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Shadow Gate (Crossroads, Book 2) [Hardcover]

Kate Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)


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Book Description

April 15, 2008
The captivating, bestselling Spirit Gate swept readers into the turbulent world of the Hundred, where the peace and order of life under the protection of the immortal Guardians has given way to chaos and violence. In the face of a vast horde of marauders led by a rogue Guardian, the bravery and resourcefulness of a lone eagle-reeve and others who risk their lives for the common good have prevented death and destruction from overwhelming the Hundred.

Now in Shadow Gate, the enthralling sequel, the source of corruption of the Guardians is still a mystery to the mortals who fight to withstand the forces that have turned against them. And when three new Guardians emerge, a struggle begins among the immortals, with nothing less at stake than the future of the land and its gods.

With all the color, excitement, and narrative power that have made Kate Elliott an enormously popular writer, Shadow Gate weaves a powerful spell of action, romance, and magic that will entrance legions of readers.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this many-layered second installment in the Crossroads fantasy series (after 2007's Spirit Gate), Marit, an eagle-riding reeve, awakens as a spirit three years after her death and slowly realizes she's become one of the nine Guardians, protectors of justice who wield god-given powers. Soon Marit discovers that some of her fellow Guardians lead forces plaguing the land, while others hide or resist. Meanwhile, among the living, war rewrites the social order, and those of different religions and homelands make common cause. Elliott follows Qin soldier Anji and his troubled, lonely wife, Mai; Marit's former lover, reeve marshal Joss; and Kirya, a tribal warrior who sells herself into slavery to protect her brother. Each must balance cultural imperatives with a broader view of justice, and survival with mercy. The cosmology and politics may confuse newcomers, but the human dilemmas grip the reader right through to the abrupt final cliffhanger. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“This promises to be a truly epic fantasy.” —Publishers Weekly on Spirit Gate

“Spirit Gate has kept me up late at night for too many nights in a row, it made me burn dinner once, and it nearly caused a fender-bender when I was thinking about the characters while driving. It’s a big, complex, absorbing book that interfered with my living my daily life while I was reading it, and I blame the author quite bitterly for that.” —Laura Resnick, award-winning author of In Fire Forged on Spirit Gate

“I love this book. Once again Kate Elliott has written a splendid, grand epic that sweeps the reader into this magical world and doesn’t let go even after the very last word on the very last page. I can’t wait for the sequel to see what happens next.” —Dennis L. McKiernan, author of Once Upon a Spring Morn on Spirit Gate

“A treasure for readers who enjoy the journey as much as, or more than, the destination.” —Sci Fi Weekly on Spirit Gate

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765310562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765310569
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Read April 15, 2008
Format:Hardcover
I spent Sunday devouring this book. The lawn didn't get mowed. Phone calls didn't get answered. But I didn't care. I was totally engrossed in Shadow Gate. I loved Spirit Gate, the first book in this series and the sequel maintains the high, no, very high standards of the first.

Kate Elliott has always been a top fantasy writer and seems to only get better with time.

If you like thrill a minute action stories look elsewhere. The story is complex and nuanced and focused as much on relationships and world building as anything. The world that Elliott has created is rich with widely different cultures. The bad guy, who is mostly in the background is truly evil. If you enjoy complex characters, excellent plotting and enough action and intrigue to keep you reading at the expense of your regular life, give Shadow Gate a try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid middle book. Warning: looooong review! May 10, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Unlike in Spirit Gate, the pace is fairly consistent in this second volume; while there are a few slow spots, there was enough tension to keep me going throughout. Structurally, yes, it's a middle book, so not quite as much happens on the macro, political level as in books one and three. But still, partway through this book I fell in love with the trilogy, largely because I'd become so invested in the characters. This one introduces a couple of my favorite characters (Nallo and Marit--well, that's a reintroduction, but a great plotline) and I loved Shai's redemption arc.

A spoiler-free review of the trilogy:

STORYLINE/PACING: Like many an epic fantasy, this could be summarized as "a defensive war against evil." But being a character-driven book, the plot is as much about each character's individual arcs and subplots, and being toward the realistic end of the fantasy spectrum, good and evil aren't clear-cut. There's much more character interaction than swordfighting, and the pacing is maybe a bit on the slow side, but once it gets going midway through the first book, the plot is compelling and something is always happening.

While there are logical ending points for the first and second books, like most fantasy trilogies this one is of the "three-volume novel" variety, and I rushed through them all back-to-back. But although more novels are planned in this world, there's a solid resolution at the end.

CHARACTERS: The character development overall is quite good, and most of the main characters are sympathetic and likable if at times frustrating. Elliott is a rare epic fantasy writer in that she uses the multi-book format to actually further develop the characters, and I found my opinions on several of them changing book by book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy Successor February 15, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This work is a worthy successor to Spirit Gate. I will admit I had never even heard of the author before I saw the first book in the series in a bargain sale, but since then I have purchased all three of the Crossroads books so far in print.

Where book one introduces and gives the backgrounds of all of the main characters, book two further fleshes out the main characters and even elevates one of the minor characters in the first book into major character status. One of the things I despised about the first book was that the "main" character for the first forty or so pages is killed off. She returns with a vengeance in book two, though still not as much as I would have liked.

The locations in this book are much more static than in the first. This allows the author to concentrate more on the characters than having them tromp from place to place. In addition to further fleshing out the original characters this work also introduces some new chacters that contribute to the plot and character interactions.

One method that I use to determine whether or not I like a work is whether or not the prose becomes visual while reading. Both this book and is precursor do that.

The one aspect that I did not like about this work was its repetitive descriptions of virgin and child rape. Admittedly, Kirit's experience explains much about how she acts, but this could have been accomplished without being so graphic or detailed. The child situations contribute nothing, and should have been left out completely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars keep the gate closed [no spoilers] January 30, 2011
By Oscar
Format:Hardcover
The "Crossroads" series continues several years later with "Shadow Gate", an ordinary novel with a couple exciting incidents. The Joss begins pulling the reeves together in his new position, Mai'ili learns about her new family as she builds her own, and the former slave Keshad travels. There is minimal politics, minor romance, undefined religion, and sparse action in the disjointed storyline.

The powers the former reeve Merit gains and Shai's activities near the end are the only bright spots to a bland cast. Captain Anji does not contribute anything worthwhile. Some characters interact with ghosts, but it serves the storyline poorly. Suddenly people appear when it wasn't clear whether it is a flashback or real-time. Also many moments are thrown together, the different plotlines do not mesh well together.

The series is more fantasy with extraordinary being, creatures, and experiences, but no magic per se. The characterization is light and the rare battles are decent enough.

A better detailed map of the significant terrains and a comprehensive appendix including the many characters would have been useful.

Thank you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STORY TAKES 3 BOOKS TO TELL STORY BUT WORTH ...
GREAT STORY TAKES 3 BOOKS TO TELL STORY BUT WORTH IT
Published 2 months ago by Tom A. Leach
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than Volume One: Spirit Gate
Shadow Gate by Kate Elliott

Following Spirit Gate, this book continues where the last finished. Read more
Published 10 months ago by wbentrim
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy fan
Enthralling story with compelling characters. Bitter loss and grave dangers with just the right glimmer of hope. Only complaint is crudity.
Published 12 months ago by Jill Allen
3.0 out of 5 stars I had issues with this trilogy starting in this book...
Alright, so first thing you need to know is I bought the third book after I finished this one and I couldn't finish it. Read more
Published 17 months ago by coralreef
5.0 out of 5 stars Book purchase
The book arrived quickly which was great as it was difficult to locate in local stores. A great read for a teen.
Published 20 months ago by Shawnee Newsome
3.0 out of 5 stars Shadow Gate
I like it, but it was a different view point of the 1st book in the series. Which means you were reading the same story form a different view. Thus kind of disappointing.
Published 23 months ago by Ruth L. Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Good fantasy read
The second book in the series starts off with giving background information to smaller characters of the first book. Read more
Published on December 22, 2012 by Cathy L. Maddox
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series!
I read each in the trilogy from cover to cover as fast as I could. The author used an incredible amount of cultural knowledge to construct a world that is convincingly complex... Read more
Published on December 12, 2012 by D. Hewitt
2.0 out of 5 stars Is there an editor in the house?
S-o-o-o much description. A character can't walk into a marketplace without the author telling us what all the vendors are selling. And some of it is very creative and clever... Read more
Published on June 15, 2010 by spenyc
3.0 out of 5 stars Some things go forwards and others don't budge
So after being mildly intrigued by Spirit Gate, I went and read through Shadow Gate. I am quite happy to say that I liked Shadow Gate more. Read more
Published on March 15, 2010 by E. Ambrose
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