From a High Tower
Elemental Masters, Book# 11
By Mercedes Lackey
From a High Tower is newest adventure in Mercedes Lackey‘s Elemental Masters series, featuring a retelling of Rapunzel’s not-so-happily-ever-after ending.
As the book’s small description says, From a High Tower, has as the main plot the fairy tale of Rapunzel, but like all of the Elemental Masters stories, this story is more than the one you have seen in the kid’s movies. The beginning of the book starts more closely to the original tale, as Giselle (our Rapunzel) is attacked by the man that she lets into her tower; he is about to rape her but her mother arrives in time to save her and sends the man out the four floor tower window. Even though Giselle shows signs of becoming an Air Master in the future, her mother decides that she needs to know how to defend herself without the help of her magic or elementals, so she asks her friends of the Bruderschaft to train Giselle in the arts of hunting.
Years later, after the death of her mother, Giselle takes the persona of a young man to be able to enter shooting contests, and win some money to live by. But when her name doesn’t appear in the logs of the army, a captain learns the truth and tries to take advantage of her. In her fear and rage, she ends up killing the man and flees the scene leaving behind the persona. With the help of a local Earth Master she is able to escape and ends up in an American traveling show. A couple of Slyphs point her to the direction of the shooting act and she is able to impress them, getting a job until winter with the show. But the shadow of her past still haunts her, as they never found the body of the man that attacked her in tower.
I liked this story in the Elemental Masters series, and the characters were great to read. Giselle over the course of the story changes a lot and manages to help her friends of the show. I liked that a reader could relate to her because of her fondest for books, and gets to experience and meet American people that she only read in them.
This time, there is not the same amount of magic being used compared to the other books, but the magic shown is very interesting. We learn of more types of spells, charms, and even about the special properties of Giselle’s hair. I also liked the scene where they encounter magical creatures, good and evil.
For fans of the series, we are able to see Rosamund again. Rosa is a Hunt Masters and the main character from the previous book, Blood Red. We see her as an agent of the Bruderschaft and later she becomes friends with Giselle. She is able to help Giselle finish her magic studies and summon greater forces.
The only things that I would have liked to see was Giselle’s family in the background or just a mention of them by the author. Even though, some stories portrait the woman that takes the girl as evil; in this story, Giselle’s mother ends up saving her life.
If you are a fan of Mercedes Lackey’s work or the Elemental Masters series, I recommend you From a High Tower. In this story, a girl learns how harsh the world outside her comfort zone can be, that looks can hide evilness under them, and that her views are not always correct, but is willing to learn better.