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Traitors' Gate (Crossroads) Mass Market Paperback – March 2, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Crossroads Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Elliott delivers a solid, rousing conclusion to her sprawling Crossroads epic fantasy trilogy (after 2007's Spirit Gate). Charismatic foreign captain Anji, heralded as a savior, and reeve commander Joss, known more for bedding women than leading men, have defeated the army of the corrupted Guardians. Though the secrets of the Guardians are finally uncovered, Anji refuses to relinquish his belief that the Guardians are incurable demons. Meandering plot lines may initially confuse newcomers, but Elliott's hardworking prose quickly seals the gaps, and she expertly juggles an ever-expanding cast of memorable and racially diverse characters whose captivating superstitions, passions and fears are the highlights of this expansive and complicated tale. The conclusion's final twist won't surprise readers, and some remaining loose ends suggest an imminent return to this fascinating world. (Aug.)
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Review

Kate Elliott has definitely outdone herself with this book ... Kate has given us a richly detailed world FantasyBookCritic A solid, rousing conclusion ... memorable and racially diverse characters whose captivating superstitions, passions and fears are the highlights of this expansive and complicated tale Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Crossroads (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765349329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765349323
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Ambrose on May 30, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After being intrigued enough to read through both Shadow Gate and Spirit Gate, despite the irritating problems I had with both novels, I decided to see about reading Traitors' Gate (if only to be the annoying lukewarm reviewer for all three). Alas, but my track record has been shattered. Well... Sort of.

Traitors' Gate continues the conflict between the corrupted Guardians of the Hundred and nearly everyone else. Most of the forces against the villains have realized that they do actually have to fight and the book follows the currents of that trek all the way down to the last little eddy.

I am quite happy to report that quite a few of the threads that I felt didn't budge in the last book actually did get rolling at a much better pace than anything in the previous two books. It still doesn't quite get to that "can't put book down or clowns will eat me" pace (which would cost me sleep), but it does get trundling along at a decent clip. Considering the complexity of the plotlines and the plethora of characters to love or loathe, it could have easily bogged down to a crawl, epic battles and back stabbing not withstanding. In any case, it ties up quite a few of the the loose ends in this interesting tapestry of a tale and I felt that there were enough loose ends left over to keep me wondering about what came next without losing the sense of closure that the book had.

As seems to be the norm for this series, there were even more supporting characters introduced. I would start complaining at length, but there was enough characterization and enough context surrounding them (particularly Arras and his cohort) that their inclusion made sense. Indeed, most of the characters that were carried over from the previous novels had a new dimension added on to them.
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I enjoyed the first two books, but this one blew me away; a solid 4.5 stars. At this point, everything has been set up, the tension is high, and the increasingly ominous foreshadowing had me finishing this book more quickly than either of the others, even though it is longer. Obviously more action here, and there's a new POV character on the "evil" side who does a good bit to dispel the notion that this is traditional good-vs-evil fantasy. The ending, although well-foreshadowed, was unexpectedly bittersweet and brilliant. I don't know why more people don't read Elliott, and have to assume they're turned off by the slow beginnings and cheesy covers. And they shouldn't be, because neither is representative of how good this trilogy really is.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kate Elliott is simply amazing. Her books suck you in to a world of her imagining and everything seems so real. This series is unbelievably good, I can't recommend it enough. Storyline, plot, characters, a little romance, world-building, human interest, adventure, a grand love story, military combat, a little magic - all excellently written and intertwined in such a believable and interesting series of books. This one is the third of three and just as awesome as the first two. Don't miss out on a great story!
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By dennster on September 22, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been a fan of Kate Elliott since Jaran and the Crown of Stars series. I enjoyed her latest series as well. This review is really a review of the series, and I put the review in the last novel to minimize spoilers.

The good includes:
- well-realized characters who behave rationally. I enjoyed Keshad's story and the other characters' reactions to him; it's a tribute to her character building that you could empathize with his story and with other people's dislike of him.
- solid world-building.
- risk-taking with the plot and the characters, including the murder of a major character early in the first novel.
- a complex, well-thought-through mythology. For example, she makes the story-telling hand gestures everyone uses feel natural to the reader, and I liked how Shai discovers their origin. It's a minor point but it shows the level of thought she put into creating the Hundred.
- characters who act consistently even though they seem to change. Anji's ruthlessness is clear all along, but it was easy to miss because we saw him in large part through Mai. The ending of the book surprised me but shouldn't have. And that's a tribute to her writing as well.
- a conclusion to a trilogy, which is not a given these days. She does leave some issues open for further books, but not so open that the ending doesn't feel definitive.
- and, gratuitously but enjoyably, a visit to Jaran! Sort of.

The bad includes an unsatisfying explanation for what motivated the bad guardians to be so bad.
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