Of the four Five Hundred Kingdoms
books out, this is far and away my favorite one. It has wonderful characters, an exciting set of stories, and most notably, beautiful settings.
I don't know if it was Mercedes Lackey's vivid descriptions or my own personal hangups from a childhood spent watching The Little Mermaid
every week, but I was instantly enchanted by the underwater kingdom the heroine of this story is from. I loved the idea of it and of the way things were run there, as well as the execution.
If that wasn't enough to draw me hook line and sinker, in came the Japanese legends, Russian fairy tales, and the Arabian myths. All of them were done so well and were written with very distinct atmosphere. I did think for a moment that Mercedes Lackey was reaching a bit for to cram as many fairy tales into one story to make it a success, but it all worked beautifully, and I declared myself utterly reeled in.