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Cold Magic (The Spiritwalker Trilogy) [Kindle Edition]

Kate Elliott
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.00
Kindle Price: $6.99
You Save: $1.01 (13%)
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?


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.

Review

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 SFFWorld.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 1334 KB
  • Print Length: 614 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00EBFGXEW
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (September 9, 2010)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JTHYB2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,558 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Icepunk Fun for Everyone August 29, 2010
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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 although it started off slow, once it catches your interest you cannot...
Slow start but exceptional read once you get going. I highly recommend this boom to serious fantasy fans. It won't disappoint.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow start, but better as it progresses
Emphasis on the mundane details of the characters slows the plotting the first third of the book. The author didn't seem to give Cat enough abilities to actually succeed in her... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kitchen Queen
3.0 out of 5 stars I like it enough to read the rest of the series ...
Very interesting, but gives a lot of detailed background on the past wars that often left my mind wandering. I like it enough to read the rest of the series though!
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth It
When I first picked this book up I was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis on the rear cover. A couple chapters in I was a little disappointed and pretty bored, then it picked... Read more
Published 6 months ago by K. Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Kate Elliott has done some really good books. This series is absolutely great although it certainly fits into the category of "girl" book. That's okay. Read more
Published 6 months ago by esp
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
There were lots of confusing things with the backstory but overall I loved the story and the characters. Very unique ideas
Published 8 months ago by twin moms
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
What a fun adventure in the ice and snow. If you like high fantasy, you'll love this book. Kate Elliot never disappoints.
Published 8 months ago by M. Sexton
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
This book is like a feast of rich and highly-spiced dishes. The alternate history is fascinating, the world is drawn in exquisite detail, and the characters are vivid and complex. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Beth Bernobich
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting concept, but overstuffed and with flawed execution
This book was… odd. I very much wanted to like it. I read it on recommendation from a good friend whose taste I trust, and it has a lot of elements that were enticing to me. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cass Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars You should buy this book
This is a super cool steam punk fantasy. The world is amazingly built and richly detailed. The characters are also great. I bought the other two books the day I finished this one.
Published 9 months ago by Fawx
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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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