“The Silver Bullets of Annie Oakley” by Mercedes Lackey: Fun Historical Twist
An Elemental Masters Novel
The sixteenth novel in the magical alternate history Elemental Masters series follows sharpshooter Annie Oakley as she tours Europe and discovers untapped powers.
Annie Oakley has always suspected there is something “uncanny” about herself, but has never been able to put a name to it. But when Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show goes on tour through Germany, Bill temporarily hires a new sharpshooter to be part of his “World Wide Congress of Rough Riders”: a woman named Giselle, who also happens to be an Elemental Master of Air. Alongside this new performer, Annie discovers that she and her husband, Frank, are not simply master marksman, but also magicians of rare ability.
As they travel and perform, Annie must use her newfound knowledge and rare skill to combat creatures of the night scattered across the countryside, who threaten both the performers and the locals. Annie’s got her gun, and it’s filled with silver bullets.
One of things I’ve always admired about Mercedes Lackey’s writing is the way that she creates compelling characters and long standing series that keep readers engaged. This novel is no exception. As the sixteenth novel in the Elemental Masters series, Mercedes Lackey keeps finding new twists to keep the series fresh. In this novel, she explores an actual historical figure, Annie Oakley, and finds a way to make her story fit into the magical world of the Elemental Masters.
One of the reasons that Mercedes Lackey has created a compelling story with such a historical figure is that she mixes the truthful and accurate accounting of Annie Oakley with the magic and fiction of her world. Most of the facts surrounding Annie Oakley, her marksmanship, her journey with the show, her husband, and her family, are all true. Where it deviates is in adding the magic to those facts and that we really cannot have known Annie Oakley’s true thoughts. Mercedes Lackey creates such a skillful accounting of the character, though, that it feels accurate and realistic.
The other compelling and fun element to the novel is the way the story weaves together magic and mythical creatures from folklore to create a magic world that is interesting and engaging. While there are slow moments, the action keeps the reader interested in Annie’s world and in the series of the Elemental Masters, illustrating characters outside of England and America. We get a feel for Germany at the time period close to World War I and we also get to see the fiction of how magic works in the area where the novel takes place. It is wonderful mix of fantasy and fact.
If you love historical fantasy, this novel is a fun historical twist on a very real person. It is a story that will keep you reading at all hours. The story develops the world of Mercedes Lackey has created and made me want to read more of this group of characters. I can’t wait for the next novel in the Elemental Masters series.
Please contact Duncan’s Books and More to order this fascinating book
Rating: 5 out of 5 Masters