The Gates of Sleep by Mercedes Lackey
Elemental Masters Book 2
Daw Books, 2002
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