I've explained before how I feel about Mercedes Lackey, and how I keep reading her books anyway. This time, I was going to make another dive into her Elemental Masters series, which I've enjoyed a few of but not really followed. I picked up The Gates of Sleep, just because the cover and the heroine seemed kind of appealing.
Sadly, this post is mostly going to be a list of reasons I didn't get past page two. (If I ever write a novel, I'm going to have to take this blog down, because I feel like I'm so mean sometimes.) Let me clarify that one of the reasons is that I'm having trouble connecting with any books right now--things that I might generally be able to get past are tripping me up badly here.
1) The narrator describes the character's morning dress as "artistic." I do not know what an artistic dress is--a painter's smock? That dress that Angela made in season 3 of Project Runway for an "art teacher?" I especially do not know what an artistic Edwardian morning dress would be. I need more information here.
2) I finally admitted to myself that I hate--hate, hate, HATE--that Lackey characters never smile. Rather, they CONSTANTLY "suppress a smile." There is no reason on earth for this character not to smile at her friends, but instead she suppresses a smile. When it's a hardened warrior trying not to give away her image, fine. When it's a queen not laughing at ribald jokes, okay. But when a character is in a room with some of her dearest friends and feels warmly toward them, there is no reason she should suppress her smile.
3) In the 1800s, it is not necessary to mention that a carved cradle is "hand-carved" as though that is impressive. That it is intricately, or elaborately, or delicately, or fancifully, or in some other way impressively carved would be useful. Hand-carved is only special because we now live in a world where that would be rare.
Some of this is sloppy, and some is just personal tweaks. Another time I would--will--read past these quirks. But, sadly, not this week.