Fanciful Reader

a book blog about romance and more. . .

TBR Challenge 2011: Cold Magic

Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (Book 1 of the Spiritwalker Trilogy)
Orbit, Sept 9, 2010

First, here’s the blurb from the publisher:

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.

“I was not a bard or a djeli or an historian or a scribe and I was certainly not a sage, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t curious…”

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?

From one of the genre’s finest writers comes a bold new epic fantasy in which science and magic are locked in a deadly struggle.

I pre-ordered Cold Magic before its release last fall and have wanted to read it for a long time. Though I’m glad I finally finished it, it really wasn’t what I expected. For one, I was expecting more steampunk elements and more romance.

I mention the romance becuase I was reading it for the TBR Challenge hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian, where participants are mainly romance bloggers. This month’s theme was “series catch-up” and Cold Magic is part one of a trilogy.

There was plenty that I liked about the book. The first-person narration is something that always helps me get hooked right away. Cat, the protagonist, and her cousin, Bee, are both complex, likable characters. They’re brave, intelligent female characters who don’t veer at all into “Mary Sue” territory. The world building is very complex. I was especially fascinated with the African and Phoenician societies that populate Europe in this alternate history.

At times the combination of all the different cultures, the political machinations, and the spirit world and magic were almost too complex for me. This is probably why I read mostly romance and not a lot of epic fantasy.

Speaking of romance, there is one very swoonworthy scene at the end, and the relationship between Cat and Andevai, the Cold Mage who is forced to marry her, is one of the things that really kept me reading. Then Cold Magic ends with a total cliffhanger, where one of the pivotal characters in the book is introduced.

For that reason, I’m glad I already have Cold Fire in hand to continue the series. I’m looking forward to reading this and ever more complex paranormal/fantasy romance series!

2 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Jenny Q

     /  September 28, 2011

    I loved this! So jealous you have Cold Fire on hand! I got Cold Magic from the library and they don’t have Cold Fire yet! And yes, that scene where Andevai tells her…oh, yes, definitely swoonworthy!

  2. Thanks for visiting, Jenny! Cold Fire is available on Netgalley if you want to go that route 🙂