Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Serpent's Shadow (Elemental Masters #2), by Mercedes Lackey (author), Michelle Ford (narrator)

Audible Frontiers, October 2009

Maya Witherspoon is the daughter of a British military officer and physician, and a Brahmin woman of a high-ranking family. Raised in the British Raj, educated as a physician by her father and then at the University of Delhi, she is nevertheless adrift when her parents both die, not far apart, in natural-seeming yet unlikely circumstances. She packs up her possessions, the Indian servants who are like family to her, and her mother's pets, and leaves India for London.

1909 London is not an easy world for a half-caste female physician, but it's better than being alone in India confronting an unknown enemy, and Maya creates a niche for herself. She sells her jewelry to buy and renovate a house to be her home and her medical office for receiving private clients, manages to be approved to practice at St.Mary's Hospital, and donates her time to a charity clinic in the Fleet. Her self-protecting magics do eventually attract the attention of the White Lodge, but they quickly decide she is not a threat and can be left in peace.

Then bodies start turning up. Bodies that have been squeezed and crushed to death. And they're all men who served with the British Army in India.

There are attempts to crack Maya's defenses on her home. One of her mother's "pets," an eagle owl, finds a nefarious watcher and attacks and drives him off. A medical school failure, nephew of the head of the hospital where Maya works, makes himself her personal nemesis.

As danger closes in and her real enemy gets closer and closer, Maya and her friends, including water master and former sea captain Peter Scott, gather their resources to fight and defeat the looming darkness over London.

This is a good, light read, a rather free adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and includes an entertaining Peter Wimsey knockoff, another water master who's a friend of Peter Scott.

Good summer reading.

I borrowed this book from  a friend.