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Cold Magic (The Spiritwalker Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Kate Elliott
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.00
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Book Description

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?

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Publishers Weekly

    The first installment of Elliott's Spiritwalker trilogy puts a decidedly steampunk edge on epic adventure fantasy. The setting is a pseudo-Victorian Europe at the emergence of an industrial revolution, replete with dirigibles, gas lights, and great political and social upheaval. The unpopular cold mages believe that the "reckless tinkering" of radical scientists and natural historians will destroy society. Irreverent orphan Catherine Hassi Barahal mostly thinks about staying out of trouble and finding out about her mysterious explorer parents, but when a cold mage shows up to collect on an old contract, Cat is forced to marry him and undertake a nightmarish journey across an ice-covered country in which she learns frightening things about the mortal and spirit worlds. After a slow start, Elliott pulls out all the stops in a wildly imaginative narrative that will ring happy bells for fans of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    It's a definite hands-down great read ... the characters, the mysteries, the background history, the cultural complexity, were all so intriguing I couldn't stop reading Elizabeth Moon An exuberant narrative with great energy and inventive world building ... I utterly loved it FantasyBookCritic An entertaining read

    Product Details

    • File Size: 1830 KB
    • Print Length: 614 pages
    • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (September 9, 2010)
    • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003JTHYB2
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Icepunk Fun for Everyone August 29, 2010
    I've read Elliott before, I had an old battered copy of Jaran for the longest time (before it got lost in the Great Book Loss of 2001 aka we moved and they lost my box of books), but I haven't read much of her since. Not from lack of wanting to, but from lack of having her other books around. I haven't even read all of the Jaran books! This tends to happen with me however so I don't give undue thought.

    The start to Elliott's new Spiritwalker trilogy held me captivated. To the point where I forgot to go to bed on time (my alarm kept beeping at me and I kept swatting it away until finally I shut it off entirely). From the start Elliott weaved clues and hints as to a larger picture, one none of our characters understood or saw. There's a key plot point involving Cat that is very, very misleading. Actually several, but there's one slightly more important than the others. As it unfolds a new sort of dread stepped in to chase away the feelings of unease.

    In many ways this felt like a story about growing up. Neither Cat nor Bee--cousins, born only a few months apart--could be called spoiled, but they are so used to viewing the world one particular way that it astounds them constantly that their view was so narrow. Bee especially surprised me with how strong she became when confronted with the truth. I didn't expect it of her, but Elliott had laid out the foundations for the strength early on.

    Cat's journey is harrowing. Ill-prepared for the life she was thrust into, by a contract she had no say in and that she was obligated to see through, she's even less prepared when the worlds spins again. The knowledge she learned from her father's journals serves her well and also acts as a way to confirm her instincts.
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    25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Magic Makes Me Feel Warm and Fuzzy September 20, 2010
    Cold Magic is my first introduction to Kate Elliott's work, although I can't count the number of times I have picked up King's Dragon (Crown of Stars, Vol. 1) and then put it back. I don't remember now why I never bought it. So in respect to her other works, I can't compare this first book of the Spiritwalker trilogy. I can say that I really enjoyed this book and I will probably get into the Crown of Stars series (or one of her other series). I certainly understand why this book is recommended to fans of the His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass) trilogy, which happens to be one of my favorites.

    Cold Magic is a steampunk tale with a science-vs.-magic twist (I haven't really encountered science-vs.-magic before). The main character, Catherine Hassi Barahal, is a young university student more inclined towards science when she is thrust ceremoniously into the clutches of the cold mages. Soon enough, the true danger of her situation is made clear, leading to great steampunky fantasy adventure.

    Victorian sensibility--generally part and parcel of steampunk--and I aren't on speaking terms, and my only previous experience with steampunk is the His Dark Materials trilogy. Nevertheless, I plunged headlong into this story and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. All characters are fleshed out: primary, secondary, tertiary, even...uh...fourth (quaternary?). Every character's presence adds to the story, no matter how small a part s/he may play. Catherine is a wonderful character, equally flawed and endearing.
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    23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Upgraded to 4 stars December 12, 2010
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    My original review:

    This is a fun, entertaining book, which I picked up because the setting sounded interesting (Industrial Revolution-inspired alternate-Earth fantasy), and which, once it got going, proved to be such a compelling read that I devoured it in a couple of days when I should have been doing other things. It has its flaws (and a few slow spots, the first 50 or so pages in particular), but enjoyment counts for a lot.

    The plot centers on Cat, the narrator, as she's abruptly married off to a stranger in payment for a family debt, then forced to flee for her life across the icy alternate-English countryside. Cat's adventures entertain, and I enjoyed her voice a lot: those who have called the narrative "energetic" are right on the mark, and Cat is original enough a character to be consistently interesting. For that matter, the main characters are well-characterized generally; they have strong personalities and are individuals rather than stereotypes. A lot of readers dislike the love interest, and he can certainly be unpleasant, but I was so pleased to see a male lead in a fantasy book who isn't a cookie-cutter copy of hundreds of other male leads that I didn't mind. Their dynamic isn't the most healthy, but it's very human: she's attracted to him although she doesn't especially like him, and he cares for her but has a lot of other priorities that come first. I'm interested to see where this goes and as long as Elliott doesn't water it down with some lame explanation about how all his unpleasant behavior was actually calculated to protect her (which often happens with ill-mannered love interests, although it seems unlikely here), I find it good reading. And in all honesty, I'm a sucker for difficult, angsty romance, so this one hit the spot.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book to read
    Published 13 days ago by Cleary Kipe
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 1 month ago by Glenda
    4.0 out of 5 stars A swashbuckling gas-light fantasy romp
    THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME LIGHT SPOILERS--but nothing that you wouldn't be able to figure out yourself well in advance of them actually happening in the books. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Mandragora
    3.0 out of 5 stars Great storyline, but too complicated
    The storyline was interesting enough, but got too complicated. There were too many characters to keep up with and about halfway through I started skipping sections. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars The world-building is deep and detailed and is best appreciated by a...
    This is a rich and delightful fantasy with an extremely alternate historical setting and several different layers of magical presence. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Heather Rose Jones
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Very interesting and different. Fantasy series based loosely on some true history/geography. I definitely read the whole series.
    Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Could be more imaginative
    This is a very entertaining tale, adequately written, but I'll give it 4 stars because I was disappointed by the simmilarity between the actual Europe, built upon the hellenic... Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Marcelo Trasel
    5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL!! ^^
    This writer is one of the best and the book came to me in perfect condition
    Published 4 months ago by Raven Bloodrain
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
    Love all Kate Elliott's stories, but this series needs to be read as a trilogy. Still enjoyed the characters and the story.
    Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer Lynette
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    It was neat and clean what I had expected.
    Published 6 months ago by Mary Dutchik
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    More About the Author

    Kate Elliott lives in Hawaii, USA. In addition to the Crossroads series and the Crown of Stars series, she is co-author of THE GOLDEN KEY.

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