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Sword-and-sorcery meets hard sci-fi in C.J. Cherryh's epic story of a woman's mission across time and space to preserve the integrity of the universe. Sword-and-sorcery meets hard sci-fi in C.J. Cherryh's epic story of a woman's mission across time and space to preserve the integrity of the universe.


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Sword-and-sorcery meets hard sci-fi in C.J. Cherryh's epic story of a woman's mission across time and space to preserve the integrity of the universe. Sword-and-sorcery meets hard sci-fi in C.J. Cherryh's epic story of a woman's mission across time and space to preserve the integrity of the universe.

30 review for The Morgaine Saga

  1. 5 out of 5

    Campbell Mcaulay

    The Chronicles of Morgaine is one of the tattiest, most worn out and dogeared books on my shelf - I own a 1986 edition of this and it has survived about six house moves, numerous car-boot-sale culls and a protracted period in a cardboard box in a loft during the 1990's - and it is probably the most read of my books. Maybe not every year or even two years, but in the last 15 or so years it has done faithful service. I really love the story - Chronicles (a collection of three books) and the sequel The Chronicles of Morgaine is one of the tattiest, most worn out and dogeared books on my shelf - I own a 1986 edition of this and it has survived about six house moves, numerous car-boot-sale culls and a protracted period in a cardboard box in a loft during the 1990's - and it is probably the most read of my books. Maybe not every year or even two years, but in the last 15 or so years it has done faithful service. I really love the story - Chronicles (a collection of three books) and the sequel Exile's Gate. You might be forgiven for thinking this is a bit of a sword & sandal Conan & Sonja saga - nothing like it! It owes far more, I suspect, to Arthurian legend than anything and there isn't a bulging loincloth to be found. What more to be said? the plot is long and linear, based as it is around an ill-fated quest; there are battles and travails aplenty, but none of that really matters. Once you "get it" you realise that the *real* story is about the developing relationship, uneasy at first, between the two protagonists; the fey, unpredictable and beautiful Morgaine and her faithful warrior servant, young, persistent and flawed Vanye. To say much more would spoil it, but the development of these two characters and how they interact is what makes this story what it is. Until you realise that you may find that it drags somewhat because there's a lot more "jaw jaw" than "war war". After a couple of abortive first attempts, I fell in love with the story and (as a greying 40 something I blush to admit...) with Morgaine. I only wish Cherryh had written a few more of these.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Philippa

    This was the book I read that made me want to become a writer. Even after all these years since reading it, I can remember it so very, very well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I confess this is the 500,000,000 time I have read this book. Its like catching up with old friends. Last month I was rearranging my book shelf and discovered my copy (like the one pictured) was gone. I immediately called the usual suspect. My mother. She claims she did not take, does not have it etc. Nonetheless it was not there nor did it return. I panicked. I mean, Morgaine and Vanye are very dear to me. When I was 15 I wanted to be her. Tall, wear cool armor, have long silver hair and grey e I confess this is the 500,000,000 time I have read this book. Its like catching up with old friends. Last month I was rearranging my book shelf and discovered my copy (like the one pictured) was gone. I immediately called the usual suspect. My mother. She claims she did not take, does not have it etc. Nonetheless it was not there nor did it return. I panicked. I mean, Morgaine and Vanye are very dear to me. When I was 15 I wanted to be her. Tall, wear cool armor, have long silver hair and grey eyes. She also has a really awesome horse. Thank the qual for technology and I was able to procure another copy. I literally lost sleep. Each time I have read this book, I discover more. The story (for me) becomes deeper. Frankly when I was 15 the whole space/time thing went over my head. I get it now. But this/these books have not lost there affect on me. Here I am 44. I still want to be tall, wear cool armor, have long silver hair and grey eyes. And don't forget the horse. I will read this again. And again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    The Morgaine books are some of my favorites. The concept & plot are interesting. The characters are interesting and well portrayed. I love the way Cherryh puts the reader into the thinking of a main character and selected few others. It gives the characters depth and allows her to give the story a slant in perspective that makes the story more interesting. Using Vanye, Morgaine's companion, as the perspective for much of these books allows her to give the story first-hand perspective, without lo The Morgaine books are some of my favorites. The concept & plot are interesting. The characters are interesting and well portrayed. I love the way Cherryh puts the reader into the thinking of a main character and selected few others. It gives the characters depth and allows her to give the story a slant in perspective that makes the story more interesting. Using Vanye, Morgaine's companion, as the perspective for much of these books allows her to give the story first-hand perspective, without losing the mystery that enshrouds Morgaine. Some of the alternate perspectives help the reader relate to the aliens (Qhal) in these books. That aspect of her writing--putting the reader into the thoughts of characters--is particularly well executed in this series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristian

    Wow! How did I not read this sooner? This book (actually, a trilogy) has the gritty, gloomy atmosphere of G.R.R. Martin, and a gentle humanity of J.R.R. Tolkien, combined with an epic awesomeness of its own. Cherryh has written a superb, masterful tale, totally gripping and completely unforgettable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I have read this book several times since the 80s and each time it takes me away into the worlds of the universe. Each time I feel enveloped into the vastness! One particular stop in their travels is a world that is slowly drowning. Her description is so vivid that it haunts me like one of those dreams you can't shake. Outstanding. I have read this book several times since the 80s and each time it takes me away into the worlds of the universe. Each time I feel enveloped into the vastness! One particular stop in their travels is a world that is slowly drowning. Her description is so vivid that it haunts me like one of those dreams you can't shake. Outstanding.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    I absolutely adore this series. It pretty much got me hooked on the fantasy genre, and on C.J. Cherryh in particular. The Morgaine character is truly iconic - I don't recall any other book at the time with such a strong female lead. I absolutely adore this series. It pretty much got me hooked on the fantasy genre, and on C.J. Cherryh in particular. The Morgaine character is truly iconic - I don't recall any other book at the time with such a strong female lead.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan Mazur Stommen

    I liked one comment about this book I read somewhere, 'the slowest love story ever.' I liked one comment about this book I read somewhere, 'the slowest love story ever.'

  9. 4 out of 5

    A.B. Gayle

    Wow, just wow. Stargate meets Lord of the Rings. Cherryh loves writing strong women characters, but often the effect of this is lost as we experience the story through their eyes. Their concerns are interesting, but the stories lose some of the impact as they are often better told through the eyes of the person most vulnerable to that strong character. The beta watching the alpha. In this case, we have a beta male viewpoint, Vanye. Alpha's main concerns are threats against their goals. This can som Wow, just wow. Stargate meets Lord of the Rings. Cherryh loves writing strong women characters, but often the effect of this is lost as we experience the story through their eyes. Their concerns are interesting, but the stories lose some of the impact as they are often better told through the eyes of the person most vulnerable to that strong character. The beta watching the alpha. In this case, we have a beta male viewpoint, Vanye. Alpha's main concerns are threats against their goals. This can sometimes seem a bit manufactured (as in the Chanur series) where most of the conflict is in what might happen, or what Pyanfar thinks could happen rather than here where the conflict is more in the nature of who and what Morgaine is, as seen through Vanye's eyes. It doesn't hurt that Cherryh has created such a wonderful secondary character in Rho. His relationship to Vanye, Vanye's inherent goodness and honesty and the twist of Rho's inner fight to remain true to himself keeps the conflict churning along nicely right to the end. Most stories are stronger when the conflict stems from who they are as well as where they are and what they are doing. There is definitely a "Lord of the Rings" feel to the trilogy, but the trouble is that classic drew on so many themes that going anywhere near arrows, swords, long lives, items of power can't help but echo some of them. The inherent premise is good though. The description in the second book of a world inundated by water and threatened by earthquakes was fantastic. I could almost feel moisture dripping off the page. Lucky I was reading it on an ereader and not paper. But further to the POV comment. A few reviewers describe Vanye as weak. Which I see dfferent from a Beta character. On CJ's website, is a discussion in which a person made this comment:Another very important thing to remember about Cherryh books is that you have to be very careful about describing someone as weak or strong. Vanye is often described as a weak man, dominated by a the strong female Morgaine. But I think a lot of that is because you get to hear his inner angst, and only see her actions. If the roles were reversed so that Morgaine was the viewpoint character, we would probably get a lot more of her angst (and based on some of the conversations that she and Vanye have, I am sure that she has a lot of it), while Vanye would appear as a quiet, capable, decisive man based on his actions. I have, in the past, actually taken a scene from the book and edited out all of Vanye’s internal monolog to show just how different he seems when all you consider are his actions. It was interesting to see how much of a difference that makes to the impression you get of him!Here's the link: http://www.cherryh.com/WaveWithoutASh... (Reminscent of what I did with a huge chunk of Special Forces! http://www.abgayle.com/editing-specia...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    THE MORGAINE SAGA is one of the finest and wondrously crafted series in fantasy history. The fact that makes this series stand out is the strong female character of Morgaine. She is quite likely the most believable and well developed female fantasy character I have ever read about. She is not the helpless victim in need of a leading man to rescue her. She is quite the reverse actually. She often rescues her male counterpart when he is in dire need. However, he is never made to look bad; he is ma THE MORGAINE SAGA is one of the finest and wondrously crafted series in fantasy history. The fact that makes this series stand out is the strong female character of Morgaine. She is quite likely the most believable and well developed female fantasy character I have ever read about. She is not the helpless victim in need of a leading man to rescue her. She is quite the reverse actually. She often rescues her male counterpart when he is in dire need. However, he is never made to look bad; he is made to look like a human in need. Morgaine, herself, is sometimes portrayed as a person in need, with faults, weaknesses, and inner demons. This book does not have a feminist agenda; it is just good story telling. The fact that she is strong is utterly believable. In addition, these books have some of the best endings I have ever read. If you are looking for chain mail bikinis, you will not find them here. (I am not opposed to chain mail bikinis by any means.) What you will find is a "real" story with "real" people and a setting that dazzles. "Unputdownable!"

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Originally published as three short novels, they can now be found in a single volume. I LOVE these books. Cherryh writes deep characters and builds wondrous worlds. The stories are a blend of fantasy and sci fi. Gate travel long before Star Gate. All of Cherryh’s early work is well worth a read. She has remained my favourite author for thirty years. Escapism at its best.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Globalt38

    I want to say that this series/character may have been my first exposure to C.J. Cherryh whom, you can tell if you look at my reviews, I'm a big fan of! Morgaine is definitely a strong female lead in a intriguing Fantasy story with, really, a SciFi base (the Gates she travel's through and which it is her mission to destroy). As in many of her works, friendship, loyalty, and the requirements of duty and command are a big part of the story. Morgaine is imbued with a certain sense of sad, isolated I want to say that this series/character may have been my first exposure to C.J. Cherryh whom, you can tell if you look at my reviews, I'm a big fan of! Morgaine is definitely a strong female lead in a intriguing Fantasy story with, really, a SciFi base (the Gates she travel's through and which it is her mission to destroy). As in many of her works, friendship, loyalty, and the requirements of duty and command are a big part of the story. Morgaine is imbued with a certain sense of sad, isolated loneliness which is also common in Cherryh's characters. A good series and one I, of course, recommend!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Hunter

    This is my go-to how-to book if I'm looking to write some URST. Unresolved sexual tension. Add a driven warrior-heroine and various fully realized fantasy worlds and I am more than content. This is my go-to how-to book if I'm looking to write some URST. Unresolved sexual tension. Add a driven warrior-heroine and various fully realized fantasy worlds and I am more than content.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luci Block

    My eldest spent Christmas with me, which was wonderful, and brought his gaming system with him, PS4 or 5 or was it the newest Xbox, I have no idea. He showed me which game he was playing, the most recent Doom. Thankfully he wore headphones throughout! The game was colorful, graphic and full of violence... not anything like the games I play, leaning more towards sedate ones like Midnight Castle and Animal Crossing lol. Well, if you like those kind of video games, you will absolutely love The Morg My eldest spent Christmas with me, which was wonderful, and brought his gaming system with him, PS4 or 5 or was it the newest Xbox, I have no idea. He showed me which game he was playing, the most recent Doom. Thankfully he wore headphones throughout! The game was colorful, graphic and full of violence... not anything like the games I play, leaning more towards sedate ones like Midnight Castle and Animal Crossing lol. Well, if you like those kind of video games, you will absolutely love The Morgaine Cycle, Books 1-3, Gate of Ivrel, Well of Shiuan, and Fires of Azeroth. I didn't. Yes, it's well written, great worldbuilding and character development but its constant theme throughout is one of escaping disastrous situations only to arrive in yet another seemingly hopeless disastrous situation, rinse and repeat. It's not until the final book, Fires of Azeroth, that there's a brief, yes, very brief respite and off they are again into another seemingly hopeless disastrous situation. Ugh!!! Morgaine is the time traveling magic sword wielder who recruits outcast Vanye as her protector, very reminiscent of the Wheel of Time saga with the Aes Sedia and their Warders, in this case Vanye is the reluctant ilin, Morgaine, liyo. In fact, still referring to WOT, the early character's name was Moraine, her Warder, Lan. Just had to bring that to attention, as in who got that idea first? Besides all that, I won't divulge much further but have to add that this series has very little to do with science fiction, save for maybe the not-named weapon that shoots a red laser beam that Morgaine uses frequently. All books are set in common medieval era fantasy type worlds accessed through Gates, and no more will I say on those. Perhaps the final book, Exile's Gate will get more science fictiony but I won't find out anytime soon. On the fence on reading it as I didn't really enjoy the trilogy. But you might! I'm editing this to add that there's absolutely no sex or romance of any kind. Very family friendly considering today's social/media/gaming climate so no worries. It's age appropriate for teens!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Feld

    The Morgaine Saga breaks all kinds of rules (and is vastly better for that!) starting with genre: from Vanye's perspective, this is sword-and-sorcery fantasy, while from Morgaine's point of view, it's science fiction. It's one of many levels on which these two characters may be united in their mission, but have very different notions of what they're doing and the best way to accomplish it. Added to this, Cherryh sidesteps a lot of genre conventions: her characters may be male and female, but the The Morgaine Saga breaks all kinds of rules (and is vastly better for that!) starting with genre: from Vanye's perspective, this is sword-and-sorcery fantasy, while from Morgaine's point of view, it's science fiction. It's one of many levels on which these two characters may be united in their mission, but have very different notions of what they're doing and the best way to accomplish it. Added to this, Cherryh sidesteps a lot of genre conventions: her characters may be male and female, but the personal stakes have much more to do with friendship than with sexual tension. The heroes wrestle with ethical dilemmas that have no easy answers. And the main villain is by turns so despicable and so deserving of sympathy that it's genuinely unclear what the heroes should do about him. While there is a really good fourth book in the series, Exile's Gate, this omnibus has a satisfying arc on its own: Gate of Ivrel is a wonderful introduction to Vanye, Morgaine, and their urgent quest, Well of Shiuan pushes the characters to question what they really know of each other and how committed they are to one another, and Fires of Azeroth ties up some of the main threads spun in the first two books while leaving enough unresolved for further adventures. All in all, a satisfying and nicely unsettling read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark Cameron

    Book 1: Gate of Ivrel A simple quest story involving interesting heroes and loathsome bad guys. Book 2: Well of Shiuan I liked the setting of the dying world. The character of Jhirun tested Morgaine and Vanye's relationship, which made it more interesting. Book 3: The Fires of Azeroth New world with new people. A new species that is interesting and uninteresting at the same time somehow. There is a giant battle at the end. Morgaine and Vanye grow closer (I am curious to see if this goes further in bo Book 1: Gate of Ivrel A simple quest story involving interesting heroes and loathsome bad guys. Book 2: Well of Shiuan I liked the setting of the dying world. The character of Jhirun tested Morgaine and Vanye's relationship, which made it more interesting. Book 3: The Fires of Azeroth New world with new people. A new species that is interesting and uninteresting at the same time somehow. There is a giant battle at the end. Morgaine and Vanye grow closer (I am curious to see if this goes further in book 4). The Morgaine Saga feels more like a three part book instead of a trilogy of books. In all three the goal of Morgaine and Nhi Vanye remains the same, but their relationship becomes more complex. Some people might be disappointed in the ending, because after three books they didn't exactly finish what they set out to do. I liked that the ending wasn't what I was expecting in book 1. The only complaint I have with the series is that they are a little repetitive. Morgaine and Vanye get wounded a bunch. Then they get split up and Vanye gets captured. Then they find each other again.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Milewski

    This collection of novels is a reflection of its age. They felt archaic, even for the 70's, looking back to the pulp of the 30's and 40's. Frequently lost in themselves, I often wondered at why the protagonists were doing exactly what they're doing, and how any of it really fit together. Although it did break a few stereotypes, it didn't break enough to modernize this particular sub-genre, it merely expanded the same old bad to a female protagonist. I did see significant improvement of Cherryh as This collection of novels is a reflection of its age. They felt archaic, even for the 70's, looking back to the pulp of the 30's and 40's. Frequently lost in themselves, I often wondered at why the protagonists were doing exactly what they're doing, and how any of it really fit together. Although it did break a few stereotypes, it didn't break enough to modernize this particular sub-genre, it merely expanded the same old bad to a female protagonist. I did see significant improvement of Cherryh as a writer, with the first book being the most wayward, and the subsequent books reading clearer, with better character motivation. Even so, her overall prose style still felt behind for the era where novel prose was loosening and lightening up. While Cherryh brought up many ideas, I found that these ideas tended to be under realized. I would have preferred fewer ideas with more variation. If you like this older style of sword and sorcery, you'll likely be entertained this. If you like Cherryh in particular, you'll likely find what you enjoy. Outside of that, you need to choose to get through this collection, getting through the bad in order to find the good.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    In another author's hands--"Michael Moorcock" keeps springing to mind, for some reason--this would be an endless book series, of Morgaine and Vanye moving from gimmicky world to gimmicky world, each book an independent and unrelated adventure which might not abut the one previous. It felt odd, therefore, that this series was so tightly coupled, where the events of one bled into the next and where antagonists continue to be a nuisance. Characters deal with the endless consequences of their action In another author's hands--"Michael Moorcock" keeps springing to mind, for some reason--this would be an endless book series, of Morgaine and Vanye moving from gimmicky world to gimmicky world, each book an independent and unrelated adventure which might not abut the one previous. It felt odd, therefore, that this series was so tightly coupled, where the events of one bled into the next and where antagonists continue to be a nuisance. Characters deal with the endless consequences of their actions. The resulting series was an exhausting read, with a style that favored an elaborate construction before the story's climax. It felt like the actors were poised in the moment before action or before the decision, and then Morgaine or her agents set all in motion. Getting to that point was sometimes a haul.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rod Hyatt

    I needed this book. I don't need to recap the story, there are other reviews to do that. It's been a year from my last C. j. Cherryh book and I'v missed her ever driven to the brink of exhaustion continually cast of characters. I always feel like I get to know them so well. She writes in all the emotion and personality. The last few s/f books have had good stories but those authors couldn't bring to me the feel of the people and bring the places to life like in her books. If you like character d I needed this book. I don't need to recap the story, there are other reviews to do that. It's been a year from my last C. j. Cherryh book and I'v missed her ever driven to the brink of exhaustion continually cast of characters. I always feel like I get to know them so well. She writes in all the emotion and personality. The last few s/f books have had good stories but those authors couldn't bring to me the feel of the people and bring the places to life like in her books. If you like character driven reading that you can feel, touch and smell, find yourself exhausted when the character is driven to his own brink. That's Cherryh. Personality driven books, Those are the 5 stars in my reading list.j

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Akers

    I admit, this series is my favorite of Cherryh's novels. The saga contains 3 of 4 novels about Morgaine and Vanye. It's time and space travel that reads like a fantasy with swords and horses thrown into the mix of science. And I've read the series over 20 times and still find things I've missed, or forgotten that keep it 'new'. I admit, this series is my favorite of Cherryh's novels. The saga contains 3 of 4 novels about Morgaine and Vanye. It's time and space travel that reads like a fantasy with swords and horses thrown into the mix of science. And I've read the series over 20 times and still find things I've missed, or forgotten that keep it 'new'.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jim Walker

    I've read this series twice, the last time many years ago. For some reason they still stick in my mind. Maybe I should read them again. Most books, and I read lots, I forget about. I've read this series twice, the last time many years ago. For some reason they still stick in my mind. Maybe I should read them again. Most books, and I read lots, I forget about.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shaitarn

    Centuries ago the qhal set up the Gates, technological marvels that linking different worlds, spanning space and time. But the qhal over-reached in their arrogance and the Gates became unstable, tearing at reality until what is became confused with what might be. For the safety of all the worlds, all the Gates had to be closed. A hundred qhal set out on this mission. One still lives, Morgaine, the white queen, whose name is a curse to the descendants of those who she led to her death. Now, a hun Centuries ago the qhal set up the Gates, technological marvels that linking different worlds, spanning space and time. But the qhal over-reached in their arrogance and the Gates became unstable, tearing at reality until what is became confused with what might be. For the safety of all the worlds, all the Gates had to be closed. A hundred qhal set out on this mission. One still lives, Morgaine, the white queen, whose name is a curse to the descendants of those who she led to her death. Now, a hundred years after her disappearance, Morgaine has reappeared, still intent on her task. Her only companion is Vanye, a dishonoured clan warrior forced to accept her as his liege lord, and her only weapon is Changeling, a terrifying force of destruction in the form of a sword. C. J. Cherryh is chiefly a sci-fi writer, but this book, the omnibus volume of three separate novels, is a low fantasy novel, technically with sci-fi underpinnings, although for me the Gates brought to mind Arthur C Clarke’s famous quote: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The qhal, an inhuman alien race, likewise reminded me quite strongly of an elven race, particularly of Moorcock’s Melniboneans, a pale, haughty people that regard themselves as eminently superior to humankind. Our POV character is Vanye, cast out in shame from his father’s house after killing his half-brother and refusing to atone for the crime by committing suicide. He is a compelling narrator, torn by the different demands placed on his honour, afraid of Morgaine and the task she had placed upon him, but determined to serve her as he must. He may not have any great destiny marked out for him, but his bravery and steadfast loyalty make him a hero; if I was fighting in a shieldwall, I’d want Vanye at my shoulder. Morgaine is a distant, driven character, one we only see through Vanye’s eyes, and the distancing works: her coldness and obsession make her a character it’s easy to respect but perhaps harder to find any affection for. The three distinct worlds in these stories are all extremely well defined, particularly drowning Shiuan, and I was engrossed by the details that were let slip throughout the story. The history of the worlds was also engrossing as it became clearer how they were all linked, and had been in the past. Despite the many twists and turns in the story there is perhaps not as much action as some might wish (there’s not to say there isn’t magic, treachery and fighting – there’s plenty) but the characterisation and world-building are both first rate. If you like writers such as Barbara Hambly or Guy Gavriel Kay you may find these books a good read. Just ignore the laughable 1970’s ‘heroine in a bikini, hero in a loincloth and horned helmet’ covers of the single volumes!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sherrill Watson

    See Karine and Douglas' reviews. Written from 1976 to 1979, and thus (somewhat) outdated. Morgaine is the last of her race, who has come through a Gate into the present. Ms. Cherryh has given her a sidekick sworn to defend her, Vanye, for one year. Morgaine is single-mindedly, coldly, trying to kill the bad guy who is maybe the last of the "qujal's" who invented the Gates. But first she and Vanhe have to find him, also to seal the Gate(s), which the ancient jujal's 's have left open. Again, and See Karine and Douglas' reviews. Written from 1976 to 1979, and thus (somewhat) outdated. Morgaine is the last of her race, who has come through a Gate into the present. Ms. Cherryh has given her a sidekick sworn to defend her, Vanye, for one year. Morgaine is single-mindedly, coldly, trying to kill the bad guy who is maybe the last of the "qujal's" who invented the Gates. But first she and Vanhe have to find him, also to seal the Gate(s), which the ancient jujal's 's have left open. Again, and again. And again. They travel, and travel, around and around, and meet various and sundry people, 99% of whom die. Through three books. Much is made over Vanhe being a bastard son. (So what?) There is a magic sword, which Ms. Cherryh introduces when needed, ("Siptah /Changeling"), which can sometimes be handled by others, also sometimes when needed. Other times it is deadly, mostly at the whim of Ms. Cherryh. Like Karine says. Meh. "The men are more twisted than the trees." I would add, so are the stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    周婉蓮 차우 크리스티나 Cass

    (As posted on my blog, see "Book Blog" dated July 8, 2012) With Cherryh's Gate of Ivrel, we come across the idea of a system of gates. Since I was exploring different science fiction/fantasy authors, I had already decided to read Cherryh's first novel. Gate of Ivrel is the first book of The Morgaine Saga omnibus edition. The Morgaine Saga is also loosely connected to Cherryh's Alliance-Union Universe (mentioned above in connection with Downbelow Station). Morgaine is a one of a five-person team s (As posted on my blog, see "Book Blog" dated July 8, 2012) With Cherryh's Gate of Ivrel, we come across the idea of a system of gates. Since I was exploring different science fiction/fantasy authors, I had already decided to read Cherryh's first novel. Gate of Ivrel is the first book of The Morgaine Saga omnibus edition. The Morgaine Saga is also loosely connected to Cherryh's Alliance-Union Universe (mentioned above in connection with Downbelow Station). Morgaine is a one of a five-person team sent by Union to close or to destroy the gates. The gates in this novel are able to send a person to a different time as well as place. In Gate of Ivrel, it's also indicated that they can do more than that as Morgaine steps through a gate and stays locked in it for about a hundred years. The plot of this story is simple. Morgaine is heading to the gate of Ivrel to close it or, if need be, destroy it. One hundred years ago she failed and the people of Andur-Kursh paid for that failure. Of course, there are obstacles in the way; and to get through them, Morgaine needs help. Vanye is an exile from Clan Nhi for killing his half-brother in self-defence. Of course, no one believes it was in self-defence and he is exiled by his father. Vanye is the one who accidentally releases Morgaine from the gate (not the same gate as at Ivrel) and being an exile in need shares food and a fireside with her. Morgaine has "lord right" from years ago and since Vanye accepted her hospitality, she can in turn claim a year of service from him. She does, of course, and Vanye has no choice but to accompany her on her mission. For a first novel, Gate of Ivrel is pretty good. This novel was better paced than Downbelow Station and it was well-written. One minor issue I had was Cherryh's habit of starting new paragraphs with "and" when she could easily leave it off. I didn't notice this in Downbelow Station, so I'm guessing she caught this early on in her career and corrected that habit. Overall, this story was enjoyable. I did notice that I empathized with these characters more than the characters of Downbelow Station. This may be simply that, in this novel, Cherryh was focused on character-building while in Downbelow Station she was focused on world-building. The next story in The Morgaine Saga is Well of Shiuan. (As posted on my blog, Pneumatised!) Well of Shiuan by C.J. Cherryh is the sequel to Gate of Ivrel. In Well of Shiuan, the two main characters, Morgaine and Vanye, travel to a world facing annihilation (by flooding). It turns out to be directly caused by events in the past, in which Morgaine was involved. Determined to finish her mission to close all the Gates, Morgaine continues to deal with the consequences of her past actions. Meanwhile, Vanye has to learn that he can't save everyone and that each person has his/her own destiny. (As posted on my blog, Pneumatised!) Fires of Azeroth by C.J. Cherryh is the third book in The Morgaine Saga omnibus. In this story, Morgaine and Vanye travel to a world where Qhal and Man co-exist peacefully. However, Morgaine and Vanye are pursued by their enemies from the previous story and it's only a matter of time before their enemies bring disaster to this peaceful world where Morgaine and Vanye have taken refuge. Morgaine has not forgotten her mission though. However, this peaceful world has a few secrets of its own. While Fires of Azeroth isn't the ultimate conclusion to Morgaine's mission, it concludes Vanye's story. Indeed, The Morgaine Saga is much more about Vanye's personal quest and development than about Morgaine's mission. If anything, Morgaine's mission allows Vanye's character to grow. The fact that Morgaine's mission has not yet been completed might be the reason why nearly ten years later C.J. Cherryh wrote a fourth novel, Exile's Gate, for the series. Overall, The Morgaine Saga is an interesting read. There is more sense of completion having read all the books in the omnibus than just the first novel. The only criticism I have is that Morgaine's universe feels quite empty. I realize this may be because she is travelling through the Gates in order to close or destroy them, but I keep wondering why she ends up on worlds that have very little or no advanced technology besides the Gates and items related to the Gates. Cherryh does a decent job of character-building in this series, but I think that there could be more world-building. I also wonder what's happening back at the Union Science Bureau. In any case, I'm not sure if I'm going to read Exile's Gate. I wanted to read this omnibus since it was Cherryh's early writing. The other novels written in the same time period are Brothers of Earth and Hunter of Worlds. I, however, am wanting to get back to her Alliance-Union Universe with the novel Merchanter's Luck. For my review of Gate of Ivrel, see "Book Blog". For my review of Well of Shiuan, see "Book Blog".

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adam Price

    Some parts I loved - the worlds they pass, the oppressiveness and conflicts of vast, world-ending duty brought out by the setting and the protagonists' relationships. Would have loved to give it four or five stars, but the occasional weakness in plotting lets it down - a few times it feels like Vanye rides off to near certain death only to be saved by Morgaine or another riding to meet him anyway, without too much in the way of rhyme or reason, or why that plan was no longer the near certain dea Some parts I loved - the worlds they pass, the oppressiveness and conflicts of vast, world-ending duty brought out by the setting and the protagonists' relationships. Would have loved to give it four or five stars, but the occasional weakness in plotting lets it down - a few times it feels like Vanye rides off to near certain death only to be saved by Morgaine or another riding to meet him anyway, without too much in the way of rhyme or reason, or why that plan was no longer the near certain death when mooted originally. But overall very enjoyable.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Whiteraven191

    Upon averaging my scores for the three books in this omnibus, my actual rating is 3.58. Some of the world building in the last book didn't age well, but other than that this is a fun, inventive fantasy series. Upon averaging my scores for the three books in this omnibus, my actual rating is 3.58. Some of the world building in the last book didn't age well, but other than that this is a fun, inventive fantasy series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Data

    The struggles are real enough, even if we always are at the end of the world. Some world.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    Maybe a 3.5 .. not quite a 4. This three book saga was a bit slow and hard to follow in parts.. but it had its good moments. As always , this author doesn’t like to explain things, but let you slowly figure out what is going on by hints...downside to that is that it took me about a third of the way through the second book to figure out what was going on. Some things stood out. This is definitely a sci fi book..but it reads like a Sword and Sorcery in that the tech is magic to the barbaric natives Maybe a 3.5 .. not quite a 4. This three book saga was a bit slow and hard to follow in parts.. but it had its good moments. As always , this author doesn’t like to explain things, but let you slowly figure out what is going on by hints...downside to that is that it took me about a third of the way through the second book to figure out what was going on. Some things stood out. This is definitely a sci fi book..but it reads like a Sword and Sorcery in that the tech is magic to the barbaric natives and described to us through the eyes of said natives. ( and the natives are definitely in the Conan of Cimmeria mold.) There is a very slooooow burn romance that is hard to describe. As with all Sword and Sorcery there is the toxic masculinity. Here it takes the form of “ honor” and a caste warrior system that separates our star crossed protagonists into a relationship where they are honor bound not to act on their feelings. I think it dragged most near the end of the first book and the first half of the second. The third book finally has some climactic action to it and a resolution to the conflicts both romantic and plot driven.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    This is the book I have been reading when I wanted to fall asleep. Not my favorite by this author. It took me so long to read, because there were only a few chapters that were engaging enough not to fall asleep after a few lines or paragraphs. This edition contains a trilogy. Each book was a little better than the last. I don't understand why some people hail Morgaine as a great epic character. I didn't feel like there was much character development for her at all. It's mainly about her sidekick This is the book I have been reading when I wanted to fall asleep. Not my favorite by this author. It took me so long to read, because there were only a few chapters that were engaging enough not to fall asleep after a few lines or paragraphs. This edition contains a trilogy. Each book was a little better than the last. I don't understand why some people hail Morgaine as a great epic character. I didn't feel like there was much character development for her at all. It's mainly about her sidekick Vanye, who is complex and interesting. Perhaps there is more to Morgaine in the last book of the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sleepseeker

    This is an old series and I read it a long time ago in Middle School. And is probably one of the oldest books I own. But I love them, there such a classic, which I have read several times. I love the storyline and the characters that Cherryh has build. The only thing I feel sad about when reading these books is that we never get a conclusion. Even though we don't get an ending, I would still recommend that people read these. They are such an easy read and Cherryh just has a way with words that y This is an old series and I read it a long time ago in Middle School. And is probably one of the oldest books I own. But I love them, there such a classic, which I have read several times. I love the storyline and the characters that Cherryh has build. The only thing I feel sad about when reading these books is that we never get a conclusion. Even though we don't get an ending, I would still recommend that people read these. They are such an easy read and Cherryh just has a way with words that you just get sucked into her story.

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