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Cold Magic (The Spiritwalker Trilogy) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first 200 pages were slow, filled with what would prove later to be significant detail. The book's pace picked up speed when it focused on the main character's journey in an... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Nan
I think I enjoyed this book immensely because it is exactly the kind of book I like: steampunk alternate histories. Read morePublished 1 month ago by PrincessBlue
I enjoyed this trilogy a great deal, and I’m glad I made time for it, even though I had to break in the middle to revise a manuscript of my own. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rachel Neumeier
Nice opening to a fine trilogy. If you like your alt history/fantasy packed with (mostly) logical results of historical branchings and a strong female lead whose most significant... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Duodentes
This book had an interesting premise. I really wanted to like it.. but it's basically five hundred pages of Cat alone journeying through the woods, running away from Andevai and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by ToriAro
Well written, keeps you interested and what can I say... You will love the characters.Published 7 months ago by Schagz
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 morePublished 11 months ago by Mandragora