Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Guardian Of The Gate Guardian Of The Gate
by Michelle Zink
Atom Books

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Guardian of the Gate is the second book in the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy, and co-incidentally, is also Ms Zink’s second book.

The second book of a trilogy is always the hardest part of the story to package: book one set the scene and started the ball rolling, with the heroine facing a difficult personal choice or surviving a Machiavellian plot and thence proceeding on the journey to solving the ills of her life; and book three gives the resolution to all that went before with the heroine victorious. Book two, however, has to supply the narrative link between books one and three without queering the pitch for book three.

So how well did Guardian of the Gate do its time-honoured duty? In my opinion not well. The book lingered on inessential scenes and characters and forgot to bring the dramatic action from book one forward to the narrative. If one was to read the first two books in direct sequence, one would suspect two different authors with two different visions of the story’s plotting such was the divergence of styles and pacing.

But as a stand alone novel Guardian of the Gate is an acceptable story and a pleasant young adult read, with a tantalising finish that hints at much for the final volume. The characters were well drawn and the story well told. I had one quibble and that was in one scene the author became very opaque as to which of the two secondary characters, Sonia and Luisa, is talking and moving as both were – unfortunately, as this was a crucial scene for the story the confusion stuck in the memory. But overall, a good book with a few small flaws; in short a keeper.

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