Title: The Wizard of London
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Edition/Pages: DAW, 2006/384 pages
Short & Sweet Synopsis: Two girls with magical powers are sent to a boarding school in London, where they encounter more challenges than anyone expected.
I have been a Mercedes Lackey fan since the very first book of hers that I ever picked up, when I was probably around 13 years old. I devoured her numerous novels of Valdemar – in fact, they still fill much of my bookshelves today – but never found myself unduly interested in any of her other series. Having been so long finished with the Valdemar series however, and interested in a guaranteed good fantasy read, I decided to go ahead and grab a book off of my shelf that I hadn’t read yet: The Wizard of London. This book was given to me by a friend who was done with it, and knew what a fan I was. However, I hadn’t really had the time or the inclination to read it until recently, when my mother noticed a relatively new Lackey book on the library bookshelf – Unnatural Issue, the most recent novel in the Elemental Masters series – and picked it up for me. I read it, despite my policy of not reading series out of order, and thought it was amazing. I shouldn’t be surpised, coming from one of my all time favorite authors. While I was at it, I figured I may as well read the other book in the series that I had at my fingertips, The Wizard of London.
This book both caught my interest and slighty threw me at the same time, because although it is a part of the same series, set in the same region, in our world, it does not contain the same characters as Unnatural Issue. References are made to the same people, and characters who appear in the latter book are mentioned in the former, but the setting of the book is entirely different.
Two girls, one the daughter of a diplomat raised in Africa, the other a beggar who cannot imagine life outside of the dangerous London streets, simultaneously discover that they have some unusual powers. Sarah, the diplomat’s daughter, is sent by her parents to a boarding school for “gifted” children, while Nan, a child of the streets with no parents to care for her growing talents, finds her way more indirectly. This book follows their adventures – or misadventures, in some cases – in trying to master these gifts.
You will likely never hear me say (or type) any differently with a Mercedes Lackey book, but you should read this. It really is excellent. And hey, if you decide to read them in order (I’m still kind of kicking my OCD self for reading them otherwise), they might be even better! I will read the rest of the series (in order!!) and review ASAP. Until then, as always, happy readings.