… the long-haired woman living in an isolated tower in a German forest? Mercedes Lackey adapts another folktale for her Elemental Masters series* with From a High Tower. Giselle is very different from Rapunzel, however! She lives in the tower with Mother, the Earth Master who raised her from infancy and who is training Giselle in her own Air powers. The man who climbs up to meet Giselle is definitely not a love-struck prince. When Giselle is forced to leave her tower after Mother’s untimely death, she has to rely on her own strength and the surprising friends she makes in an American Wild West show.
As with most of the Elemental Masters books, From a High Tower is a stand-alone story. Rosamund von Schwartzwald appears as a side character, but reading her Blood Red first is definitely not necessary. I generally recommend the entire series, but new readers can start at any point. This book is a fun fantasy adventure story, set in Germany during the 1800s. Unlike most of the series, there is very little romance; instead the focus is on friendships and Giselle learning to be her own person. If you enjoy strong female characters, fantasy with a dose of humor and adventure, and a distinctive setting, give From a High Tower a try.
* Other books in the series include The Serpent’s Shadow, The Gates of Sleep, Phoenix and Ashes, The Wizard of London, Reserved for the Cat, Unnatural Issue, Home from the Sea, Steadfast, Blood Red, Elemental Magic: All New Tales of the Elemental Masters, and Elementary: All New Tales of the Elemental Masters.
Reviewed by Fran (staff)