Thursday, February 4, 2010
Gate of Ivrel by C. J. Cherryh
Re-reading this book falls under revisiting my early years of science fiction and fantasy reading. This book hooked me on C. J. Cherryh back when I was 15 years old. So I thought it would be fun to go back and see how it holds up.
The gates were scattered throughout time and space by a vanished alien race. When someone used the gates to travel backwards in time, disaster occurred. The last remaining members of the race takes on a mission to close the gates. It is a one way mission. Morgaine is one of the alien's assigned to close the gates. On her journey to Ivrel, she teams up with a native named Vayne. Everywhere they go, disaster follows. In spite of everything, Vayne is committed to following Morgaine.
I enjoy a good science fantasy story. Writers like Andre Norton, C. L. Moore, Leigh Brackett, Roger Zelazny, and Mark Geston (with the ultimate war between science and magic-Siege of Wonder) have given me many hours of reading pleasure. At the time, I was captivated by this book. Now it is a different experience.
This is, I believe, Cherryh's first book and it shows. The language is very convoluted. It is a struggle to read the sentences in this story. I believe this sold on the strength of the story. The idea is interesting. I can see where Cherryh showed signs of promise based on her ideas. Unfortunately her sentence building was not equal to her ideas.
The other thing I did not remember was the overwhelming sense of depression. This is a dark story. Maybe the later books influenced my memories of this one, but I did not remember this being such a bleak book.
I would pass on this one unless you are a devote Cherryh fan.