Campbell Mcaulay's Reviews > Exile's Gate

Exile's Gate by C.J. Cherryh
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

it was amazing
Read in November, 2010

Exiles Gate is the fourth and final outing in CJ Cherryh's Morgaine saga; the first three stories having been published under one title, the Chronicles of Morgaine. My copy was a fairly elderly one, tatty, worn out and dogeared, having survived about six house moves, numerous car-boot-sale culls and finally being lost forever having been left on a plane at Amsterdam airport. It was recently replaced (thanks to Amazon Marketplace) with an equally tatty second hand copy. my only consolation is that the passenger that took my seat on the next flight (or the cabin attendant or cleaning staffer) was lucky enough to find him or herself blessed with a right corker of a SF-fantasy story!

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". To say any more about Exile's Gate would spoil it, but if you read Chronicles, you really must read Exile before you die! Nuff said.

I only wish Cherryh had written a few more of these.

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