Friday, September 25, 2015

Fantastic Fantasy Finds: The Books of Morgaine by C.J. Cherryh

Gate of Ivrel (1976)
Well of Shiuan (1978)
Fires of Azeroth (1979)
Exile's Gate (1988)

This series is technically SF but reads like fantasy. It takes place mostly in a feudal world, where the qhal, an elfin race, have created multi-dimensional gates to conquer other worlds.

Morgaine is the last of them. She's an immortal warrior, cold-hearted and alien, appearing as a white-haired young woman in armor. Vanye, an exiled young warrior, becomes her comrade out of desperation. Vulnerable and wounded, Vanye is the heart of the series, and things do not go well when Morgaine displays any fragility herself.

As it turns out, there are still qhal remaining, and one of the worst of them has come to Vanye's world wearing a familiar face. (The qhal can also steal bodies and use them as their own.)

What I loved about this series is the complicated characters (even the villains have some good in them) and the relationship between Morgaine and Vanye, which is organic and not contrived. The world is a fascinating mix of cultures. The mysterious and otherworldly qhal are fascinating.

I think this series is now available as a reprinted omnibus and I highly recommend it to anyone who loved A Game of Thrones or anything with elves.

(Looking for the Briar Queen ARC giveaway? Next post down)

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