Fire Rose (Elemental Masters series volume 0) by Mercedes Lackey
Rating: four stars
Rose Hawkins is in a dire situation. Her father died leaving her with debts and family conflicts, she has no other options than to take a job as a governess. What a coincidence, Lord Jason Cameron is looking for one! But as she travels to San Francisco she discovers that her new job is more mysterious than first meets the eyes and her new boss very secretive.
This is the first book in the Elemental series by Mercedes Lackey and can be read as a standalone. I think that the entire series can be read as standalones. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I was disappointed because the Beast in this book lost all his “cruel, violent and beastly” characteristics and only is characterized as such because of his appearance (werewolf) but he is not treating Rose bad or anything. I can’t help but compare it with the original story (not the Disney one, the French version) and to Heart’s Blood by Juliette Marillier.
In fact there are a lot of similarities between Fire Rose and Heart’s Blood, plot wise and character wise and they are drifting apart from the original story…. It’s not a bad thing in itself but it feels like there is a subgenre in Beauty and the Beast retelling were the “Belle” is a scholar and is hired to work for the Beast. This actually softens the “Beast” part and completely ignores the fact that in the original story he kidnapped her…
Enough ranting lol. You all know by now my love for Mercedes Lackey. I do admit it I am a fan and sometimes not really objective on her works. I do admit that some of her books are greatly better than others and this one is in the middle. It is only good.
To be honest I did enjoy it because of the characters they were very deep. Paul du Mond especially he is a hateful character and the author made him so that you hate him right from the beginning.
Although it is not my favorite book from her I still fairly enjoyed it and it is a good change from the Valdemar series.