Book Review: Mercedes Lackey’s “A Tangled Web”

Posted February 10, 2015 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 “A Tangled Web”

A Tangled Web


Mercedes Lackey

It is part of the Five Hundred Kingdoms #5.5 series and is a fantasy that was published by Harlequin Luna on October 1, 2012 and has 91 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

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, Home From the Sea, 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, 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

A short story, 5.5 in the Five Kingdoms fantasy series, revolving around two couples: Hades and Persephone and Leopold and Brunnhilde.

This is also found in the anthology, Harvest Moon.

My Take

This is too much fun and combines the myth of Demeter, Persephone, and Hades to explain the seasons with Brunnhilde and Leopold into Lackey’s fairytale of Tradition. And we discover that the gods had meant to be like the Godmothers we’ve read in other Five Hundred Kingdoms’ tales.

I did enjoy the debate that Brunnhilde and Leopold are having about gods. It’s a different twist on the origins of the Titans and gods and makes as much sense as any other. More sense in some ways. It also neatly ties in with the concept of Tradition that runs through this series.

Aw, Persephone is such a compassionate woman in her pity for the penniless dead. She’ll make a good consort for the sober and understanding Hades.

The Story

Her mother has tangled up all her plans. Today was the day Hades was “kidnapping” her. Oh, would she never get away from her mother!

Meanwhile Brunnhilde is anxious to find a way to make her mortal husband immortal, and these Greek gods seem to have a few ways to do that.

The Characters

Persephone (her childhood nickname is Kore) is the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of fertility and marriage vows who also knows how to give immortality.

Hades, the god of the dead, is pretending to be Eubeleus, a simple shepherd. Thanatos is the not-too-bright god of death who collects the dead. Charon ferries the dead over the River Acheron. Minos is one of three judges of the dead. Rhadamanthus, the son of a Titan, is the ruler of Elysium.

Leopold, the People’s Prince, and Brunnhilde, a Valkyria and battle-goddess, are man and wife, arguing over whether it’s best to be a Godmother or a god. Erda is her mother; Wotan/Odin is her father. Siegfried is her nephew (a Firebird is his constant companion) who has just married Rosa, the Queen of Eltaria. Drachen is Leo’s horse, one of a pair of Valkyria mounts given the bridal pair by Brunnhilde’s sisters. Gina is a Dragon Champion. Fricka is Wotan’s wife.

The Greek gods are…
…half-fae, half-human whom humans believed into their roles. Zeus is the king of the gods. Hecate, a goddess of justice, is one of the Titans who took their side. Helios is the sun god. Hermes is a prankster and god of merchants. Apollo; Aphrodite falls genuinely in love, often; Athena; Poseidon is the god of the sea and Persephone’s father; Ares; Bacchus is the god of wine; Artemis and Pan are in charge of wild animals; Crius is in charge of domestic animals; Hera is Zeus’ wife and truly loves him; and, Hephaestus is married to Aphrodite and adores her even as he hates her little affairs.

Kronos, the king of the Titans, and his fellow Titans are in Tartarus.

Celeus is Callithoe‘s father and Meitaneira her mother with a new babe, Demophoon. The other three girls at the spring are Callidcie, Cleisidice, and Demo.

Godmothers Elena and Lily are mentioned.

The Cover and Title

The cover is the beautiful, blonde Persephone with pearls twisted in her dangling curls, a white gown and diamonds around her neck standing within a cave in the Underworld as she looks back to an opening from which moonlight pours.

The title is a combination of metaphor and situation, for Demeter’s daughter weaves “A Tangled Web” of anger with her overprotective mother into a complicated kidnapping plot.