From the bestselling author of the Heralds of Valdemar series comes an enchanting new novel.
In the land of Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can't carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale . . .
Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom's Cinderella -- until an accident of fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! Determined not to remain with her stepfamily, Elena set out to get a new job -- and ended up becoming the Fairy Godmother for the land.
But "Breaking with Tradition" was no easy matter. True, she didn't have to sleep in the chimney, but she had to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who kept trying to rise above their place in the tale. In fact, one of them was so ornery that Elena could do nothing but change him into a donkey.
Still, her practical nature couldn't let him roam the country, so she brought the donkey -- er, the prince! -- home to her cottage to teach him some lessons. All the while keeping in mind that breaking with tradition can land everyone into a kettle of fish -- sometimes literally!
And so begins a whole new tale . . .
Mercedes Lackey is the prolific and popular author of over fifty novels (many of which are part of her acclaimed Heralds of Valdemar series) and she fully intends on passing Isaac Asimov's total of 100 titles before too long. Her hardcover novels have reached the extended New York Times bestseller lists and the USA TODAY lists.
Mercedes Lackey was born in Chicago, Illinois, and attended Purdue University. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. Misty (as she is known to friends and fans alike) lives in Oklahoma with her husband and collaborator, artist Larry Dixon. When not leafing through countless well-thumbed tomes of folklore, or pounding plotlines out on one of her many keyboards, Misty can be found tending to the many birds in her aviary (at last count, the couple have 10 parrots, four cockatoos, two macaws, three African grays, one blue-streaked lory and a peach-faced lovebird).
And if Misty is puzzling over where a manuscript will lead next, she lets her imagination roam free while keeping her hands busy with detailed needlework. In addition to making elaborate doll costumes, Misty indulges in crewel work, counted cross-stitch, intricate beadwork and beadweaving. Many of the items she makes are donated to charity for use in fund-raising auctions.
In 2003, six books bearing Mercedes Lackey's name hit the bookshelves, and right now, she's knee-deep in honing plot twists for all the titles she plans on releasing in 2004 and 2005.
The prolific Lackey (the Valdemar series) draws on the darker, Brothers Grimm side of fairy lore for her enchanting tale, the first title under a new Harlequin imprint to spotlight romantic fantasy. In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, the Tradition, that ineffable magic, holds the promise of happily-ever-after for all deserving young maidens and courteous princes charming. But the Tradition also leads some in its thrall to pain, suffering and gruesome death. Feisty 19-year-old Elena Klovis seems destined to be an Ella of the Cinders (Cinderella), at the mercy of her wicked stepmother and greedy stepsisters. To escape their clutches, Elena tries to get work as a maidservant, but her fairy godmother, Madame Bella, has other plans for her. Elena becomes Madame Bella's apprentice, doing her best, among other challenges, to ensure that evil does not subvert Tradition. The only problem is that fairy godmothers are not themselves allowed to fall in love. It's up to Elena, who has vowed to reform a wayward prince, to tease out the threads of a new Tradition. Lackey has created an intelligent, self-possessed heroine with whom many readers will identify. (Jan.) Forecast: Romantic fantasy has been one of the fastest-growing subgenres, and Luna will keep up the momentum with new novels by Catherine Asaro and Sarah Zettel in February and March, respectively. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.