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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of her acclaimed fairy-tale-inspired novel, The Serpent's Shadow, best-selling author Mercedes Lackey re-imagines Sleeping Beauty-as a dark and enchanting Edwardian fantasy. Marina is the cherished daughter of the wealthy Roeswood family, practioners of Elemental Magic. But evil portents have warned her parents that Marina will be killed before her 18th birthday-by the hand of her own aunt.
©2003 Mercedes Lackey (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    184
  • 4 Stars
    144
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

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    170
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    107
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    27
  • 2 Stars
    3
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    9

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    110
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    32
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    9
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kaylon
  • Cust, New Zealand
  • 11-11-12

Fantastic and compelling!

What did you love best about The Gates of Sleep?

The narrator was amazing, really made all the characters come to life. The voice for Madame was perfect! Exactly how I imagined it would be when I read the book. And Marina is a great character, very realistic with her love of the fine clothing and dreams of "society".

What did you like best about this story?

I love a good Fairy Tale parody! Sleeping Beauty didn't let me down.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely! As it was, I drove slower than usual since I only let myself listen to it in the car .

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 03-13-14

Enjoyable, light yet with character

As with this entire series, this book plays with a folktale. Part of the fun is to see how the author unfolds the predictable parts in a unique or clever way. Easy to listen to, good for a younger audience if you share your books with family and want to steer away from hot romance and vivid violence.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

WHAT KIND OF GOWNS DID SHE BRING?

IT WASN'T HER BUSINESS WHY ELIZABETH WOULD NOT MARRY HIM.
Your may be wondering why a He-Man like me would read this. The truth is I read the first book in this series and liked it. I have read some of Lackey's stand alone novels and liked them, such as Take a Thief and Brightly Burning. I also enjoyed Owl Flight. This had a good start in Chapter One, with this mean spirited witch putting a death curse on baby Mirana. In the next chapter Mirana is talking to water sprites and seeing the magical world, others can not see and I am still with it. Then we get into teenage angst and talking about hats, gowns and corsets.

This was obviously written for the female audience and I am sure many women will love this. I on the other hand am not interested in gowns, hats, corsets and teenage angst.

14 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • SLIDELL, LA, United States
  • 02-06-13

Enjoyable Read/Listen

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was easy to listen to while driving or doing other things. A break in the listening did not dampen the books story.

Any additional comments?

Enjoyable.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

love it!

I love the elemental masters series and how they have elements of fairy tales. I love to listen to them as I drive, clean, and they help me relax to sleep when I lay down. they are wonderful stories.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring by Comparison

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The book was very well read but now that i'm listening to it i remember why this was a book i didn't own in paperback

What was most disappointing about Mercedes Lackey’s story?

boring, strings along, not as well done and intriguing as the other books in this series

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator spoils the story

Maybe I'm too picky but when a narrator cannot make up his/her mind which way to pronounce a word or name and does it two or more different ways, it does detract from the story. This narrator does it consistently throughout the whole book. I do realize British pronunciations differ from American but this one is ridiculous. Please do it over with a better narrator and redistribute like you did with Nora Roberts' Whiskey Beach a couple of years ago because I'd like to keep the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

excellent!! Mercedes Lackey never disappoints! Her words transform you into a time and place like no other! I having been reading her works for years and not once have i regretted the time spent! Amazed more than a few times but never any regrets!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Better than 1st recording, still needs improvement

The Audible version is better than the cassette recording, at least this reader sounds like a human being instead of a machine. However, she's still not as good as other readers of books in this series. She mispronounces words, mixes up accents and character voices, and for some reason, reads a lot of the loving aunt's lines as if she was the evil aunt (aka, sounds angry or sarcastic).

As for the story, it's better than some of the later books in the series, but not as good as "The Fire Rose" or "The Serpent's Shadow." We start to see what will become her pattern of long chunks of exposition-heavy text with little or no tension. While I enjoyed seeing Mari's childhood, it could have been condensed. A lot of information could have been contained in scenes, instead of long blocks of exposition. The evil aunt needed to be reintroduced earlier to add tension earlier on. I can understand the editing decision to not break the close third-person narrative, but I don't think it worked in this case, especially when we start to split the narrative later, anyway.

All that said, it's an interesting take on the story of Sleeping Beauty, and one of the better books in the Elemental Master's series. Bonus points for the references to Serpent's Shadow characters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great fairytale story!

Great fairytale story, beautifully read! Good vs evil, love vs hate, strong heroine, likable hero. All the elements of a great story.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Loki
  • 03-21-10

A delightful fantasy

This kept me happily amused, as the arts and crafts background is fun, the Sleeping Beauty parallels don't make the plot too obvious and the narrators voice is plesant and well paced.
There were a lot of 'retakes' left in, so that you heard the sentance read incorrectly, then a pause followed by the corrected version. There were also a lot of words pronounced in a non-standard way- 'sere' as 'sir', 'mulish'as 'mullish', as if no-one had bothered to check the recording before they published it.
This was odd, but didn't really stop me enjoying the suspense or the romance and I'll probably buy the rest of this series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa Cooper
  • 08-08-16

What was wrong?

I tried very hard with this book, but it fell short of the the previous book for me. I wonder if it was the book or myself? But I would recommend that all the reviews are read and the preview listened to several times. I will keep an open mind with the next in the series, but will take my own advice and listen to the preview a couple of times before I take any action.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony
  • 06-24-16

Excellent presentation.

Really enjoyed listening to this. I'd highly recommend it. The reader is very skilled and the production work is excellent, and the story is wonderfully retold as only Mercedes Lackey can. The Elemental Masters series are well worth the read and the Listen.