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Posted June 15, 2007
I tried I really tried but I could not finish the book. The book was boring from the start. Whenever I tried finishing the book I fell asleep. Merecdes Lackey has always been an amazing author, especcially with Phoenix and Ashes. I am not sure what happened while writing this book but I hope it does not happen againWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2002
The Gates of Sleep
This is the third book in Ms. Lackey's series of retelling fairy tales with sensible, modern women who happen to be Elemental Magicians. In this 'Sleeping Beauty' adaptation, Marina Roeswood has a curse put on her in infancy and is sent away to live with three Elemental Masters, the closest friends of her parents. She grows up, as all of Ms. Lackey's female heroes do, a liberated, educated woman of the early 1900's, this time in the English countryside. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes and Marina is taken away to live with that same aunt who put the curse on her in the first place. The Fire Rose had too much plot and not enough story--The Serpent's Shadow had too much story and not enough plot. The Gates of Sleep finally strikes a balance between the two and the result is horrible. The writing is repetitive, the sentences never end. There's none of the fun love story that we got in Serpent's Shadow or even in Fire Rose--instead, Marina realizes about five pages from the end that 'she must have fallen in love with him without realizing it.' The plot itself is predictable and populated with shallow characters. Marina herself, supposedly the embodiment of a well-educated and liberal woman, goes contrary to many things that Ms. Lackey has spent several books establishing. And speaking of contradictions, the errors here are blinding. It's as though Ms. Lackey, as she has gotten more and more involved in her 'real-world' doings with Magic (formerly spelled Magick, a contrivance now abandoned), has made up new rules that fly in the face of the old ones. It's as though Ms. Lackey made no effort to keep track of things she wrote in earlier novels before writing this one. For example, in Fire Rose Jason Cameron makes a big deal about the fact that Masters of the same Element have difficultly living together. Rose wonders, at the end, if, now that she is an Air Master she will have problems with the local Earth Master because their Elements are opposites. In Gates of Sleep, all four Elements live in harmony. The only difficulty one has with 'antagonistic' Elements seems to be in sending messages. Another example--in Serpent's Shaodw, Peter's first lesson to Maya is instruction in layering sheilds, each using their respective element. In Gates of Sleep, we are told that Masters of one Element cannot instruct mages of another Element in the construction and layering of shields. Ms. Lackey, I am a long time fan of your work, but I really wish that you would pay attention to these things! It steals a lot of my enjoyment from what should be pure, unvarnished fantasy. If one insists on placing all the characters in the same world, all the characters should adhere to the rules of that world and not make them up as they go along. Have a little more fun with the characters--I loved the references to previous books, such as the presence of the Circle of Masters in London and Lady Almsley's helping Andrew Pike with his sanitorium. The only thing more fun would have been for Dr. Maya and Peter Scott to show up while Marina was in London! I give it 2 stars simply because I am a long-time fan. Loyalty has to count for something.
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