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Cold Fire (The Spiritwalker Trilogy, 2) Mass Market Paperback – August 28, 2012
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"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."―Publishers Weekly
"Elliott has concocted something very special and original here, with elements to tweak sci-fi and fantasy fans of nearly any stripe, from alt history and steampunk aficionados, to lovers of intrigue, romance, and swashbuckling adventure."―The New York Journal of Books
"The concept got me shivering. . . .the characters, the mysteries, the background history, the cultural complexity, were all so intriguing I couldn't stop reading."―Elizabeth Moon
"Fans of steampunk and alternate history will enjoy this heady mix of magic and technology."―The Library Journal
About the Author
- Publisher : Orbit; Original edition (August 28, 2012)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 672 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316080985
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316080989
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.25 x 1.5 x 6.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #917,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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She gets involved with Camjiata's latest schemes and the radical movement in the New World. She also reunites with Vai who has come on the Mensa's command to take care of the Camjiata problem but who is also looking for Cat.
I liked that the romance between Cat and Vai comes to a resolution. This is definitely the middle book of a trilogy because there are lots of dangling plot threads. However, it is also an excellent adventure with great world building.
I can't even remember why I started on Spiritwalkers series. Cold Magic, Cold Steel, Cold Fire.
They are Alternative History on a grand Scale, using Napoleon as a VERY loose framework, and positing a number of changes over the entire world's history.
I found myself plowing through the final book, because I found one of the characters should have died, a long time ago. He doesn't for very realistic political reasons, and the conflict between his cold-blooded narcissistic personality and the goals of the protagonists, turned my stomach.
I'm glad I finished it. It works out in the end.
It's an "apocalyptic" series, not post... all through the books, the entire world is changing, and the actors are working hard to make it come out "their" way, which is different from "t'other" way.
The world building is complex and multilayered.
I do so surely recommend it.
I'm not sure why, but I found reading Cold Fire to be slow, slower even than Cold Magic. That's not to say that I found it uninteresting; certainly, exploring fire magic, learning more about the spirit forces that shape Cat's world, deepening the intrigue she has to navigate in the mortal world among a number of people who seem friend one moment and foe the next, and of course continuing the romantic turmoil between Cat and Vai were all subjects that kept me coming back to read what happened next. Maybe the shift from Europa and its cold magic to the Antilles and fire magic was just too abrupt; the contrast is great enough that at times it feels like Elliott has tried to start pulling us into a different story in a different fictional world. Still, this mostly left me wanting more at the conclusion of Cold Fire, not less, and so if anything I was looking forward to Cold Steel all the more, hoping it would fulfill the promise I felt at the end of Cold Magic.
it bogs down with political bladdering, and on going hate you, love you that passes for authors idea of romance. I found myself flipping though pages to just hurry to the end of this bogging book. I wonder if I will want to read the 3rd? prob not.
Top reviews from other countries
Cold Fire is the middle volume of Kate Elliott's Spiritwalker Trilogy, which picks up shortly after the events of Cold Magic. Like its forebear, this is a well-characterised novel which eschews the normal conventions both of the epic fantasy and steampunk genres (whilst borrowing from both). There are elements in this book of the Victorian comedy-of-manners (and occasional, intriguing echoes of the likes of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell) and Celtic mythology, as well as the northern European legend of the Wild Hunt.
Elliott's masterstroke here is moving the story to the Caribbean where a whole swathe of other influences come into play, especially the culture and nature of the Taino people. This gives the book a very different atmosphere, especially the much warmer climate which moves us away from the Ice Age-afflicted Europa of the previous novel.
The clash of cultures, with Expedition and the Taino Kingdom presented as in some respects more egalitarian and liberal in matters of the power of women and sexual freedom but still ruled at the whim of an unelected elite, gives the novel a source of tension and debate. However, these tensions are not explored in depth, as the book devotes a lot of time to Cat and Andevai's relationship. Given that the first novel established the situation - them marrying against their will, initially disliking each other but eventually falling in love - this second book does feel like it retreads a lot of the same ground. For a novel almost six hundred pages in paperback, it also feels like not a lot of ground is covered: the opening chapters are interesting and the grand finale is excellent, but the middle third or so of the novel indulges itself in elements which feel a little too soap-operaish.
In some respects this is a typical middle book-of-a-trilogy syndrome, with the pace faltering as the story switches from an introductory to a concluding mode. But Elliott is a fine enough writer - one of the best in modern fantasy - that she overcomes these issues and delivers a cracking finale in which all of the carefully-set-up elements come into play and sets the scene for the final novel in the series, Cold Steel.
Cold Fire (***½) is an interesting and original epic fantasy novel which does things rather differently from the norm for the genre and is all the stronger for it. However, the pacing feels sluggish at times before returning to form in an excellent ending.
Cat, one of the primary heroines seemed to lose depth and strength of character from book 1, and also the ability to achieve anything. She become largely somewhat useless and this led me to be quite frustrated and wanting to finish the book.
There were some interesting threads of storyline that were touched on and these may add some further depth in book 3, however for me this did read almost too much like a book of teen angst in a fantasy arena - not something I personally am interested in.