Thursday, December 19, 2019

Book Review: Cold Magic by Kate Elliot

Cold Magic
Author: Kate Elliot
Series: The Spiritwalker Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication: Orbit; 1 edition (September 9, 2010)

Description: The Wild Hunt is stirring - and the dragons are finally waking from their long sleep...

Cat Barahal was the only survivor of the flood that took her parents. Raised by her extended family, she and her cousin, Bee, are unaware of the dangers that threaten them both. Though they are in beginning of the Industrial Age, magic - and the power of the Cold Mages - still hold sway.

Now, betrayed by her family and forced to marry a powerful Cold Mage, Cat will be drawn into a labyrinth of politics. There she will learn the full ruthlessness of the rule of the Cold Mages. What do the Cold Mages want from her? And who will help Cat in her struggle against them?

My Thoughts: So, Elliott describes this book as an "Afro-Celt post-Roman Icepunk Regency novel with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendants of troodons" and it is. It is also a great adventure about a young woman who discovers that everything she was told about herself by her aunt and uncle be a lie and is certainly shaded to their advantage.

Catherine Barahal is the orphaned niece of the Hassi Barahal family which has fallen on hard times. She and her cousin Bee are students at the Academy. Bee is an artist who sometimes has visions which she expresses in her drawings. Cat treasures the journals her father Daniel kept and has studied them extensively to learn more about the world and more about her father.

When she is forced to marry a Cold Mage named Andevai Diarisso Haranwy and go with him to his home, most of the things she thought she knew about her family are turned on end. She needs to find a way to survive in a situation that is foreign to her and without the guidance of her new husband. And, when she learns that she is not the daughter of the Hassi Barahal that Andevai was supposed to marry and he is ordered to kill her, she has to survive and find a way to rescue her cousin Bee from her fate too.

I enjoyed the interesting world building in this story which combines magic with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. It even has an analog of Napoleon who has been imprisoned but who might have escaped. With Cold Mages and princes struggling to hold their power against the rising tide of revolution, Cat discovers that she has some magical ability of her own which makes her eager to discover her own heritage.

I liked all the action and I liked the budding romance between Cat and Andevai. I really enjoyed getting to know Cat and I am curious about what she finds out in the next two books of this trilogy.

Favorite Quote:
We are none of us one thing alone and unchanging. We are not static, or at rest. Just as a city or a prince's court or a lineage is many people in one, so is a person many people within one, always unfinished and always like a river's current flowing onward ever changing toward the ocean that is greater than all things combined. You cannot step into the same river twice.
I bought this one April 4, 2013. You can buy your copy here.

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