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[personal profile] spindizzy
text banner saying Kiss Off, Adversary! With a smaller text below saying a kate elliott celebration


Cover of Cold Magic by Kate Elliott


The Wild Hunt is stirring and dragons are waking from their long sleep.

Cat Barahal was the only survivor of the flood that took her parents. Raised by her extended family, she and her cousin, Bee, are unaware of the dangers that threaten them both. And although they are poised on the brink of an Industrial Age, magic — and the power of the Cold Mages — still holds sway.

Now, betrayed by her family and forced to marry a powerful cold mage, Cat will be drawn into a labyrinth of politics. There she will learn the full ruthlessness of the Cold Magic rule. But what do they want from her? And who will help Cat in her struggle against their powerful magic?


You might not believe this one, but despite being friends with [personal profile] renay for ten years, I had never read a Kate Elliott book before this one. It wasn't for lack of trying; I have Black Wolves, and I tried to read this one a few years back and just bounced off it. But I circled back around to it, and this time I got sucked in.

Kate Elliott's Cold Magic revolves around Cat Hassi Barahal, a proud member of a family of spies and mercenaries in a fantasy alternate history version of Europe where mage houses squabble with princes for power. She gets non-consensually married off to a member of one of the mage house to pay off a family debt, and spends the rest of the book trying to wrangle mages, the spirit world, and protecting her cousin; the resulting drama is delightful.

(I will be ATTEMPTING to avoid spoilers as far as I can, wish me luck!)

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing


Black Wolves is the first book in a new epic fantasy trilogy set in lands of The Hundred, the same world that features in Kate Elliott's Crossroads trilogy. When the book opens, Captain Kellas, the man who long ago illegally climbed to the top of the impenetrable Law Rock without a rope, is hunting for a traitor among King Anjihosh's elite Black Wolves. Successful in his hunt, Kellas is summoned to eat with the royal family and from there becomes embroiled in palace life after the young Prince Atani disappears. Following Atani, Kellas is reintroduced to a beautiful woman he met briefly long ago. Turns out, she has mysterious connections to the palace. This meeting will change the course of his life, and potentially the lives of everyone in The Hundred, as it reveals long hidden secrets about the royal family.

Then, after 87 pages, Black Wolves abruptly skips ahead 44 years. Take a moment to digest the measure of Kate Elliott's mettle. She spends 87 pages settling the reader into her story; establishing the reader's connection to Captain Kellas, and encouraging readers to care about a particular cast of characters. In those 87 pages, she also re-establishes the connection fans of the Crossroads series had with Anji and Mai. Then she pulls the rug out from under everyone's feet by jumping 44 years into the future. In the process, she changes not just the time period of her novel but the makeup of the book's world. In that 44 year gap, which takes place in the blink of an eye for the reader, The Hundred undergoes extreme changes. Two main characters die. And, when the story begins again, it is told from an entirely new point of view; following the life of a (now grown) character the reader briefly met as a young adult in those early 87 pages. Captain Kellas doesn't become the centre of the narrative focus again until page 257. Allow me to express my admiration for Elliott's moxy.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] bookgazing
It's just three weeks until nominations for The Hugo Awards close. With that in mind, I present my draft Best Novel ballot. There's still (barely) time to bury your faces in some of these great novels before nominations close and make your own decisions even harder. You're welcome!

Read more... )

If you're planning to nominate for The Hugo Awards, drop into the comments and let me know what's on your draft novel ballot.
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[personal profile] helloladies
This week, Orbit Books launched The Call to Adventure, which will tell you which of seven new fantasy novels might be right for you via a quiz. To celebrate the launch, we're super excited to welcome Kate Elliott to Lady Business to share the old opening to her new novel, Black Wolves, which came out November 3. Black Wolves is one of Renay's favorite fantasy novels of 2015, and we're thrilled to get a glimpse at the formation of the story. Then, we're giving away a shiny copy of Black Wolves, courtesy of Orbit! Read on.





cover of Black Wolves


Back in Spring 2013 I was wrestling with the structure of Black Wolves. I always knew it would start with Kellas as a young man, and I tried out at least five different opening chapters as a way of introducing him. Ultimately (obviously) I settled on the version as it is published, with a later entry point, but before that I wrote out the entire story of how and why Kellas climbs Law Rock and thereby comes to the notice of the king.

Here is the original first chapter.

Black Wolves - Original First Chapter )

Kate Elliott has been writing stories since she was nine years old, which has led her to believe that writing, like breathing, keeps her alive. She is the author of over twenty science fiction and fantasy novels, including her YA debut Court of Fives, as well as Cold Magic, Spirit Gate, King’s Dragon, Jaran, and her short fiction collection, The Very Best of Kate Elliott. Her new epic fantasy, Black Wolves, is now available. She lives in Hawaii with her spouse, paddles with outrigger canoe club Ka Māmalahoe, and nurses along an aging schnauzer. Photo credit: April Quintanilla.





We're giving away one copy of Black Wolves to a US/Canadian fan. If you would like to enter the giveaway, please fill out our form by December 10, 2015. :D Check out The Call to Adventure for more epic fantasy recommendations.
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay
I'm engaged in an ongoing battle with Kate Elliott's backlist. Currently, her backlist is winning. I've knocked out the Spiritwalker trilogy, Jaran, Spirit Gate, and now part of The Very Best of Kate Elliott for a total of 5 (and a half). Only 17 more to go (19 if we count the upcoming Court of Fives and The Black Wolves). Is there anyone out there who has finished everything? Did they ever return from their quest? I feel like everyone who does should get a celebratory ribbon or certificate of some kind. I may print myself one when I finish. She's written nineteen fucking books not to mention ancillary content and short fiction. Why is she not a guest of honor at every single convention in the United States? Get it together, SF convention culture, geez. Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
We're happy to welcome back [personal profile] owlmoose to Lady Business to share a guest review about The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal, a story set in the Spiritwalker universe, and jointly told by Kate Elliott (writer) and Julie Dillon (artist), who recently won a Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist.







For years as she grew out of innocent childhood and into budding womanhood, Beatrice Hassi Barahal had imagined a kiss. In a secret journal she wrote about her heartfelt longings and intimate adventures.

Unfortunately, despite her best efforts, the journal did not remain secret.

You can read it now. And you won’t be the only one who did. (source)


One of my favorite things about Kate Elliott's Spiritwalker trilogy (which I co-reviewed with Renay) was the strength of the friendship between the protagonist, Cat Barahal, and her cousin Beatrice. I loved how their relationship both drove the plot and provided the emotional core of the series. Along with the fantastic world building, Cat's relationship with Bee is my strongest driver to recommend these books to people. When I discovered that Elliott had written a short story from Bee's perspective, and that it had been published as a chapbook illustrated by Julie Dillon, I jumped at the chance to read it, and I was not disappointed. Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies


For hundreds of years the Guardians have ruled the world of the Hundred, but these powerful gods no longer exert their will on the world. Only the reeves, who patrol on enormous eagles, still represent the Guardians' power. And the reeves are losing their authority; for there is a dark shadow across the land that not even the reeves can stop.

A group of fanatics has risen to devour villages, towns, and cities in their drive to annihilate all who oppose them. No one knows who leads them; they seem inhumanly cruel and powerful. Mai and Anji, riding with a company of dedicated warriors and a single reeve who may hold a key to stopping the deadly advance of the devouring horde, must try, or the world will be lost to the carnage. But a young woman sworn to the Goddess may prove more important than them all . . . if they are not too late.


Spoilers. Read more... )
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay


In August I read Jaran, because friends, I have a burning desire to jam the entirety of Kate Elliott's backlist in my eyes. I can't yet move forward into the warm embrace of her new world building, because the current publishing landscape is a barren, Kate-less land until 2015, at which point it's going to be like finding at least five or six oases in a row (okay, or three, she's only publishing three things. Only in my wildest dreams would five Kate Elliott books drop in the same year).

The point is that she's publishing a lot in 2015 so this is the perfect time to engage in some backlist adventures and catch up, if, like me, you were cruelly blocked from knowing she existed before her Spiritwalker trilogy caught your attention.

I loved that trilogy (you could read it if you haven't! here is the review that may convince you!) even though I don't consider fantasy my home genre like I do science fiction. In reality I should have read Jaran the first time I saw it mentioned on The Book Smugglers.

I loved it, friends. Read more... )
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[personal profile] helloladies
cover for Cold Steel


Trouble, treachery, and magic just won't stop plaguing Cat Barahal. The Master of the Wild Hunt has stolen her husband Andevai. The ruler of the Taino kingdom blames her for his mother's murder. The infamous General Camjiata insists she join his army to help defeat the cold mages who rule Europa. An enraged fire mage wants to kill her. And Cat, her cousin Bee, and her half-brother Rory, aren't even back in Europa yet, where revolution is burning up the streets.

Revolutions to plot. Enemies to crush. Handsome men to rescue.

Cat and Bee have their work cut out for them. (source)


Spoilers.

KJ: So I have start by thanking Renay for recommending this series to me so strongly, because otherwise I would not have picked it up. And that would have been a shame. Kate Elliott has long been on my list of "authors to check out someday, perhaps", but I'd never received a rec for any particular title. Since that list is very, very long, I doubt she would have moved to the top otherwise. Now I feel a burning need to at least take a look at everything else she has ever written.

Renay: By "strongly" you mean climbing the walls and going "READ IT OMG READ IT OR ELSE" and freaking you out so much that it became self-preservation, right? ;) I'm the best handseller, clearly. Count yourself lucky we live half a country apart, otherwise I would've taped the book to my face and done a backward crab crawl at you down a dark hall. WOULDN'T YOU HAVE BEEN CONVINCED? Read more... )

"The ideal is a story in which women are present all the way from the protagonist to multiple secondary and minor characters, and that their interactions with each other are as important as their interactions with men." — Kate Elliott, Author Interview, The Book Wars





Other reviews )
helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
Book cover for Cold Magic which shows a front facing image of Cat Barahal. She has dark hair curly hair. To the left side of her is a curlicue pattern and behind her is something that looks like machinery. The bottom of the cover shows a blue mountain range.


It is the dawn of a new age... The Industrial Revolution has begun, factories are springing up across the country, and new technologies are transforming in the cities. But the old ways do not die easy.

“I was not a bard or a djeli or an historian or a scribe and I was certainly not a sage, but that didn't mean I wasn't curious…”

Young Cat Barahal thinks she understands the world she lives in and her place in it, but in fact she is merely poised, unaware, on the brink of shattering events. Drawn into a labyrinth of politics involving blood, betrayal and old feuds, she will be forced to make an unexpected and perilous journey in order to discover the truth, not just about her own family but about an ancient secret lying at the heart of her world.

Cat and her cousin Bee are part of this revolution. Young women at college, learning of the science that will shape their future and ignorant of the magics that rule their families. But all of that will change when the Cold Mages come for Cat. New dangers lurk around every corner and hidden threats menace her every move. If blood can't be trusted, who can you trust?
(source)


Renay and Jodie present an epic co-review, with extreme spoilers, of some epic fantasy. How appropriate. tl;dr )

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