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The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey

Review by Liara

Unlike most of Lackey's books, this one is a stand-alone.

The World
Turn-of-the-century London, with many Indian influences and magic. The magic is divided into the standard Earth, Water, Air, and Fire, and people with talents specialize in one of these.

The Characters
The main character is Dr. Maya Witherspoon, daughter of a British doctor and an Indian priestess/magician. I liked her, but occasionally she became more of a cause (women's rights, or equal treatment for Indians) than a character. The other characters were also a bit formulaic, especially the villain, but they were interesting enough. Also, as in almost all of Lackey's stuff, there are intelligent animals.

The Plot
The plot was better than the characters or the setting. It mixed Maya's medical practice and magical education with a threat from dark magic and a love story. The love story was trite, but the rest of it was pretty good. It moved quickly and kept me interested. I especially liked seeing the magic used.

The Grade
All in all, it was not a terribly original or deep book. But for all the complaints I listed, I still enjoyed it. There's something about Lackey's style that makes up for her predictability and keeps her books fun. 3.5 out of 5 amulets.

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