“From a High Tower” by Mercedes Lackey is an inventive mélange of fantasy and reality, in keeping with the other stories in this series. I love this homage to the Wild West touring shows, with a nod to a writer popular in Germany and his concept of the American West, combined with a reimagining of the Rapunzel fairy tale, given a magical twist.
This is a fun chance to see the challenges and benefits of a travelling show, with glimpses of the gypsy lifestyle and oblique looks at how magic could be used in unusual ways to entertain and astound.
I wish there was a little more of the story dedicated to the wonderful powers and amazing beings (both native and ‘imported’ with the members of the caravan), but I was delighted by the few glimpses of beings such as the troll and the denizens of air and fire that are sprinkled throughout the story.
There are dark undertones, which evoke the spirit of traditional fairy tales, but the ultimate triumph and unexpected twists that affect the destinies of those in the show provide another satisfying conclusion to this installment in the beloved series.
This addition to the fantasy ‘Elemental Master’ series follows the adventures of Giselle, whose inauspicious beginnings are transformed by the care of an Earth Master, but who has to grow up far too soon when a stranger shows up at her tower. Her subsequent training stands her in good stead as she hones her physical and magical techniques and eventually aids her in her travels. The guidance and education that she gains while accompanying a touring show will be invaluable, provided she can absorb her lessons quickly enough to be of use when dangers arise.
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.