Thursday, December 3, 2015

Review: Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

Cold Magic (Spiritwalker, #1)Title: Cold Magic
Author: Kate Elliott
Publisher/Publication Date: Orbit, September 2, 2010
Genre: Fantasy 
Format/Source: Mass Market Paperback, Purchased

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

The Wild Hunt is stirring - and the dragons are finally 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. Though they are in beginning of the Industrial Age, magic - and the power of the Cold Mages - still hold 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 rule of the Cold Mages. What do the Cold Mages want from her? And who will help Cat in her struggle against them?

My Thoughts:

The first time I read Kate Elliott’s Cold Magic was years ago, and recently, I reread it just for fun since I had some time. Let me tell you, this book is two kinds of fantastic and everything I look for in a fantasy novel.

The story focuses on Cat (Catherine) Barahal after she is married to a cold mage. It took some time for the reasoning to come into full focus, but that slow buildup made the story interesting. When the reasons were finally revealed, well I liked it the first time I read the book and it was just as expertly placed as I remember it to be. Bee (Beatrice), Cat’s cousin, was present in the beginning but wasn’t as involved in the middle of the book. As I said, the story was mainly about Cat. But for the parts that she was present, well, they were fantastic. Bee is one of my favorite characters in Cold Magic, she remains interesting, and I loved the conversations that happened between the two—those parts were basically some of my favorites and one of the reasons why I picked this book up again.

The magic in Cold Magic fits seamlessly with the world, from the Cold Mages themselves to the abilities that Cat and Bee possessed, though vastly different from one another. The world itself was done well and served as a fitting backdrop for Cat’s story. I liked how all of the little details were handled and incorporated into the story—the development was clear from early on, and the information was spread out and placed in a way that avoided info dumps.

The characters Cat and Bee are still some of the best I’ve read about. So, I’m glad that I had the time to reread Cold Magic, and it remains one of my favorite fantasy novels.

Rating 5/5
Kate Elliott CropAbout the Author...

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 copyright April Quintanilla)

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