THE SLEEP OF STONE by Louise Cooper


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Shape-changer Ghysla--last of the ancient ones, born Ghryszmyxychtys but now known as Ghysla--is sure that Prince Anyr loves her as deeply as she loves him, even though she has shown herself to him only in the guise of animals like a playful seal or a loving deer; she can't believe he loves his beautiful bride-to-be, Sivorne. Ghysla plans to steal Sivorne away, substitute herself, then reveal all, imagining that the result will be great joy. Even Anyr's loving concern when Sivorne awakens screaming about an ugly dark gremlin (actually Ghysla in her true shape) fails to shake Ghysla's obsession. On the wedding day, after Ghysla has turned Sivorne to stone and taken her form, she is discovered. Anyr is devastated, Ghysla both sullen and manic. The recluse wizard Mornan (Myrrzynohoenhaxn, half-human, half of Ghysla's race) tells Ghysla that only she can release Sivorne: she must take Sivorne's place in the rock in order to bring peace to the frantic Anyr. Ghysla does so; and long after, moved by her plight, Mornan in turn releases her by taking her place. Cooper brings to this entry in the ""Dragonflight"" series the strong sense of mystery and the vivid imaginary world that make her adult fantasy so effective. A beautifully wrought, deceptively simple tale that has the texture of legend; special appeal for the thoughtful reader.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1991
Page count: 138pp
Publisher: Atheneum