Monday 6 June 2011

Review: Cold Magic - Kate Elliott

Series: Spiritwalker 1
Genre: Steampunk/alternative history
Pages: 528
Published:  2010

It is the dawn of a new age... The Industrial Revolution has begun, factories are springing up across the country, and new technologies are transforming in the cities. But the old ways do not die easy.

Young Cat Barahal thinks she understands the world she lives in and her place in it, but in fact she is merely poised, unaware, on the brink of shattering events. Drawn into a labyrinth of politics involving blood, betrayal and old feuds, she will be forced to make an unexpected and perilous journey in order to discover the truth, not just about her own family but about an ancient secret lying at the heart of her world.  Cat and her cousin Bee are part of this revolution. Young women at college, learning of the science that will shape their future and ignorant of the magics that rule their families. But all of that will change when the Cold Mages come for Cat. New dangers lurk around every corner and hidden threats menace her every move.
If blood can't be trusted, who can you trust?

My thoughts:
I liked this book from the first sentence; ”The history of the world begins in ice, and it will end in ice.” After that I just liked it more and more and cursed the fact that it had been sitting on my shelf for 5 months before I read it.

The author describes the book as this: “Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk regency novel with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendants of troödons.” Now if that did not catch your attention then I do not know what will.

I do not know how to start to tell you about this book. The Roman Empire lasted longer than it should have (and is still around just smaller), and when it fell Europe broke down into places ruled by Princes and more. The plague of ghouls in Africa made the Mande people come to Europe where they met the Celts and formed the Mage Houses. There is magic (we meet the Cold Mages in this one), spirits and the spiritworld, trolls and airships. It’s a world struggling between new things and magic. And the north of the world is covered is still covered by ice.

Cat who is the heroine is someone I liked at once. She had a lot of things to figure out. I do not want to tell you too much but something will make her stand in the middle of something bigger. She does not know who to trust. And I read on and on wondering what would happen next and what really was going on. Then we have Andevai, and I can’t tell you what I feel about him and I just gonna leave you with this and insert an *evil smile*. I know what I feel but to tell you, nope that might be a spoiler. Bee her cousin was nice and sweet and the cousins truly cared for each other and would walk to hell and back to save the other one. Then there is Rory, oh I loved him, and again *evil laugh* I will not tell you anything more.

Again I can’t do the book justice. I could not put it down; it grabbed me at once with its mysterious and its wonderful worldbuilding. It’s such a rich world to explore. And the story never slows down, there is danger and there are questions and she has quite the adventure. There is also a hint of romance that might get explored more in the next book.

Anyway to make a long story short: I liked the book, I really liked it.

I recommend this book to fans of fantasy and steampunk. It’s such a wonderful mashup of genres and I fell fast for the book. I can’t wait for book 2 to come out so I continue the story and yes I hope I can buy it a once and read it.

Go and read it.



  1. This book has been on my wishlist forever! I downloaded a sample of it! Thanks for the review!

  2. Oh definitely something I might enjoy - thanks for a great review!

  3. The author's description of the book is really attention-grabbing. You evil laugh makes me more curious about Rory :D

  4. I've had this on my tbr list for a while. That first sentence is pretty great! Excellent review B =) I'm sure I'll like it too.

  5. I hadn't heard about this book prior to this review. but I think it'll be perfect for me.
    Great review.

  6. I've been wondering for ages if I would like this or not - I think you've just answered that question in the affirmative! Another one for my wishlist! :)

  7. On your shelves for 5 months! Wow. Well, that is better than me. I have books I bought a year ago yet haven't read. :(

    The history you described in this book sounds so rich and interesting. Like it could be real.

  8. Wow, that's quite a description of this book! Definitely makes me want to pick it up to see how all those different elements are blended together. You always bring such fun books to my attention, thanks:)

  9. @Jenny
    Do read the sample! :D And I hope you will fall as fast as I did

    It was very cool. And since it's all madeup then it can be as silly and strange as the author wants it :D Love it

    Lol, I know, I just had to post it after I found it.
    I just had to evil laugh,cos I can't say a word

  10. @Mishel
    I am sure you would. I do hope you give it a chance as it is awesome

    You hadn't? Well then I am glad you read this review. Do try it and book 2 will as I said be out soon too

    It was great :D just as I like my books! So that is one big YES

  11. @Missie
    Lol, now I sound like I read them at once ;) Psawh, I have books that I bought 10 years ago still on my shelf
    I did love that fact, it could have happened *coughs* Well it could ;)

    I try my best :D And when I fall for a book I fall hard. This book is def worth paying attention to

  12. Sounds like one even I would enjoy. I'm a little picky about fantasty-type books. I like the authors genre description!

  13. glad to see a bit of steampunk in your reading!

  14. You pick up the most interesting books -- this one sounds marvelous! I love everything about it -- must, must get!

  15. Great review Blodeuedd, even though i don't like steampunk, i am hesitation about this one!

  16. Okay I need this for the evil smile and evil laugh! *dances* You evil woman! ;D This book really is what I enjoy so I'm wishlisting it!

  17. @Dana
    the good thing with this one is that it's not just fantasy in it. Since it is our world in the end

    I felt it was time thanks to blogposts lately ;)

    yes yes you must get it! It was so good and wonderful

  18. @Aurian
    Well..oh dunno what to say then, it's so much more also ;)

    Oh that was all for you :D Lol. And when there is an evil smile and laugh one just gotta listen

  19. I really want to read Steampunk soon. 'Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk regency novel with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendants of troödons.'<-wow!

  20. Fantasy and steampunk are two genres I love so I'll porbably like this book too.

  21. I have this one on my want list since before it came out. So glad to see you enjoyed it. :) Some day I'll get here...someday...

  22. I have another one to add to my steampunk genre...this one actually has my curiosity!!

  23. “Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk regency novel with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendants of troödons.” You are so right! That is an unforgettable summary of a book. And that first sentence is bewitching.

  24. I've had this book on my wishlist for ages. That first sentence alone is amazing! Fab review! :)

  25. I've been wanting to try steampunk. Maybe this is a good one to start with? I always get such great reading ideas from your blog :)

  26. The covers of this author's books are really attractive to my fantasy buff's eyes... so I decided to try it out when I saw that the Crossroads trilogy was on sale. Wished I hadn't bought all three books! I stopped reading after the first few chapters in Shadow Gate (book 2). I liked the world building. It was fantastic! I didn't like the character development. It was inconsistent. However it looks like Kate Elliott has improved on her character development by your review. Maybe I'll try this author again with this new series. Thanks for sharing Blodeuedd!!

  27. I have not read a steampunk book yet. I want to try one and see what everyone's talking about.

    "Afro-Celtic Post-Roman Icepunk" - That sounds like a style of music!! *grins*

  28. this sounds awesome!! 528 pgs is pretty long!!

  29. The cover is awesome and the stoory is so different than anythign else out there. I will definitely give it try. Thanks for the fab review.
    And yes the one line description did it for me as well :)

  30. @Chris
    Not my words, lol

    Give it a try, because in the end it is just so cool

    If you love them then i would say yes, you would enjoy this book :D

  31. @melissa
    I had it on my list long too and I am glad I read it. So go out and find it

    I think you would like this one. It is very different

    I just loved the first sentence. Usually I just move on but this one got stuck in my head.

    Do read it! it's so good and just look at that first sentence :D

  32. @Yvonne
    I would say yes :D But then i have read some truly great steampunk books so I would love to recommend them all

    I know, and the enxt one is all fire. Loving it!

    Aha, I have not read those books, too bad you didn't finish the series. I hate when it turns out like that.
    And I certainly liked the characters and they had room to improve even more. I do hope you give her another try

  33. @diana
    You must try one, they are just so wonderful and strange.
    Lol, it does sound like music

    Well truth be told, it was more like 500 ;) And then an interview with her

    I am glad :D
    And yes it sure was different and I liked that. Too bad that in her Europe my country was under ice, lol

  34.'s the book you told me about on Twitter! :-D I'm going to have to check this one out. I remember reading a review a few months back about this book. I don't remember if I placed it on my TBR list but after your awesome review, I need to! :-)

  35. @De
    yes yes yes :D You totally gotta read this one. I am so glad it is on your wishlist cos it rocked



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