After Freidrich is caught by Annaliese stealing vegetables from her garden to feed his starving children and pregnant wife, she makes a bargain with him. He and his family will be able to eat their fill from her garden, and she will take his unborn child. Giselle grows up in an isolated tower, but with company from the Bruderschaft and her mother, learning about the uses of her magic. After Annaliese dies, and Giselle is left to make her own way. She takes the guise of a young man, and travels the festivals earning prizes for her marksmanship. At one festival she catches the eye of the local recruiter, who gets violent whilst trying to conscript her into the army, and Giselle’s Sylph’s accidentally kills him, she goes on the run. She comes across a Wild West show, where Captain Cody, the ringleader, and Leading Fox, the Native American’s medicine man also have magic. Will she evade the law, and make a home for herself?
I really like From a High Tower, as it has Mercedes Lackey’s usual mix of action, fantasy and hints of romance. It is a bit slow paced, with the villain only being known about in the last third of the book.
Giselle is a very predictable character, and I found her character to be a bit boring. This however, was offset by Captain Cody, who is a womaniser and a bit of a cad, whilst wanting to do the best for his troop, and being a genuinely good hearted person.
I will definitely be reading the next book in this series, and I like what Mercedes Lackey is doing with regards to the romance in her books, it is not as obvious, and a bit more realistic. I would recommend From a High Tower to fans of Mercedes Lackey, and those who like re-imagined fairy tales.