Flights of Fantasy

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Gates of Sleep – Mercedes Lackey

The Gates of Sleep - Mercedes LackeyCategory: Fantasy

This is one in a series of books by this author, which are her retellings of classic fairy tales. This one is based on the story of Sleeping Beauty. Each book is disconnected from the others, only the settings are similar, so it does not really matter which one you read first.

The world which these books are set is Victorian, but with the addition of Elemental Mages. These people have an affinity with a single element, fire, earth, air or water, and can use their element, and the spirits of that element, to perform magic.

Marina is the daughter of two Elemental Masters of Earth. She herself has an affinity with water, however she is but a baby and it is her christening night. This is the time when other masters gather to bestow gifts on the infant. Unlike normal christening gifts, these are of a magic nature. All is going well until Marina’s aunt appears uninvited and proceeds to throw a spanner in the works.

Growing up in the country in the care of her aunt and two uncles, not true relatives but friends of her parents, Marina does not know why her parents placed her in their keeping when she was a baby. She has regular letters from her mother and she adores the people who raised her and the bohemian artists life they lead. As she gets older, she receives elemental training. Life is good. Until one day her real aunt comes back into her life and changes it forever.

Anyone familiar with Sleeping Beauty will recognise the underlying story, but it has been rewritten beautifully. The main character is far stronger than the traditional fairytale ladies, while at the same time being everything else that she is supposed to be.

It takes a very good and brave author to tackle this kind of novel where the story is so well known and loved. Mercedes Lackey is one of the few authors I believe who is suited to the task and she has done a wonderful job.

Rating: 8/10

The series:
The Gates of Sleep
The Fire Rose
The Serpent’s Shadow
The Black Swan

The Fire Rose - Mercedes LackeyThe Serpent's Shadow - Mercedes LackeyThe Black Swan - Mercedes Lackey


Post a Comment

<< Home