee
Fairytale Fantasy
Historical Fantasy
PublisherBaen Books (The Fire Rose)
DAW Books (Others)
Publication date
October 1995–present
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)


0. The Fire Rose (1995, ISBN 0-671-87750-X) based on Beauty and the Beast
  1. The Serpent's Shadow (2001, ISBN 0-7564-0061-9) based on Snow White
  2. The Gates of Sleep (2002, ISBN 0-7564-0101-1) based on Sleeping Beauty
  3. Phoenix And Ashes (2004, ISBN 0-7564-0272-7) based on Cinderella
  4. The Wizard of London (October 2005, ISBN 0-7564-0174-7) based on The Snow Queen
  5. Reserved for the Cat (October 2007,ISBN 978-0-7564-0362-1) based on Puss in Boots
  6. Unnatural Issue (June 2011, ISBN 978-0756405755) based on Donkeyskin or similar tale
  7. Home From the Sea (June 2012, ISBN 978-0756407278) based on East of the Sun and West of the Moon, Tam Lin, and The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry
  8. Steadfast (June 2013, ISBN 978-0756408015) based on the Steadfast Tin Soldier
  9. Blood Red (June 2014, ISBN 978-0756408978) based on Red Riding Hood
  10. From a High Tower (June 2015, ISBN 978-0756408985) based on Rapunzel
  11. A Study in Sable (June 2016, ISBN 978-0756408725) featuring Sherlock Holmes and based on The Twa Sisters
  12. A Scandal in Battersea (October 2017, ISBN 978-0756408732) featuring Sherlock Holmes and based on the Pied Piper of Hamelin
  13. The Bartered Brides (October 2018, ISBN 978-0756408749) featuring Sherlock Holmes

Baen Books published The Fire Rose[2] before the series was established as such. DAW Books published the remaining titles, inaugurating the "Elemental Masters" moniker and numeration. Hence Serpent's Shadow is the first numbered title in the series.[3]

In addition to the main books, two anthologies (Elemental Magic released in December 2012, and Elementary released in December 2013) have been published, containing works by various fantasy and science fiction authors set in the Elemental Masters universe.[4][5]


The setting of the "Elemental Masters" is an alternative Earth during the early 1900s. The main and perhaps sole difference between this world and our reality is that magic exists, controlled by those who have mastery over the four classical elements (fire, air, water, earth). The majority of the tales take place in England, with The Fire Rose taking place in North America and focusing on the San Francisco area, while Blood Red and From a High Tower are set in Germany, with a focus on the Black Forest. While history does tend to follow the real-life time line, historic calamities such as the Great Chicago Fire and the earthquake in San Francisco are attributed to the elemental mages that serve as the series namesakes. Also the 1918 flu pandemic is hinted in Phoenix and Ashes to be due to the machinations of a malevolent Master.


The world of the "Elemental Masters" is home to two main types of magic: the elemental magic that plays an important part in the series and ESP that is largely explored in The Wizard of London. There have been mentions of different types and degrees of magical ability in the series.

Elemental magic

Elemental magic is the most commonly seen form of magic in the series, with every book having at least a couple of elemental masters as major characters, with one serving as the antagonist. The masters' abilities are tied with their ability to see and control spirits of a particular elemental affinity. Different regions of the world have different Elementals. Elemental magicians are classed by their affinity (Earth, Air, Fire, and/or Water) and by their mastery of their magic; one can be an Elemental Magician or an Elemental Master. It is mentioned in Blood Red that there is a fifth kind of magic, Spirit, which has no Masters, as the Masters of this element would be able to control the very angels of heaven, and as such no master can be born of this element. This is later proven to not be the case in "A Study In Sable", which features a Master of Spirit who uses a violin to summon spirits and communicate with them.

The Power of Ice & Necromancy

The power of Ice can be the seen as a partial exception of the normal abilities of an Elemental mage. Ice can be controlled by a skilled master of Fire, with cold being the inverse of heat. As seen in The Wizard of London, the power of ice is seen as a perversion and innately destructive, as it calls for a basic twisting of a master's nature as well as the world around them.

Similarly, Necromancy, the power of death, in Unnatural Issue is a destructive perversion of the power of Earth.

If Water and Air have similar perversions, we have not yet seen them.

The Talented

Most of the details given about the talented (those who have some degree of psychic abilities) are seen in The Wizard of London. While the talented in most part fit the descriptions and abilities given psychics in the modern world, there are two main differences. First, certain psychics are able to gain familiars; the second difference is that powerful talents or the talented have psychic Avatars that represent their duties as champions of the light. These avatars tend to draw imagery from fiction and the past.


Details are given in Reserved for the Cat. Sensitives are those who do not have direct magical talents but are able to see and feel to a degree, magic cast by the Elemental Wizards. Some are capable of seeing and sometimes communicating with elemental spirits. Some sensitives may also cast small magics that are often based on emotions. A powerful Sensitive can use their powers to influence people. Sensitives often form the bulk of an Elemental Wizards's household.

Other forms of magic

While psychics, wizards and elemental masters are portrayed as the more common magic users in the western world, the series also focuses on other forms of power such as the Hindu sorcerers of India and the various spirits of the world (such as the fey of England and avatars of the Hindu gods).[6]

Variation on Fairy Tale models

Each book in the series is loosely based on a famous fairy tale. However, female protagonists in the books are noticeably stronger and more assertive than the fairy tale characters on which they are modeled. The Serpent's Shadow, The Gates of Sleep and Phoenix And Ashes are each based on fairy tales (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, respectively) in which a girl faces the malevolence of an older and far more powerful woman, before being saved by the intervention of a Prince. In Lackey's novels, the equivalent character does not merely wait passively to be saved, and rather takes an active role in fighting for herself, on equal terms with the male character. Much of this fierce fighting takes place in astral form, when the original fairy tale female was completely passive in deep sleep or coma.


  1. ^ Elemental Masters series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, page 2
  2. ^ The Fire Rose title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  3. ^ Elemental Masters series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  4. ^ http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?400975
  5. ^ http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?440098
  6. ^ Lackey, Mercedes. The serpents's shadow - Young Adult Review - Book Review | Kliatt | Find Articles at BNET.com
Adaptations of Puss in Boots

'Puss' is a character in the fairy tale "The Master Cat, or Puss in Boots" by Charles Perrault. The tale was published in 1697 in his Histoires ou Contes du temps passé. The tale of a cat helping an impoverished master attain wealth through its trickery is known in hundreds of variants.

Gustave Doré created an illustrated version (right).

In 1797 German writer Ludwig Tieck published Der gestiefelte Kater, a dramatic satire based on the Puss in Boots tale.

The Russian composer César Cui (of French ancestry) composed a short children's opera on this subject in 1913. Puss in Boots was first performed in Rome in 1915, and has been something of a repertory item in Germany since at least the 1970s.

In 1922 Walt Disney created a black and white silent short of the same name.

Xavier Montsalvatge composed a children's opera, El gato con botas, with libretto by Néstor Luján; it was first performed in Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu in 1947. It has been performed for children several times, in Spain, but also in Germany, Czech Republic, Australia and New York.

In their album of cat songs, Happy Times Records included a version of Puss in Boots. As with their version of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, it is not faithful to the original fairy tale and features a cat named Puss in Boots who is the guardian of his native village. He saves the village from several invasions by using his head and is summoned by the song, "Come, boots!/Come, boots!/Come a runnin',/Puss in Boots." The man and woman who perform this story/song are the same ones who perform Happy Times's version of The Pied Piper, and the number ends with the words, "The whole village is proud of their magical cat!"

A 1961 Mexican adaptation called El gato con botas. K. Gordon Murray distributed it in the United States as Puss in Boots.

Hayao Miyazaki participated in the 1969 Toei Animation production of Nagagutsu wo Haita Neko (Puss 'n Boots), providing key animation, designs, storyboards, image boards, and story ideas. It was directed by Kimio Yabuki, with a screenplay by Hisashi Inoue, a famous Japanese playwright, and animation supervision was carried out by longtime Miyazaki collaborator and mentor Yasuji Mori. Hayao Miyazaki also wrote and drew a comic version first serialized in Chuunichi Shimbun Nichiyou Ban (Cyuunichi Newspaper Sunday Version) to promote the film. Its main character, the cat Pero, was very popular and eventually became Toei's mascot.

Rankin/Bass Productions produced a hand drawn animated TV special in 1972 entitled Puss in Boots.

The Master Cat by David Garnett is a novel first published in 1974 which gives a more detailed account of the established story from Puss getting the boots to his eating the ogre. The second part of the book tells of Puss getting caught up in palace plots and intrigues of which he ultimately becomes the victim, by his own ungrateful master no less.

In 1985 the family television series Faerie Tale Theatre produced a live-action adaptation starring Ben Vereen as Puss and Gregory Hines as the miller's son.

In an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a sketch set in the Police Department of the State of Venezuela is interrupted by an unexpected adaptation of Puss in Boots.

A live action direct-to-video film adaptation was made in 1988, starring Christopher Walken as Puss and Jason Connery as the miller's son.

Enoki Films released a Japanese animated series called Nagagutsu wo Haita Neko no Bouken (Adventures of Puss-in-Boots) in 1992.

Puss by Esther Friesner, in Snow White, Blood Red (edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling) retells the story.

Plaza Entertainment released an animated direct-to-video film called Puss in Boots in 1999.

Puss in Boots appears as a character in the films Shrek 2 and Shrek The Third (voiced by Antonio Banderas). The character is originally recruited as a swashbuckling professional ogre killer who is an obvious parody of Banderas' famous role as Zorro. Puss later becomes a sidekick to the ogre Shrek, and in the alternative world in Shrek Forever After due to Rumpelstiltskin erasing the day Shrek was born when he made him sign a contract, Puss is seen to have retired from fencing and he became Friona's pet; he has also become obese. A self-titled spin-off film was released in 2011. Puss in Boots, a video game based on the film, was released in October 2011. He is currently the star of the 2015 Netflix original series The Adventures of Puss in Boots.

In the furry comic book, Xanadu, the main male hero, Tabbe Le Fauve, is a cat modeled on Puss in Boots with a strong influence of Errol Flynn's typical swashbuckler character.

The webcomic No Rest for the Wicked features several characters adapted from this story, Perrault (Puss), The Marquis de Carabas, and his wife.

HBO's Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child gave the story a Polynesian flavor.

Angela Carter offers an alternative, updated version of the tale in her collection of short stories The Bloody Chamber

A Meowth from the Pokémon anime series dresses up like Puss In Boots.

In Gainax's 2000 anime FLCL, the third episode is named Maru Raba (Marquis de Carabas) and deals with the young adult characters performing Puss in Boots at their school, and with one character and her interest in the idea of pretending to be something until you've become it.

"The New Traveller's Almanac," a companion to Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, places Carabas Castle (formerly Ogre Castle, where "a talking feline dressed in smashing footwear" ate the Ogre and inherited his riches) in Ardennes on the Belgian border, where also stood (among others) the castles of Bluebeard, the Beast and Rosamund. These castles were subsequently destroyed by shellfire in 1913 during the Great War.

In Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere, the Marquis de Carabas appears as a character and is merged with Puss.

The novel Reserved for the Cat by Mercedes Lackey is a retelling of Puss In Boots, set in her Elemental Masters series.

In the manga, MÄR Puss 'n' Boots becomes a form of Babbo in the final battle against the main antagonist, Phantom.

Puss in Boots is the fourth episode of the episode game series American McGee's Grimm, which features the dark version of the cat missing an eye.

The Captain N: The Game Master episode "Once Upon a Time Machine" is based on Puss N Boots (though it mostly draws its inspiration from a video game adaptation.) [1]

La Véritable histoire du Chat botté is an animated French film (2009) by Jérôme Deschamps, Pascal Hérold and Macha Makeïeff. Dubbed into English as The True History of Puss 'N Boots (2010), the voice actors include William Shatner.

Puss in Boots appears in the Fables spin-off Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love. He is one of the animal Fables who has to live on Fabletown's "Farm."

Mary Hanson Roberts wrote and drew a long serial in the Furrlough anthropomorphic comic book, about the descendants of Puss in Boots and their adventures in their world's equivalent of the France of Louis XVI and the French Revolution, called "Here Comes a Candle." (The reference in the title is to the nursery rhyme that ends: "Here comes a candle to light you to bed; here comes a chopper to chop off your head.")

Nagagutsu o Haita Neko: Sekai Isshū 80 Nichi Dai Bōken, 1986 Japan-exclusive video game where the main character is Puss in Boots.

Blood Red (novel)

Blood Red (2014) is a fantasy novel written by Mercedes Lackey and part of her Elemental Masters series. It is based on the tale of Red Riding Hood. The story is set primarily in Germany and Romania. It does not mention the White Lodge of London or David Alderscroft in the story. It is also the first mention of a fifth elemental magic, spirit, since the unicorn summoned in Fire Rose. Several new Elementals and gods are introduced as well, including the Lord of the Hunt, minotaurs, Zane, Iele, and Valva Bailor.

Evil Queen

The Evil Queen, also called the Wicked Queen, is a fictional character and the main antagonist in "Snow White", a German fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm; similar stories are also known to exist in other countries. Other versions of the Queen appear in "Snow White" derivative works, and the character has also become an archetype for unrelated works of fiction.

The Queen is Snow White's evil and vindictive stepmother who is obsessed with being "the fairest in the land". The beautiful young princess Snow White evokes the Queen's sense of envy, so the Queen designs a number of plans to kill Snow White through the use of witchcraft. A driving force in the story is the Queen's Magic Mirror. In the traditional resolution of the story, the Queen is grotesquely executed for her crimes. The tale is meant as a lesson for young children warning them against narcissism and pride.

Various other versions of the Queen appear in subsequent adaptations and continuations of the fairy tale, including novels and films. In these, the Queen is often re-imagined and sometimes portrayed more sympathetically, such as being morally conflicted or suffering from madness instead of being simply evil. In some of the revisionist stories she has even been portrayed as an antihero or a tragic hero. In some instances, she serves as the protagonist or narrator of the story; one such particularly notable version is Disney's, sometimes known as Queen Grimhilde. The Queen has also become an archetype that inspired several characters featured in the works that are not directly based on the original tale.

Home from the Sea

Home from the Sea (2012) is a fantasy novel by American writer Mercedes Lackey and part of her Elemental Masters series. The story takes place mostly on the Welsh Coast. It features Sarah, Nan, Grey and Neville as well, who were characters first introduced in The Wizard of London. In the book, the seal folk are referred to by their old Scots name of Selch. They are also known as Selkie.

Legendary salamander in popular culture

References to the legendary salamander in popular culture—in fiction (especially fantasy fiction), games, animation, and so on—can be categorized in three ways: as a fantastic (sometimes magical) beast with an affinity with fire, as a true fire elemental, and allusions to the salamander's fiery nature.

Lego Ninjago

Lego Ninjago is a Lego theme introduced in January 2011. It is the first to be based on ninja since the discontinuation of the Ninja subtheme of the Castle line in 1999/2000. Whilst it retains some elements of this previous theme, one of the main differences is a more detailed accompanying story, primarily underpinned by a closely linked TV series, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.

The theme enjoyed popularity and success in its first year, and a further two years were commissioned before a planned discontinuation in 2013. However, after a brief hiatus, the line was revived after feedback from fans and has been in production ever since.

List of Bionicle characters

Bionicle characters belong to the various species and races which exist in the fictional universe of the Lego franchise Bionicle. The universe is mostly inhabited by beings with a skeletal and muscular structure, but who have metallic armor rather than skin. Most beings' skulls are bare, and they wear Kanohi Masks. Some of these enable psychokinetic feats.

List of DSiWare games (PAL region)

This is a list of games and applications for the Nintendo DSi handheld game console available for download via the DSi Shop in the PAL region.

List of DSiWare games and applications

This is a list of games and applications, collectively known as DSiWare, for the Nintendo DSi handheld game console, available for download via the DSi Shop. An update released for the Nintendo 3DS in June 2011 added support for the Nintendo eShop service, which contained the DSi Shop's full library of DSiWare games (at the time) with the exception of certain games and applications. There were over 200 downloadable games available in North America as of August 2010. Note that blank boxes in some columns represent currently unconfirmed or otherwise unknown information. (This list is incomplete and missing some titles and many release dates outside of North America.) Release dates are subject to change. The DSi Shop has ceased activity on March 31, 2017, but DSiWare games and apps on the Nintendo eShop will not be affected. The last DSiWare software title was Crazy Train which was released in the United States on January 28, 2016.

Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon

Master Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon is the legendary Green Ninja destined to save Ninjago, and the leader of the team. He is the son of Garmadon and Misako, and the nephew of Sensei Wu. He frequently wields either a sword or dual swords. His powers are vaguely defined, a fact admitted by his friends, but he possesses the ability to shoot green beams of power and passively shield his body.

Mercedes Lackey bibliography

This is a list of books by Mercedes Lackey, arranged by collection.

Pablo de Sarasate

Martín Melitón Pablo de Sarasate y Navascués (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpaβlo saɾaˈsate]; 10 March 1844 – 20 September 1908) was a Spanish violinist and composer of the Romantic period.

Puck in popular culture

In English folklore, Puck is a mythological fairy or mischievous nature sprite. Puck is also a generalized personification of land spirits. In more recent times, the figure of Robin Goodfellow is identified as a puck. The Old English "puca" is a kind of half-tamed woodland sprite, leading folk astray with echoes and lights in nighttime woodlands (like the German and Dutch "Weisse Frauen" and "Witte Wieven" and the French "Dames Blanches," all "White Ladies"), or coming into the farmstead and souring milk in the churn. Puck has appeared many times in popular culture.

Reserved for the Cat

Reserved for the Cat (2007) is a novel by American writer Mercedes Lackey, part of her Elemental Masters series. It is set in England and is based on the fairy tale Puss In Boots.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty (French: La Belle au bois dormant), or Little Briar Rose (German: Dornröschen), also titled in English as The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods, is a classic fairy tale which involves a beautiful princess, a sleeping enchantment, and a handsome prince. The tale was originally published by Charles Perrault. The version collected by the Brothers Grimm was an orally transmitted version of the original literary tale published by Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passé in 1697. This in turn was based on Sun, Moon, and Talia by Italian poet Giambattista Basile (published posthumously in 1634), which was in turn based on one or more folk tales. The earliest known version of the story is found in the narrative Perceforest, composed between 1330 and 1344.

The Serpent's Shadow (Lackey novel)

The Serpent's Shadow (2001) is a novel by American writer Mercedes Lackey, part of her Elemental Masters series. It is set in London in 1909 and is based on the fairy tale Snow White.

The Twa Sisters

"The Two Sisters" is a Northumbrian murder ballad that recounts the tale of a girl drowned by her sister. It is first known to have appeared on a broadside in 1656 as "The Miller and the King's Daughter." At least 21 English variants exist under several names, including "Minnorie" or "Binnorie", "The Cruel Sister", "The Wind and Rain", "Dreadful Wind and Rain", "Two Sisters", "The Bonny Swans" and the "Bonnie Bows of London". The ballad was collected by Francis J. Child (Child 10) and is also listed in the Roud Folk Song Index.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.