The Fairy Godmother (novel)

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The Fairy Godmother
Author Mercedes Lackey
Country United States
Language English
Series Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms
Genre Fantasy
Publisher LUNA Books (Harlequin Enterprises)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 496 pp
ISBN 0-373-80245-5
OCLC 56826853
Followed by One Good Knight

The Fairy Godmother is a novel by Mercedes Lackey, published in 2004 and the first book of the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series.

Plot summary[edit]

It is about a young woman named Elena, the daughter of a wealthy gentleman, after the death of her mother, her father married a devious social climber with two daughters of her own. Not long after the marriage, Elena's father dies and her stepmother relegates her into the position of a house servant, she seems to be the perfect Cinderella candidate, except the prince of the land is many years younger than she - he is eleven. Also, she is 21, when most fairy-tale endings for girls normally happen at 16 or 18. One day, Elena's stepmother and stepsisters plan a temporary excursion out of town, for the purpose of ensnaring a new rich husband so they can pay the numerous debts they owe. Left alone in the house, Elena goes to the hiring fair in hopes of finding work as a servant, at the end of the day, a fairy godmother appears and offers to take Elena on as her apprentice. Elena accepts and moves to the godmother's cottage, where she meets the four brownies that help with household duties.

The latter half of the book deals with Elena's time as a full-fledged godmother and her problems with turning an arrogant prince named Alexander into a decent person.


The Tradition is an imperative magical force that causes events to play out as they do in legends and fairytales, each repetition of the events of a certain story makes the story happen more easily. People who understand the Tradition can use the knowledge to control it, and can even to arrange events to divert the Tradition into another, more agreeable story should the Tradition be trying to make a tragedy, this is rather similar to the Discworld concept of narrative causality.

The Tradition is too powerful to be controlled by any single person. However, in cases where events do not suggest any narrative, those with the ability to use magic can call on the Tradition to link existing factors into a mini-story. For example, when Godmother Elena indicates a need to return to her home quickly, the Tradition summons a giant, who in return asks for a ram which Elena just happens to have in her possession.