Review: The Gates of Sleep

Posted by Derek Chamberlain on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 Under: Book Review

The Gates of Sleep by Mercedes Lackey

Elemental Masters Book 2

Daw Books, 2002

(paperback) ¥927


Comment: ☆☆☆☆


The Gates of Sleep is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, setting it in a Victorian England in which magic, of various forms, exists. The main character is 17 year old Marina Roeswood, an Elemental Mage of Water, who was cursed by her Aunt Arachne while a baby to die before her 18th birthday. The Gates of Sleep tells the tale of how Marina discovers and then deals with that curse, and finds true love along the way.


This is a good story. I enjoyed reading it despite the sometimes predictable plot twists – it is, after all, a re-telling of a classic fairy tale. But in this retelling, Mercedes Lackey has made Marina a much more active participant in her own story, and a much more interesting character because of that. Marina is a young woman fighting for autonomy in a society that does not believe women should be autonomous, let alone young women. The setting, so different from the London of the first Elemental Masters book, was beautifully rendered, with interesting historical facts dropped in to give credibility to the action. A lovely read.


In : Book Review 


Tags: "mercedes lackey" review "elemental masters" 
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Meet the scribbler


I'm a writer, editor, indie publisher, and dedicated Magic Spreadsheet user. Originally from Adelaide, Australia, I've been living in Japan since 1995. I've had a life-long interest in writing and in speculative fiction. My first book was published in mid-2014.
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