How To Be A Fairy Godmother
I just finished reading The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey. This book is not only a winner, but it rang very close to home. I must tell you, dear reader, that I, in the world of fairy, have long been apprenticed to a 2,000 year old retired fairy godmother. I know something of this business. Now that we have read Harry Potter, and about the wizard’s school he attended, I suppose it must not come as a total surprise that would be godmothers are subjected to some sort of training as well. I have never heard of a school for godmothers, but there’s an idea. Some details of such training are described in this interesting book, but none, thank goodness, that would be dangerous in the hands of a bad fairy. It is true that wizards and fairy godmothers are not made overnight. Study and practice are required of course, as for any skill or profession.
I was most interested that the heroine of the book, Elena, is a human. I have never witnessed such a transformation, and am not sure that it is really possible for a human to become a fairy or, for that matter, for a fairy to become a human, but the author has made a rather convincing tale of it.
I was happy to read that Bella, the elder godmother in the story, like my mentor, Queen Celestine, has a library. A good library is essential to a fairy godmother. Queen Celestine’s covers one entire wall of her bedroom. (This was because of her being bedridden in her later years).
Elena’s character is straight out of the Cinderella tale, complete with evil stepmother and daughters. You know the story. But this time, along with the rescue by her fairy godmother, Bella, Elena is taken on by her as an apprentice. Besides learning the standard spells, rituals, and behaviors, Elena is treated to recaps of numerous classic fairytales. If it had ended there, we would have surely put the book down, for there is nothing new for us in that. We were pleasantly surprised and charmed, however, as the unfurling of the plot centered on the tale of the three princes on a quest to win a princess. This just happens to be one of my favorites, so instead of putting the book down, I read on.
Octavius, Alexander, and Julian, the three princes in the story, set out to pass a number of trials. Elena acts as a kind of director/producer. For various reasons, Octavius and Alexander fail the tests (for reasons you’ll find out if you read the book), and Julian wins the princess. Meanwhile, in an effort to make Alexander into a better person, Elena changes him into a donkey. This is my favorite part. The transformation of this idiot prince from human to donkey, donkey to human, is great. Alexander turns out a better person in the end but, beyond that, I’m not telling. You will have to read the book and find out for yourself.