Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Gate of Ivrel , please sign up. Has anyone else loved the Morgaine series as much as I have?. Steven I love these books too! I have read and re-read all 4 many times. I've read the first 3 this year, in between other books on my list, and plan to …more I love these books too!
I've read the first 3 this year, in between other books on my list, and plan to round off with Exiles Gate in early I love the relationship between Morgaine and Vayne and how it evolves. There is something about the series that always draws me back. If you haven't read "the Paladin" also by by CJC, you should check it out, it is also a great read. I also find Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight has a very similar appeal to me. I came across your post and see it's old, but still felt compelled to reply. See 1 question about Gate of Ivrel…. Lists with This Book.
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Jan 01, Terry rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy , sci-fi. There are of course exceptions to this: Dune comes to mind - a work that is often explicitly considered science fiction, but that definitely has the tinge of fantasy about it and which I would consider to fall into the science fantasy umbrella. It was soon discovered, however, that these gates were the cause of the extinction of the qhal and could also lead to the extinction of the human race, and possibly all of time and space itself, should they continue to be used.
Vanye is thus at first a very reluctant retainer of Morgaine and fears her seemingly alien nature as much as the tasks she forces him to perform. He is constantly dealing with the tension between his honour and sworn oath to Morgaine on the one hand and the fear and natural suspicion which his people hold for her and her apparent goals on the other. I enjoyed the story and thought Cherryh did a good job of melding the science fiction and fantasy elements into a pretty seamless whole. That niggle aside I thought the story was successful in presenting a fantasy-style quest set against seemingly insurmountable odds in order to reach the goal: in this case the destruction of the main qhal gate on this world.
She is indeed only willing to take on Vanye because she has no other option short of trying to achieve the impossible on her own. Once upon a time there were the qhal and they connected all manner of worlds and times with Gates, which in the end destroyed them. In latter years, humans found the Gates and, wishing to avoid the fate of the qhal , sent a team a hundred strong to follow the the Gates, closing them one by one, until the network was no more.
Now, an indeterminate time later, only one remains of that party -- Morgaine, wielder of the sword Changeling , a mighty force in its own right. This is not her story. This is t Once upon a time there were the qhal and they connected all manner of worlds and times with Gates, which in the end destroyed them. This is the story of Nhi Vanye, exiled from his home for kinslaying, who inadvertently frees Morgaine from imprisonment and finds himself caught up in her struggle, torn between obligations to her and to his kin, threatened as a result by forces he can barely imagine.
View all 8 comments. Jan 20, S. Lindberg rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed-by-se. Gate of Ivrel ; 2. Well of Shiuan ; 3. Fires of Azeroth There is a fourth book Exile's Gate written in Actually, this is my first C. Cherryh novel and I was impressed Gate of Ivrel was her first published work, and it is quite good. There are Sci-Fiction elements to this that are kept obscure enough that it reads as pure fantasy everything scientific appears as magic.
We quickly learn that she was imprisoned hundreds of years before the start of the story as she lost an epic battle with the evil magician Thiye. He apparently still lives via said sorcery Strangely Thiye does not emerge for most of this novel. Instead there are compelling "new" threats from a host of others some in relation to Vanye , and the book is full of magical clashes in which Changeling obliterates souls! It may be "her" saga, but book one introduces her through her male companion Vanye, an outcast bastard prince.
The story arc for Book 1 belongs to him. Vanye becomes her servant after he releases her from a magical prison, and so the two enter an uneasy pairing. They make a good team, but trust comes slowly as Vanye enables Morgaine to confront those supporting the Gate: "Morgaine was supremely beautiful …when he saw her in that hall, her pale head like a blaze of sun in that darkness, her slim form elegant in tgihio and bearing the dragon blade with the grace of one who could truly use it, an odd vision came to him: he saw like a fever-dream a nest of corruption with one gliding serpent among the scuttling lesser creatures—more evil than they, more deadly, and infinitely beautiful, reared up among hem and hypnotizing with basilisk eyes, death dreaming death and smiling.
There was an expectation that Morgaine would stop at nothing short of destroying the Gate of Ivrel. Instead, she chases a bad guy through it. In fact, it seems that she trusts a program to close it sometime after her departure. In short, as she irreversibly departs…she leaves the Gate in an open, functioning state. Why not draw her blade and seal the Gate personally? Why trust the programming of some antagonist that you do not trust? This allows Vanye to join her, but I think that could have been achieved in a more a consistent way, and left me questioning the foundations of the story.
Gate of Ivrel starts out really strong, with a banished and bastard warrior observing a beautiful warrior "witch" ride out from some sort of time travel gate, located in a blasted landscape filled with Lovcraftian nasties and murderous men. Cherryh also prefaces the immediate story with some convoluted pre-history that will have you turning back several times to read. Morgaine, the "witch," sports some space age weaponry, and a fascinatingly deadly sword called Changeling.
Its properties see Gate of Ivrel starts out really strong, with a banished and bastard warrior observing a beautiful warrior "witch" ride out from some sort of time travel gate, located in a blasted landscape filled with Lovcraftian nasties and murderous men. Its properties seem virtually nuclear. The story line is, on surface at least, one of revenge, though honor and duty are also wrapped up in the mix.
Vanye, banished from his own kingdom for killing a half-brother, swears allegiance to Morgaine, and follows her on her seeming path of vengeance there's more to it than that. Why he swears allegiance is never totally clear to me, but I was ok with that, at least until the half way point in the novel. At that point Vanye seems to offer up a profound oath every other page or so -- that soon gets betrayed.
I can see that Cherryh wants to show Vanye as conflicted, complex, etc. But after close to pages of this and with Cherryh, given the way she writes -- this can seem like , Vanye comes across as an ineffectual weenie. A Johnny Guitar with a broadsword. Morgaine however is fascinating, always mysterious, sometimes lethal, totally driven. Many of the other characters are also well done, and Cherryh's descriptive writing is often first-rate. What hurts the story is when stuff actually starts to happen.
In the last 50 pages or so, there are some really unlikely escapes. When I see this kind of thing bunched up toward the end of a short novel, I feel the author is rushing to wind the story down. In this case, that's a shame, because I really do admire Cherryh's writing. There's two or maybe 3? That said, I think with a little more patience and development, Gate of Ivrel could of been something special. Feb 08, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy.
Ludicrous cover aside, this is a real corker of a fantasy adventure with science fiction underpinnings. Numerous gateways through time and space built and rashly exploited by a race called the Q'hal have resulted in all sorts of temporal collapses. A group of people have resolved to travel from gateway to gateway, sealing each one so that this won't happen again.
Of their number, only one survives - the mysterious, powerful Morgaine. This novel is set on a world that exists in a pre-industrial, Ludicrous cover aside, this is a real corker of a fantasy adventure with science fiction underpinnings. This novel is set on a world that exists in a pre-industrial, feudal level of development with rival clans vying for High Kingship. Vanye is a half-blood in a time when clans stick to their own, cast out by his father for slaying a half-brother.
During his wanderings, he releases Morgaine, a figure of century-old dark legend on his world, from a temporal prison and is made to swear an oath of allegiance to her and accompany her on her quest to seal this world's gates. Cherryh has, as usual, created a richly detailed geography and ethnography, and it's a complex, fascinating world that this story plays out against. There's just enough detail, never too much, and I was completely drawn into Vanye's struggles to make sense of his strange liege-lady and to negotiate the currents and counter-currents of intrigue that surround them everywhere they go.
A few plot developments towards the end happen faster than I could follow at first, but this for the most part a compact but rich novel, skilfully paced and packed with nuanced characterisation and deep worldbuilding.
The Gate of Ivrel by C. On one extreme are the villainous alien quhal who are loyal only to themselves and have no This book is very Cherryh, with a clear, linear plot set in a vast, seemingly underpopulated world that has seen better days. Cherryh Cherryh's style is sparse, controlled, limited. And like a cheap movie, the scenes between often prove dull and tedious, providing a little information, but mostly wasting your time. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. In their time, long before the rise of the native civilizations, they had terrorized a hundred worlds—not from villainy but from folly, from tampering with the strands that held a universe together.
I look forward to reading the rest of this trilogy. View 1 comment. Feb 01, Derek rated it really liked it Shelves: sword-and-sorcery. The entire book is emotionally and interpersonally complex, containing layers of motivations and relationships that drive events.
Morgaine herself, though her thoughts are never revealed for certain, seems the most straightforward: her quest is to close the Gates. But that goal is almost a background item as the story is told. Vanye, Morgaine's bound henchman, is the reader's guide through the web of rivalries and hostilities between clans as well as Vanye's own disputes and allegiances. Everyone The entire book is emotionally and interpersonally complex, containing layers of motivations and relationships that drive events.
Everyone has a reason for his or her actions, and these reasons are grounded all the way down in the backstory. The petty lords of the Middle Lands fear and resent Morgaine because her first attempt to close the Gate failed, and the real history of that has been distorted and lost.
Those who do not fear have avarice for the Gate power and technology. But even this avarice, in Erij's case, is backed by inadequacy and need to prove himself. Vanye is caught between the bonds of his new lord--"liyo"--and the personal debts he accumulates and his own honor, none of which does he see clearly. So on top of everything else, he has his own problems to work through.
View 2 comments. This is a re-read after many years of the first in the Morgaine series, and at first I wondered if I would enjoy it as much as last time. The beginning, an extended info-dump that gives the background to Morgaine's mission to close the inter-planetary and time travelling gates because the temporal anomalies they caused led to disaster, is by today's standards an old fashioned way of story telling. But focus soon switches to the character of Nhi Vanye, a driven young man who has been raised as a This is a re-read after many years of the first in the Morgaine series, and at first I wondered if I would enjoy it as much as last time.
But focus soon switches to the character of Nhi Vanye, a driven young man who has been raised as a charity case by his father, head of clan Nhi, and tormented for his whole life by his two legitimate half-brothers. Vanye has killed one of them, swearing they were trying to kill him, and maimed the other, almost as great a sin in a warrior-centred culture. He is cast out as an outlaw and doomed to wander till he dies, either of starvation, exposure, being murdered in revenge or being killed by one of the strange creatures which Thiye, a clan leader with a reputation for using the evil magics of the past, has brought through the major gate, which he controls.
Vanye's only hope to win back his honour and cancel his outlaw status is to find a lord who will accept his oath of service for either a year or to carry out a task, though surviving such service is not easy. The story switches to his plight a couple of years later when, half-starved and freezing in the winter, he tries to shoot a deer with his bow, but succeeds in driving it through the pillars of what his people regard superstitiously as the Witchfires - a minor gate linked to the main gate on their planet - on a hill which is normally shunned but where he has accidentally wandered too close.
The deer's entry displaces Morgaine, trapped within the gate for a century. She and her surviving comrades came to the planet to destroy its gates, and raised an army among the various clans, but disaster struck and Morgaine was blamed.
Pursued, she had been forced to ride into the gate and been trapped there in stasis ever since. Her distinctive appearance - she is nicknamed Frosthair - indicates her identity, but Vanye, forced to shelter with her and share the meat from a deer she kills with one of her fearsome weapons, tries to tell himself it was only exhaustion which led him to think she rode out from between the stones.
He then finds himself forced into swearing an oath of allegiance to her for a year's service or to complete her mission if she is unable to, and his problems really begin. The only mitigation is that, as a sworn follower of his lord - and Morgaine has lord status from her previous dealings with the indigenous people - he is in theory protected by her, but he soon meets members of various clans, including his surviving half-brother, who have different ideas.
Things become complicated when these various clans make demands upon Morgaine, trying to use her and her technology for their own ends, and it transpires that she is not the only individual with a knowledge of gates. For there are a number of villains in the story, greater and lesser. When shelving this book, I elected to put it under both science fiction and fantasy, because the background is SF - interplanetary timetravel, ray weapons, a 'sword' which taps the power of the gates and has the power to pull living things through - but the setting is classic fantasy, with warriors and a warrior culture which is slightly reminiscent of the Japanese Samurai.
It falls into the genre category of 'science fantasy' for these reasons.
The story is told from the fairly close third person viewpoint of Vanye so we never enter Morgaine's viewpoint and can only see her through his eyes. She is honest about the fact that she will abandon him at a moment's notice if it serves her mission, and she is totally focused upon the need to destroy or close the main gate at Ivrel, which is controlled by Thiye. Vanye, meanwhile, is torn by the deeds which his oath condemns him to perform, and a lot of the book concerns his angst at the rift with his surviving half-brother and his conflicting loyalties.
The one weakness is really the geography - it becomes difficult to envisage how the various clan territories impinge and why travelling in a particular direction would bring him back within the grasp of his brother, for example. The edition I was reading did not have a map, and that would have helped. But I enjoyed the book and am rating it 4 stars. View all 3 comments. Dec 05, Rob rated it really liked it. An unusual book, and a very good one. Sword and sorcery without the usual trappings of machismo. Science fiction where the science has become magic.
I was tearing through DAW imprint SF and Fantasy back when this was published, and I remember a friend had a copy, so it's odd that I never read this series. That missed opportunity has been remedied more than 30 years later. I'm glad I finally discovered Cherryh. She can really write, transcending the hackneyed cliches and thudding prose common in th An unusual book, and a very good one.
She can really write, transcending the hackneyed cliches and thudding prose common in the genre. The characters are believable and nuanced. Cherryh offers action and thrills without over-the-top wish-fullfilment. A straight-ahead quest story that gradually reveals a textured history and background. The world she evokes is rich, strange, and perilous in the best traditions of sword and sorcery.
She does show some bad judgement, perhaps owing to the fact this novel was her debut. The internal monologues and soul-searching that the POV character Vanye indulges in, while well-written and psychologically truthful, sometimes drag on far too long and become oppressive. His private reflection of his suffering takes up more of the story than the events themselves, which slows the pace and interest of the story to questionable ends. Combat scenes are strangely truncated and abstract. Told at a remove. Introspective musings on horseback may occupy nine pages, while an ambush and battle at the end of the journey is dealt with in a few sentences.
A bigger problem is the reliance of the plot on a series of coincidences, all involving meeting on the road, and then meeting again, a number of other important characters. By the final chapters, the tightening gyre of coincidence undermines the otherwise serious and authentic-feeling story. It also raises doubts about the setting.
How small is this realm that riders routinely run into their enemies on wilderness trails and passes? And how can these various cultures remain distinct when they're apparently so close to one another, a day's ride away on horseback?
However, the characters and their struggle, and the haunted realm of Andur-Kursh, are engaging enough to keep me going through the turgid passages. The cultures have the ring of authenticity, their harsh warrior ideals balanced with ideals of honour and vow-taking. Cherry's subtle take on heroism and conflict is a refreshing change from the bombast and hero worship of other books I've recently read in the genre.
I'll be sure to read not only the rest of the series, but try other series the prolific Cherryh has written. It's a rare pleasure to discover and enjoy a writer with such an immense back catalog to look forward to. Science fiction? Also yes! Cherryh - Morgaine 01 - Gate of Ivrel.
Gate Of Ivrel. Well of Shiuan Morgaine Saga, Book 2. Cherryh - Morgaine 1 - Gate Of Izreal. Hell's Gate Multiverse, Book 1. Spirit Gate Crossroads, Book 1. Shogun Asian Saga - Book 1. Rider at the Gate Nighthorse, Book 1. Vanye then takes his brother by surprise and retakes Morgaine's sword. In mortal danger, Erij has no choice, but to guard his back.
Inside, they come upon the aged Thiye, but before they can react, the old man is killed by Roh. Roh informs them that Morgaine is loose in the fortress and that Liell is dead. He warns them to flee while they still can, then follows his own advice.
Vanye finds Morgaine and surrenders the sword to her, much to Erij's dismay. She confirms Vanye's suspicion; Roh's body now houses Liell's mind. But Morgaine believes that he left too much of a safety margin before the Gates on this world close forever and that she can follow him. She departs in all haste. Erij surprisingly bids his brother to go after her and Vanye gratefully complies.
Together, Morgaine and Vanye pass through the Gate. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Cherryh bibliography. Cherryh's works The Cherryh Odyssey Cherryh. Categories : American science fiction novels American novels science fiction novels Science fiction novels by C. Hidden categories: Wikipedia articles with plot summary needing attention from September All Wikipedia articles with plot summary needing attention.