Review: The Fire Rose

The Fire Rose
The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Fire Rose" (Elemental Masters 1) by Mercedes Lackey, is 1905 newly orphaned and impoverished medieval scholar Rose, invited to San Francisco by an elusive rail baron Fire Master. Jason Cameron seeks to repair a wolf transformation spell stuck half-way. The spirited girl in spectacles has more innate talent than his current treacherous apprentice, secretly aiding an evil competitor. Despite Beauty-Beast base, the realistic pair reason out likely lonely endings. Even the Arabian stallion and Salamander servants are appealingly developed characters; bad guys are slimy sadists.
Historical facts such as grimy railcar floors and bloomers, geographical phenomena such her first sight of the Pacific Ocean and prairie thunderstorm vista come alive through her eyes. I couldn't find proof that Queen for nine days, Lady Jane Grey, was any more educated at nine years than other female nobles of the time, like her sisters Mary and Elizabeth I, certainly more than in other eras.
In Ch1 Rose feels "resignation ... stepping into the unknown". Instead of waking with "anticipation ... her only hope was that the new day would not be worse than the old ... she had an answer, in a small bottle" of poison. Jason's job revives her hope. "What you cannot anticipate, you cannot dread."
From his arrogance over superior intellect, talent, and resources, she learns daring. "A great deal could be gained simply by assuming that one would not be refused, and going ahead and pursuing what one wanted. Audacity often brought rewards; self-abasement seldom did."
(I have to create and move "Hot" to "x"-rated, because of cannibals, kiddie torture-murders, and throat-rip.)

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