Nenia Campbell's Reviews > A Gathering of Gargoyles

A Gathering of Gargoyles by Meredith Ann Pierce
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Mar 06, 14

Read from February 15 to 16, 2010

The first 100 pages are bad fantasy. It is trite with silly names and words like apricok (apricock?) that make you wince a little every time you read them. Plus, Aeriel, the main character, is one of those 'special' heroines, in the sense that everyone is always saying, 'Oh, I have never seen anyone master that as well or as quickly as you' or 'Oh, she can tame the wild beasts that everyone else is so afraid of, she must be a sorceress' etc. etc. It's very annoying, especially when people start speculating that she's SO special, she must not even be human! (However, there is a valid plot point for this last item so I suppose we can excuse it for now)

So what WAS this book's saving grace? The last two hundred pages.

Right around the chapter called 'Suzerain' (I think it's around pg. 165), the book starts getting good. Edgy. DARK. And the Suzerain truly is a creepy character. He feeds the main character, Aeriel, something called 'hungerspice' that makes the food taste delicious but STARVES her at the same time. Worse, it makes real, nutritious food that doesn't contain hungerspice taste horrible.

We find out that he is working for the White Witch (kind of like the one in Narnia), and that he exchanged his name for his heart's desire. He thought he was getting the woman of his dreams. Instead, he got his brother's lands. Now he is cursed to remain nameless until his wedding day. And when Aeriel refuses to marry him, he WALLS HER INTO A DUNGEON AND TRIES TO SUFFOCATE HER.

And then there's this scary sibyl who actually used to be a nurse. But she's the worst damn nurse ever. She turned in the child she was supposed to be caring for to the White Queen, who made him an evil, blood-sucking vampire. She was also blind, but the queen gave her some ruby eyes that glow in exchange for her foul deeds.

Aeriel is kind of a dumb character, but the supporting cast nearly makes up for it. Especially the villains.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by travelmel (new)

travelmel apricok. that's funny.

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