From A High Tower
DAW, Jun 2 2015, $25.95
In Freiberg, Friedrich Schnittel struggles to feed his eight children and pregnant wife Maria when he finds a plentiful garden. He brings home food, but on his third nocturnal raid, a cold female voice growls at him for stealing from her garden. Instead of her dogs attacking him or prison, the Earth Master allows him to continue to feed his children and spouse in exchange for the soon to be born baby.
Mother raises Giselle in isolation except somewhat for the Black Forest Foresters. Whenever Mother must leave Giselle by herself, she locks her daughter inside a tower allegedly to keep her safe. While Mother is in Fredericksburg, a handsome young man Johann Schmidt arrives at the Tower. She helps him up into the Tower, but when he attacks her, she displays the skills of an Air Master until Mother tosses the rogue out the window. When Mother dies, Giselle dressed as Gunther leaves her only home.
The Eleventh Elemental Masters (see Blood Red and Steadfast) is an engaging version of Rapunzel. Readers will appreciate the heroine’s hairy misadventures, but lacks tension as Giselle’s key adversary makes extremely limited appearances.