In 1910, in an alternate London, a penniless young dancer is visited by a cat who communicates with her mind to mind. Though she is certain she must be going mad, she is desperate enough to follow the cat's advice and impersonates a famous Russian ballerina. The cat, it turns out, is actually an Elemental Earth Spirit, and leads her to minor stardom.
Meanwhile, the real Russian ballerina has fallen victim to an evil troll who takes over her body and kills her patrons, drinking their life essences in order to strengthen his powers. And soon, the troll focuses his dark attentions on the young dancer.
Mercedes Ritchie Lackey (born 1950) is an American writer of fantasy novels. Many of her novels and trilogies are interlinked and set in the world of Velgarth, mostly in and around the country of Valdemar. Her Valdemar novels form a complex tapestry of interaction between human and non-human protagonists with many different cultures and social mores.
Her other main world is one much like our own, but it includes clandestine populations of elves, mages, vampires, and other mythical beings. The Bedlam's Bard books describe a young man with the power to work magic through music; the SERRAted Edge books are about racecar driving elves; and the Diana Tregarde thrillers center on a Wiccan who combats evil.
She has also ... (more)