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Nine Gates

(Breaking the Wall #2)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  479 ratings  ·  46 reviews
As evocative and moving as Charles de Lint’s Newford books, with the three-dimensional protagonists and enthralling action of Mercedes Lackey’s fantasies, Nine Gates makes our world today as excitingly strange and unfamiliar as any fantasy realm . . .and transports readers to a wondrous magical world drawn from Chinese lore and legend.

Brenda Morris has barely had time to
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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William P.
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was better than the first. I still think it spends a lot of time meandering about collecting plot points and hinting at series arc stuff, but it did so in a way I found more engaging this time around. I was interested by Honey Dream's heel-face turn late in the novel as I had pretty much decided to write her off when all of a sudden I end up liking her and rooting for her to survive the battle with the novel's Big Bad.

The introduction of other magic systems was handled nicely,
Sep 21, 2009 rated it liked it
It was ok. There were some intriguing twists, but still not quite as good as I'd like. So much potential, but somehow it felt plodding. I can't decide if it was the writing style, or the editing or what. But it felt like a computer was told a story, and the computer spit the same story back out with absolutely no inflection or voice whatsoever. The pacing felt slow, there were scenes I felt were just padding... like rediscussing everything again and going into super intricate detail about every ...more
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
An excellent follow-up book from 'The Thirteen Orphans'. The reader gets to know more of the histories of both the characters and the worlds. I enjoyed seeing Honey Dream's perception of certain events throughout the book and hearing her thoughts of the other characters. I wonder if Honey Dream will remain a POV in the next book, or it will change to someone else; perhaps a new character.
Some people may not enjoy the histories of Lands among other narrative pieces, but I find most of it is
I enjoyed this sequel to The thirteen orphans as well. I'm not sure if it was my lack of concentration, but I did get distracted relatively easily during the middle of the book. Still, at the end the pace picked up, and I especially enjoyed Brenda getting into action. And I was very glad that her ally-but-opponent Honey Dream finally came to her senses. She's been such a despicable person up until now, so immature and selfish and annoying, that it was getting irksome. As in the previous book, I ...more
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In this sequel to "Thirteen Orphans" the thirteen orphans have their memories back, but the problems are just beginning. Those who were their enemies in the previous book are now allies because they are now also being hunted by another faction in that other world. They decide that they will need to return to The Land Born of Smoke and Sacrifice in order to stop them from coming to kill them and to protect their loved ones. The problem is how to do it. They have been exiled and the ways are ...more
Jun 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: seriesinprogress
the eagerly-awaited second book of the Breaking the Wall series. Jane continues to do her homework, creating a still-believable intersection of worlds both modern and ancient, east and west. her cast of interesting characters gets fleshed out and expanded considerably, and the changes in each of them are satisfying and plausible. while some may feel bogged down in the minutiae of Chinese mythology, both actual and conceived by the author, it’s worth the exposition to truly appreciate the various ...more
Trieste Devlin
Mar 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I quickly ordered this from the library when I discovered it was out, because I vaguely remembered that the prequel had a really interesting plot, something about people representing the various zodiac animals and a big cliffhanger at the end. First thing to say though: However cool the plot, DEFINITELY don't read this book without reading the first one first. The plot is very interesting and different, but also a bit convoluted. Secondly: If you read it, read it for the plot, and not the ...more
Oct 21, 2010 rated it liked it
As with the previous book, fascinating concepts with solid writing. There is an awful lot of theory that is explained, and the characters sit around a lot talking and preparing for things, but once the action kicks in, the story flies, and the end comes too soon.

There can also be confusion with the names and the associated zodiac symbols-- for example, a character named "Waking Lizard" is a Monkey, not a Lizard, etc. So it is best to read the books in the series back to back, so that you don't
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I am truly enjoying this series. After reading the first book, I immediately ordered books 2 and 3.

I'm disappointed in the romance but enjoy the rest of it. I sometimes wish the author would stick to one point of view but there's so much going on that I think the multiple points of view becomes a necessity.

There's a lot here to learn about, especially the finer points of Chinese culture. I'm wondering how much of it is true/real and how much of it is literary license. In the end, I'm just going
Allen Garvin
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-fantasy
A bit of a disappointment... I probably would have given it 2 stars except it redeemed itself in the last 60 pages with a tight section in the mythical Chinese underworld/afterlife. The problems of the earlier book are amplified here. The cast of characters is greatly increased, and it switches back and forth between the viewpoints of too many people. Character development is slowed as a consequence, and not nearly as interesting as the first volume. Subsequent books, I'll probably wait for the ...more
May 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, unfinished
I didn't realise this was second in a series at first, but the ideas were fresh enough to intrigue me into trying to read it anyway. Unfortunately, awkward dialogue, juvenile characterisation and racial exotification oozing from the pages meant I didn't bother to finish it. Maybe the first book was better?
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Joy Luck Club meets The Never-Ending Story.

Surprisingly just as good as the first book in the series. The beginning is disorienting, but it picks up from there and never stops. I will be longing for the next one. Correction...I already am.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great addition to the series.
The Orphans — at least in their current incarnation — had proven to be a chatty group. Hardly anything, from something as minor as what to have for dinner, to the planning of major expeditions did not get talked over — sometimes, she suspected, to the frustration of their allies from the Lands.

Sometimes to the frustration of the reader, too. The "talkiness" of this cast of characters was an issue in Thirteen Orphans, and it hasn't gone away in Nine Gates. The characters still expound to each
Forgotten Realms Queen
This trilogy promises to be quite interesting and intriguing if you can follow along with the incredibly detailed mythology long enough.

Here we have the second installment of the saga of the Thirteen Orphans. We travel to the spirit realm of the Orphans and we do battle with something that is slowly dissolving the realms into nothing. Looks like we have quite the mystery on our hands!

The Orphans discover that they have more enemies than friends back home in our world, but they're dealt with
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Jane Lindskold's world of magic based on the Chinese zodiac and mahjong continues to fascinate even as it confuses. I can't quite get a handle on the supernatural world she has created, but as long as you suspend disbelief and don't try to make sense of it, it's an enjoyable ride. Brenda Morris and her friends who are descendants of the Thirteen Orphans, exiles from the Lands Born of Smoke and Fire, have come to an uneasy truce with their former enemies and now work together to try to get them ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
If this wasn't a Jane Lindskold book I would have put it down. I have been a huge fan of her since my teens and I would have dared you to say that she would write anything boring or nearly unreadable. Except, well, she did. I've wracked my brain to figure out what went wrong with this series. Was it that there were no clear stakes until the last 50-75 pages? Was it the heavily mannered complexity of the ancient Chinese based magic system? Was it the lack of character growth on the part of the ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2000s
This one is second outing for this series, which I want so much to absolutely love...

The Chinese zodiac, the system of magic based upon mahjong tiles, all the occult-y, fantastic stuff: all right up my alley.

My problem with this series is, as I said in my review of the first book, is that it's just... It's a lot of talk and little action.

The aforementioned system of magic is a fresh and original idea, but the detail which the author delves into it is often exhausting to read and plot points
Update: I give up. I love the IDEA of this book, but it was horribly executed. Never finished the last few chapters, just couldn't stand it anymore.

Why am I still reading this?! The writing is painful (I think she thinks in order to paint a picture of a scene, she has to meticulously describe what every character in the room is doing - no matter how mundane or inconsequential it is), but I want to see what happens....I'm sure it will not be worth it, but I am sticking it out a little longer.
Rating: 2.5

This book was very similar to the first in the series. I found it had more Chinese mythology ramblings than was really necessary, and otherwise I also found Honey Dream's drastic personality turnaround rather unbelievable (though relieving).

Ultimately, this book wasn't that much different that the first in the series- rather a continuance than many important plot developments. The imagery of the book is well-written and interesting, but don't expect something much better than the
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Karen by: I've been following the series since I first heard Jane read
FIVE ODD HONORS comes out May 11 and I have it pre-ordered. While I wait, I'll finish NINE GATES. So far, Jane has done a great job with luring the reader back into the story.
This book was fantastic. The characters and the story went deeper into the complexity of why it's actually called _NINE GATES_.

Although it doesn't change much about the story this book (and _FIVE ODD HONORS_) traveled to China and I developed more of an understanding, especially since I've never played
Jun 17, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked the first one - or at least, the characters from Thirteen Orphans stuck with me and I genuinely wanted to know how things would turn out. I read a few reviews on LibraryThing before I picked it up and knew going in that not much would happen. Knowing ahead of time that it's mostly talk aided my experience. If you like the characters, are interested in the set-up, and want to know how things work out, I would definitely recommend continuing on in the series. Just keep in mind that this is ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This book starts in media res, and if you haven't read the first book, you will be very, very confused. (I have run the experiment.)

Having said that, it was a book that drew me in.

While checking boxes on book type, I debated on adding "urban fantasy", because it might technically be that, but since the main thrust is such a secretive, closed magical tradition it doesn't *feel* like it, if that makes sense.
Nikki Tampos
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
The author tends to "talk" too much which adds a challenge to reading the book (i almost gave up on it less than halfway through) but by the 2nd half of the story, the plot gets interesting and so does the Chinese magic and folklore which kept me fixated 'til the end. Now I'm looking for the prequel and sequel to this :D
Cyn Mcdonald
Apr 27, 2016 rated it liked it
The action-story was fine. Explanations of Chinese culture got tedious. Granted that most of them were necessary to understand what was going on, but there were so *many* of them. Second book in the series, and one could tell.
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
After being away from these characters for over ayear, i was delighted by how quickly i became invested in their stories again. The depth and thought that went into the myths in this story really made this world seem like it could be hidden in our own. Really good.
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Interesting setting, but I was put off by the changing point of view characters and their tendency to explain the plot and their thoughts about the other characters instead of just doing stuff. Didn't finish it.
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable 2nd book of a trilogy. I read it and didn't have to go back and reread the first book to get the gist. I think that's a good thing. If only the 3rd book were out in paperback already.
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A big step up from the previous book and it would have been very good if it wasn't for the constant lecturing, theorizing and discussion. A little is fine, but it's just done is such a poor way that even characters in the book comment on how irritating it is.
Jan 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Great concept but terribly written.
I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't.
I started to get annoyed with the spelling mistakes and the mix up in characters names quiet early on.
The editor really didn't help this author. : /
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Jane Lindskold is the author of more than twenty published novels, including the six volume Firekeeper Saga (beginning with Through Wolf’s Eyes), Child of a Rainless Year (a contemporary fantasy set in Las Vegas, New Mexico), and The Buried Pyramid (an archeological adventure fantasy set in 1880's Egypt).

Lindskold is also the author of the “Breaking the Wall” series, which begins with Thirteen

Other books in the series

Breaking the Wall (3 books)
  • Thirteen Orphans (Breaking the Wall, #1)
  • Five Odd Honors (Breaking the Wall, #3)