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[personal profile] helloladies
Our giveaway ends very soon and its closure will mark the end of our theme week dedicated to Kate Elliott's super cool science fiction and fantasy novels. Here's a recap of our adventures.

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[personal profile] helloladies
At the end of some weeks, we gather at Lady Business HQ to share media thoughts and chat about the recent happenings in our tiny spheres of human experience. Feel free to join in, but note our comment policy if you're new! :D

As always, puns are welcome.

After a successful ~celebration~ of Kate Elliott, what's more fun to wrap things up than a fan cast bonanza of her books? NOTHING. Let's look at some attractive celebrities!

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[personal profile] justira
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Cover image of Black Wolves by Kate Elliott

For readers of Brent Weeks and fans of Netflix's Marco Polo comes a rich and inspired fantasy tale of warriors and nobles who must take the most desperate gamble of all: awaken allies more destructive than the hated king they hope to overthrow. Kate Elliott's new trilogy is an unmissable treat for epic fantasy lovers everywhere.

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father's fate.

Combining the best of Shogun and Netflix's Marco Polo, Black Wolves is an unmissable treat for epic fantasy lovers everywhere.

I've done two reviews now that were all about books playing with tropes. It's been a couple of months, so it's definitely time for a new one!

First of all, the cover copy for Black Wolves is dead wrong. Kellas is one of the main characters, but there are five of them, and three are women. Dannarah is arguably most central, and she barely gets mentioned in the copy. But that is the first trope that is being played with! The book starts off with roughly 100 pages of 30-year old Kellas POV, and I think Kate Elliot is doing something here that is similar to what N. K. Jemisin did with Fifth Season (WARNING: Spoilers for said book at the link!): she is giving you an easy in into this world and this story, then pulling the rug out from under you. Well, that is to say: easy in if you go by standard epic fantasy tropes and statistics. Personally I found the first 100 pages hardest to get through because I am just kind of done with fit young cis straight dudes and their drama. But then you turn the page and bam, 59 year old Dannarah. Now things get interesting — and now we really get into a conversation with and about epic fantasy.

Black Wolves, as [personal profile] renay and other reviewers have said, plays with a lot of tropes and expectations surrounding epic fantasy. I'm going to divide this into three topics: worldbuilding, power, and gender. Before I continue, I will also say that I have not read the Crossroads books, which are set in the same world. Reading them is not necessary to reading Black Wolves. And now, on to the worldbuilding!

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[personal profile] spindizzy
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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!)

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[personal profile] renay
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A few years ago after I fell in love with Kate Elliott's Spiritwalker series, I became determined to read all her work because I loved the ideas she was exploring, the makeup of her worlds, and the way she focused on the inner lives of women while still creating interesting men without letting them take over the narrative. According to popular culture, this can be Very Difficult because Dudes are "Normal" and "Easier to Write".

Also, SPOILER: A Passage of Stars totally delivers on the cool leading lady, with some caveats for extremely dubious consent issues re: the central het...romance? I'll return to that point later.

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

Hello, friends! Recently, the sequel to Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, Poisoned Blade, dropped into the world. You can read it right now from your preferred book retailer or perhaps your public library. :D

To celebrate its release, we're inviting people to get in on the ground floor of the series by giving away a copy of Court of Fives. We're also going to give away a copy of Poisoned Blade to go with it because we're so excited about it. If you haven't tried this series yet, we encourage you to enter. Come suffer with the rest of us as this series tortures our emotions until the release of Buried Heart next year.

To enter, visit http://lady-business.org/#giveaway to fill out the form or click on the images below. This giveaway is open internationally. :) As always with our giveaways, there's an option to share a favorite fantasy series by a lady/non-binary/POC author as part of entering in the comments (per our comment policy). SPOILER: you can share your favorite even without entering! We don't mind!

(Okay, fine, that's not really a spoiler. We're predictable.)

cover of Court of Fivescover of Poisoned Blade

Other Posts in this Series

"Where have you been all my life?" Jaran by Kate Elliott by Mieneke
Robot Pals and Revolution: A Passage of Stars by Kate Elliott by Renay
"The History of the World Begins In Ice" -- Cold Magic by Susan
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[personal profile] helloladies
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We're excited to launch our Kate Elliott theme week with a review of Jaran by Mieneke, long time book blogger whose work you can find over at A Fantastical Librarian. Take it away, Mieneke!

cover of Jaran

In the future, Earth is just one of the planets ruled by the vast Chapalii empire. The volatility of these alien overlords is something with which Tess Soerensen is all too familiar. Her brother, Charles, rebelled against them at one time and was rewarded by being elevated into their interstellar system—yet there is reason to believe they murdered his and Tess's parents.

Struggling to find her place in the world and still mending a broken heart, Tess sneaks aboard a shuttle bound for Rhui, one of her brother's planets. On the ground, she joins up with the native jaran people, becoming immersed in their nomadic society and customs while also attempting to get to the bottom of a smuggling scheme she encountered on her journey there. As she grows ever closer to the charismatic jaran ruler, Ilya—who is inflamed by an urgent mission of his own—Tess must choose between her feelings for him and her loyalty to her brother.

The main question I was left with after reading Jaran, was simply why aren't more people talking about this book? WHY? There is so much to chew on in this book, so much that is still relevant to genre discussions today, why is it hardly mentioned in that context? Also, why hasn't Kate Elliott received a World Fantasy Life Achievement Award yet? She should be on the list from now until she gets it every year! But that is a wholly different discussion and one that we should have elsewhere not in my review here. So with that said:

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helloladies: Horseshoe icon with the words Lady Business underneath. (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies
text banner saying Kiss Off, Adversary! With a smaller text below saying a kate elliott celebration

Hello, friends! Tomorrow begins a brand new theme week focused on an author whose stories and ideas we love, Kate Elliott. We're celebrating the release of Poisoned Blade, the sequel to her first YA novel, Court of Fives, with reviews of her other books and a giveaway!

covers of Jaran, A Passage of Stars, Black Wolves, Poisoned Blade, and Cold Magic


Mieneke from A Fantastical Librarian reviews Jaran, the first novel in the Books of the Jaran series. There will be gifs and feelings.


Renay reviews A Passage of Stars, the first book in The Highroad Trilogy, her second foray into Elliott's science fiction.

We'll also open our giveaway for copies of Court of Fives and Poisoned Blade!


Ira reviews Black Wolves, because everyone agreed that it was time for Renay to take a break and let someone else have a perspective.


KJ reviews Poisoned Blade, the sequel to Court of Fives, and will make everyone clamor to know what happens next.


Susan reviews Cold Magic, the first book of The Spiritwalker Trilogy, featuring lawyer dinosaurs and cool ladies. We're still confused that we didn't shove this to the top of Susan's reading pile more forcefully ages ago because it's totally her thing.

We'll also continue to have our regularly scheduled content throughout the week and share a wrap up post as the event winds down. We hope you'll join us. :D


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Ira is an illustrator and gamer who decided that disagreeing with everyone would be a good way to spend their time on the internet. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon AO3 icon

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