This book is sort of a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Marina Roeswood is given several gifts by her godparents at her christening. Before the last gift can be given, however, Arachne, Marina's aunt, appears and curses the child so that she will die on her eighteenth birthday. After she leaves, the last godparent gives a gift that changes the curse somewhat, although it can't be completely removed. Then Marina is taken away from her parents so that she might stay safe. Marina is an Elemental Mage with power over water, and she grows up among family friends with power over Earth and Fire, unaware of the curse and the reason why her parents sent her away so long ago. She can't be hidden from Arachne forever, however. Arachne has always resented that fact that her brother and parents could do magic while she could not, and she doesn't care what price she has to pay to get and keep her own magic. Marina has to discover the truth about her aunt before the curse can be reactivated.
This report prepared by Melissa Cookson
Daw, April 2002, 24.95, 352 pp.
When Marina Rosewood is born, her parent Alanna and Hugh, throw a party They invite many masters of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth to gift the little baby who is going to become a powerful Air Master when she grows up. Before the last gift could be given, Hugh's disgraced sister Arachne arrives and places a magical curse on the child. The last guest mitigates the curse somewhat with her gift.
If the child lives to the age of eighteen, the curse will be returned to its sender. To protect their daughter, John and Alanna send their child away to the home of artists they trust. When Marina is seventeen, her parents die and her aunt takes custody of her. Marina intuitively hides her magic from Arachne because she senses the woman has a hidden agenda. Eventually, the two women face each other in a magical showdown where the winner will barely survive.
This romantic fantasy takes place in the same universe as THE FIRE ROSE and is every bit as magical as that wonderful tale. Mercedes Lackey has the uncanny ability to write adult fairy tales that appeal to the child in all of us. The heroine of this work is a beguiling and bewitching sweetheart who trusts her instincts to keep her from being swayed by those around her. Ms. Lackey has crafted another best seller in THE GATES OF SLEEP.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner