Book Review: Mercedes Lackey’s Home From the Sea

Posted July 14, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Mercedes Lackey’s Home From the Sea

Home From the Sea


Mercedes Lackey

It is part of the Elemental Masters #8 series and is a urban fantasy that was published by Penguin on June 5, 2012 and has 311 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books in this series include Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Unnatural Issue, "The River's Gift", Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar, Foundation, Intrigues, Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit, Owlknight, Charmed Destinies, Changes, Beauty and the Werewolf, Invasion, Dead Reckoning, Conspiracies, Bedlam's Edge, Crown of Vengeance, Redoubt, Harvest Moon, World Divided, Elemental Magic: All New Tales of the Elemental Masters, Sacrifices, Steadfast, Burdens of the Dead, Bastion, Victories, Blood Red, The House of the Four Winds, Games Creatures Play, Closer to Home, Born to Run, Wheels of Fire, When the Bough Breaks, Chrome Circle, Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Arcanum 101, A Tangled Web, Winter Moon, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters, No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, From a High Tower, Hunter, Closer to the Heart, Silence, A Study in Sable, Elite, Closer to the Chest, Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar, A Scandal in Battersea

Eighth in the Elemental Masters fantasy series about a society of magic users in England. The focus in this story is on Mari Prothers and continues Sarah and Nan’s story from Wizard of London.

My Take

Too funny! Sitt Hakim, a.k.a., Amelia Peabody, from Elizabeth Peters’ series of the same name, makes an appearance, umbrella in hand, to help the girls’ on the Egyptian leg of their journey.

Snicker, I do love how the villagers retaliate on the constable’s bullying ways!

Very clever design for the birds’ traveling cages.

Lackey beautifully captures the culture and manners of the time from high to low. Her description of the Welsh countryside and their celebration of Christmas and the New Year was quite intriguing. A little research is in order as I just have to know more about Mari Lwyd! I’m also curious about the laver bread.

She has created an incredibly homey story with cozy characters. Her creation of the two Jane Bonds working undercover was quite entertaining!

The Story

It’s a good life for Mari Prothers and her da, Daffyd. A well-built cottage with its own luxuries. Independence. Solitude from the town. Daffyd is a very skilled fisherman, able to sail out in any weather and return with a catch. True, she lost her mother to drowning when she was little, but she knows her da loves her.

At least until her eighteenth birthday when the truth of the bargain spills out. Seems there is more to the Prothers luck than she knew. It makes sense of some things. The creatures she could see. It angers Mari more than anything else. Then Clogwyn acquires a constable. It’s all the fault of the mine owners’ fears of strikes. They’re nervous and see conspiracy everywhere. A mindset Constable Ewynnog thoroughly enjoys.

Sarah and Nan have just returned with their birds from a trip to Africa visiting Sarah’s missionary parents. Only now what to do with the girls! They simply aren’t suited for the natural occupations for gently born ladies, the moment for which Lord Alderscroft has been waiting. It seems that a new Elemental Master has appeared in Wales and it is imperative that the Lodge ensure that he is being properly taught and a determination made as to whether he is good or evil.

The Characters

The daughter of a Welsh fisherman, Mari Prothers discovers she is a Water Elemental which explains why she has been able to see the little people all her life! Daffyd Prothers is her father and he has been postponing his explanation of the Prothers Bargain for too long. It certainly explains his uncanny luck as a fisherman.

Miss Nan is a cross between a psychic and a magician as well as able to channel a Celtic warrior with many magical weapons including her raven, Neville. Miss Sarah is a medium and has her African gray parrot, Grey. Both girls are proponents of Rational Dress. Robin Goodfellow has come to the girls’ aid in the past and he appreciates their manners and reserve.

The inhabitants of Clogwyn include
Mrs. Awbrey has a milk-and-egg stall; Braith Wyn is the village beauty; and, Andres Bythell is the village postmaster. Squire Gower and his lady are pleased to let Violet Cottage to Nan and Sarah. And less than pleased by Constable Ewynnog‘s demands, a bully desperate to find wrong.

The Selch (selkies) expect the bargain to be honored and they’ll slash and ram to push home their point. It’s the Tylwyth Teg who give Mari her opening and Gethen, the chief of Selch Seren y Gogledd (a real jerk) hates that he must agree. Her suitors include Trefor the merry one, Scarl is polite, Rhodri is perfect (but fancies Nan), Mabon is shy, and Idwal Drever is her teacher. A good one who prefers to invite rather than summon with honesty preferred.

Lord Alderscroft, a.k.a., the Wizard of London (see Wizard of London), is a Member of the House of Lords, a confidant of the Prime Minister, and the Master of the White Lodge. Isabella Harton, a.k.a., Memsa’b, runs the Harton School for Expatriate Children (it’s for psychically gifted children as well). Sahib is, I think, Mr. Harton. Andrew Talbot is an Earth Adept and poses as Nan and Sarah’s brother so he may escort them to Wales.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a gorgeous underwater scene in blue-greens with seaweed, dolphins, and mermaids framing a rectangular, purple framed inset of Mari in her plaid shawl over her black fitted jacket and matching plaid apron over her striped skirt. A paddle in one hand and a lizardy sort of fish in the other, her coracle is lashed by the sea—check out the Celtic carving on the boat! More Tylwyth Teg are splashing up at the boat and Mari.

The title is in a soft metallic mint and reflects where Mari and Idwal are, Home From the Sea.