Monday, September 24, 2007

The Gates of Sleep

The Gates of Sleep

Mercedes Lackey

Date: 2002-04-01   —   Book

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Fiction, Fantasy

Beauty and the Beast gives way to Sleeping Beauty, and turn-of-the-twentieth-century gives way to an earlier period, the time of Pre-Raphaelite art. My only objection with this book is that Lackey draws more on the Disney version than from older versions of the tale, and hews a little too literally to the "three good fairies" parallel. It doesn't entierly mesh with the story, which is a pity since the characters are enjoyable and might have done better with incrementally different characters.

I do, however, like the evil aunt's depiciton very much. As the owner of a pottery, she deliberately has her glaze artists feted and dressed in such a way as to corrupt their souls at the same time as lead poisoning first makes them beautiful, then destroys them. Lackey does point out, subtly, that not all potteries are run on such principles, where she could have otherwise just left a blanket condemnation of the entire Industrial Revolution.

As with the previous book, Lackey does have the heroine feign a certain amount of stupidity as a means of self defense. It's an interesting commentary on the times that it works so very well.

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