❴Read❵ ➫ Cold Magic Author Kate Elliott – Saudionline.co.uk


  • Paperback
  • 528 pages
  • Cold Magic
  • Kate Elliott
  • English
  • 12 June 2019
  • 9781841498812

10 thoughts on “Cold Magic

  1. says:

    Pretty close to awful In fairness, I ll admit I m not a fan of Victorian romances Didn t think this was one Ha.Here, let me save you some time Chapter 1 to 6Cat misses her dead father, so she reads his expedition journals Cat is cold because they can t afford heat in the big, drafty house She is hungry because she missed breakfast Cat is cold when she runs to school because she forgot her coat, the one in last season s style See Cat s cousin, Bee, and best friend pinch her during lecture See Bee get Cat into trouble with the school proctor See Cat risk Big Trouble to help Bee get out of a little scrape Plus, Cat will miss lunch and she is still hungry See Bee mock Cat for missing her dead father See Cat and Bee hide in the library where Bee tells the reader Cat all about her dead parents See Cat sacrifice herself for Bee.Chapter 6 to 14Cat is symbolically married off to an evil cold mage as part of a contract However, he is very handsome with his cute beard and besides, he s a very spiffy dresser Too bad he makes fun of Cat s clothes Cat is still hungry, and can t believe when the mage refuses his fish soup, lamb and chicken dishes, beans, rabbit liver, sweet potato and vegetable stews How wasteful when Cat is so hungry Let s talk about the food some Aw, the mage takes pity on Cat and lets her eat some dinner The house is under attack They escape out the window and through the city Cat is still hungry but now is kind of mad Their carriage is under attack The coachman, a spirit in disguise, saves them The mage makes the carriage pull over at a shrine to do something mysterious Cat is still cold The driver gives her his coat The mage makes fun of her clothes again They stop at a hotel and Cat bonds with the trolls in the front room while the mage hangs with other old dudes.Interlude Carol goes to bed because this awful writing is giving her a headache Unfortunately for Elliot, I read the 2012 5 book edition of The Lyra Novels by Patricia Wrede shortly before starting Cold Magic. In the introduction, Wrede shares how she was afraid to workshop her first published book, Shadow Magic, with her writing workgroup after it had been accepted for publication In this new edition, she was able to go back and re work it The first chapter of the original book was included, and she showed exactly what was cut, reworded and why I wouldn t have hated the first version by any means it was competent and familiar However, her edits demonstrated how slightly changing narrative and deleting extraneous details could focus the story.All I could think when I first started reading Cold Magic is how much Elliot could have used Wrede s writing group The first six chapters are essentially large swaths of setting that have nothing to do with plot advancement To add insult, many of the infodumps are structured as dialogue between Bee and Cat in astonishingly awkward conversation Although they ve been living together for years, in one section Bee says to Cat People must eat That s why your parents came to live with the family in Adurnam, isn t it What else could they do Your father had to go to work again for the family Yet his heart wasn t in it He fought with everyone The reports he prepared were useless He did not want to leave your mother and you alone, and your mother could not travel with him into those regions Even distressingly, that particular chunk takes place on page 63 As in, not during the introduction. But don t worry Elliot does it in the beginning pages as well.Characterization feels sadly unoriginal Cat is the orphan, alienated by fickle disposition and excessive brains Bee is the beautiful one everyone adores Even disappointingly, during the first half of the book Cat and Bee s relationship is sadly dysfunctional although Cat tells us all the time how she and Bee would do anything for each other I don t know yet if Elliot was doing it on purpose, but it s pretty apparent the relationship is one way If Bee was a man, we d call her an exploitative ass Actually, I d call her that either way Certainly with all the pinching, mocking, entreating, condescending and lecturing, it qualifies I m generally against the martyr protag, and Cat s longing to be with her best friend and compadre Bee just smacked of idiocy.Character motivation annoys I confess, I m predisposed to get stabby with the daddy s little girl absentee father syndrome Cat admires her father, misses him, risks punishment as part of getting closer to him through reading his journals, yada, yada, yada She doesn t sounds like a majority age protagonist She sounds like every young book orphan ever, trying to discover her heritage I found myself vaguely interested in the father, but it was wrapped in so much emotional angst, I wasn t able to read in any detail before my eyes started glazing over Cat is childish in other ways as well It isn t noticeable at first, because I attributed it to writer affectation, but Cat rarely refers to people by name, only by relationship to her or their position Thus the nanny, Cook, the governess, the maestra, the coachman, etc Either it s Elliot trying to keep her writing interesting by varying jobs with given names and titles, or Cat s a self centered twit Could be either I m annoyed by both.Plot wise, there s a whole bunch of other random bits about how Romans didn t conquer the Iberian peninsula I think frankly, the historical lectures were especially tedious , some vague stuff about the working class starting to rebel against the ruling class which seems to be cold mages and seems vaguely related to industrialization , trans ocean dirigibles, and a trip through Fairyland, where Cat discovers she is a Speshul Snowflake Really Oh, and her other special skill of expert fencer is revealed In a QA on Goodreads, Elliot mentions she threw in most of the ideas she was interested in could fit in, and it shows Believe me, it shows Except it turns out quite a bit like The Greyfriar, only with mages instead of vampires Or vice versa I can t be bothered to check dates They are both annoying pastiches based on the whole Victorian ladies and unsuitable relationships plotting.Lastly, not to be a complete meanie, but the writing is clunky My first cringe was on page 4 Uncle s exasperation was as sharp as a fire being extinguished by a blast of damp wind, but my curiosity was aflame I think I sprained something trying to work out that image.On my blog, I rated it one and a half stars Why not one star I found the trip through fairyland interesting, even if it was rather traditional I didn t hate it enough to completely stop, or to throw it across the room I appreciated Elliot s attempt to be sort of multi culti, and if she suffered from Overly Plucky Heroine, it was a vaguely interesting setting I was puzzled by the trolls that appeared in the inn who seemed birdlike with their feathered crests and found myself hoping for about the magic system So points for inspiring reader curiosity But overall, it felt strangely like a first novel, badly in need of a writing group.


  2. says:

    When I decided to put Cold Magic aside, after 67% of very little pleasure and a lot of struggle, I felt pretty angry and offended Angry, because reading these 360 pages took a huge effort and did not dole out the tiniest reward Offended, because the book, written by an author with quite some published writing to show as a proof for her skills, made me question my ability to focus, my ability to absorb and understand what I read and for a short, shocking minute the functionality of my Kindle s page turning buttons I think I would have met the same experience with detachment had I bought a glowingly praised debut cheaply at Smashwords Probably I would not have stayed as long on board of the shipwreck, but I would have said with conviction It s not me It s the book It s unreadable, but it shows room for improvement But how can I say that about a book which has 1.800 ratings that produce an average of 3.8 out of 5 How can I say that about a book that makes others buy the sequels for good money You see my dilemma But I refuse to take the blame I rather dance the Cha Cha with my fury as a partner And because I do not want to appear as someone impersonating Rumpelstiltskin without a plausible cause, I am going to breathe in and breathe out and defend my sanity.I used to say that to me an enjoyable story begins and ends with likable, complex characters and a believable setting To my own astonishment I have to step back from that opinion now For I liked paranormally gifted Catherine Cat Hassi Baharal, her cousin Bee, enemy and love interest Andevai Diarisso Haranwy, a powerful cold mage view spoiler and Cat s newfound brother the easy going, shapeshifting ladies man Roderic hide spoiler


  3. says:

    First off, I really ought to say that there are a lot of very good aspects to this novel Some parts, such as the dream of the dragon, the bits with the illusions and the cold steel, and especially the alternate history of Europe right up to the Regency era, with all of the Napoleanic Camjiata flavors built right in, even going far back for the world building to the great empire of Carthage, the Phoenicians.Like I said, there s a lot to love.Unfortunately, there s also the bad.Andevai has got to be one of the most atrociously horrible character I ve ever read Not only do I learn to hate him right off the bat, but there s almost no good points to latch onto besides a little illusion of Catherine in his hands or the fact that he apparently, grudgingly, did the right thing later in the tale I did not get the feeling that he was supposed to be Catherine s love interest even if she told us, also grudgingly, that he was handsome I was not sold No Nope Nada Nilch Or zilch if you prefer However you want to say it, he is No Darcy I mean Oh goodie he loves me, now I can forget that he treated me like crap, repeatedly, hunted me, tried to kill me, was shamed by his family and betrayed his master, albeit for me Woopie He did the right thing and seems to hate me for it Oh, yeah, of course he s my true husband Right.That s just the worst of it, but unfortunately, I also had some problems with the flow of the text I didn t mind how dense it was, in general, but when I start wondering why we re still in this scene and it seems rather directionless at the beginning and a good handful of times throughout, then I had to put the book down and read something else I don t like doing that I rarely ever want to, even.There s a lot of good promise in the book, though I just wish it had been written by someone else Or with better editing Or maybe a good couple of beta readers that could have sat down and said that a good deal of better foreshadowing might have fixed it or that a slightly less traditional wrap up to the core story might have been quite, quite welcome after having us work so hard to get through the text.I dislike being this cruel to a book Seriously It s nothing personal I generally love to read I just wish I could have loved this one and not so sporadically.


  4. says:

    A GR friend of mine has a shelf called wtf was this And as I closed this book for the last time, utterly defeated by the barrage of incomprehensible unnecessary pseudo european cultural fantasy speak, I actually thought what the fuck was this If I had a shelf with that label, I d put COLD MAGIC on it.As much as it pains me really, it does I had high expectations for this one , I m waving the white flag Regardless of my issues with the poorly developed setting magical WTFery, I ve been turned away by the characters voice of this book Quite simply, I m not connecting All I can do is compare this book to KUSHIEL S DART, another alterna european fantasy in first person, think how poorly it holds up beside Jacqueline Carey s vivid elegant narration I can t point out the exact nature of my distaste this voice is almost too polished, maybe I can tell this is the work of someone with books under their belt But that smoothness is such that it lacks personality it s just bland, that s a dastardly crime indeed On a technical note, COLD MAGIC reads like a YA novelyet it s marketed as an adult fantasy Cat certainly behaves like a YA heroine than an adult, that irked me AnyhooI m not going to bend ears with a rant on the waste of alterna european history onslaught of cultural fantasy speak I have only this to say If one wants their steampunkish historical fantasy to be taken seriously, one should not include lizard people. Yes, LIZARD PEOPLE Ok, so technically these lizard folks aren t Gorn clones They have feathered crests And, apparently, some of them work as solicitors in London Londun proper And they face cultural discrimination or something like thatI dunno, really By that point I was still trying to wrap my mind around Gorn the lawyer Kirkyour feessss are three monthssss overdue.Clearly this book just wasn t for me Ah well One star because it s a DNF the writing was probably worth two stars overall, but I m in a mean mood today.


  5. says:

    I wrote a really long review and somehow it got erased just as I was about to press post Is it because it s Monday Jeeeez.Ok, AS I WAS SAYING, this book was between 3 and 4 stars for me, but I gave it 4 because at the end of the book I was really satisfied and wanted I really really enjoyed Cold Magic, I liked the female protagonist a lot and the mystery behind the book and the politics of the world Only negative the world building slogged down the pace in places though because there is A LOT GOING ON Steampunk magic politics romance swordfighting fairies etc etc etc I mean, this is an invention of a whole nother type of fantasy world, which I really admire, but some passages just felt a little slow because there was a lot of splainin to do A map and extended glossary would have helped one thing a Kindle sucks at, flipping back and forth to stuff like that That said, I m definitely signed up for this series, it had a great epic fantasy quality feel with an interesting female lead I haven t read Kate Elliot s other stuff but I will definitely check it out while I wait for the next in the series.


  6. says:

    This book is so FRUSTRATINGI mean, interesting premise Steampunky alternate Europe in which there is widespread multicultural cross pollination and magic Check Great characters Headstrong young lady who has been sadly misinformed about herself for most of her life, and a Harlequin worthy hatemance with the spoiled Cold Mage she s forced to marry and who is Not All What He Seems Check But on the other hand Plot Hello, yoo hoo, plot Where are you Look at the cover blurb 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 Okay, that s nice, BUT WHAT IS THE PLOT HOW DO WE GO FROM A TO B IS THERE EVEN AN A TO B TELL ME BOOK.Wait, you re too busy worldbuilding Sorry, I ll let you get back to that And the worldbuilding Oi The worldbuilding.I like worldbuilding I like new, fresh, innovative takes on old tropes That s why Sabriel is placed on an altar in my apartment and periodically worshiped The major problem with building a whole huge world and spending a lot of thought and braincells on building this whole really cool world, including food, politics, and a culture is that you want to show people that you spent a lot of time and braincells on it Which leads to infodumps This is the reason why I can t get through the Lord of the Rings trilogy I know, I know, I m a Philistine The man put a lot of thought into the worldbuilding And he shows it I gave up when he spent like a page describing a CHAIR I DON T CARE ABOUT THE CHAIR I M SURE IT S A VERY NICE CHAIR BUT DO SOMETHING NOW, OK Cold Magic likes to infodump Not only does it like to infodump, but it has the main character do it in the narration The way it s done is so jarring that I kept getting thrown out of the story The effect was rather like jogging straight into a brick wall every twenty feet or so.Because the plot when it s THERE moves fast There is action Cat is constantly going from one place to the other, stuff keeps happening, blowing up, SEKRITS BEING REVEALED and oh wait BRICK WALL infodump about the world, ow my head.This would not be nearly as frustrating as it is if the plot and premise and characters weren t so interesting Leaving me to have to force my way through the walls o information I feel like the book could have been served with less infodump about the world and plot Again, I hold up Sabriel as the example It s obvious A LOT of worldbuilding went into the thing, but Nix only used as much as he needed to tell the story You know there s a lot going on there, but he cleverly gives us enough to get the job done and moves on Which only leaves me slavering for , 2013 get here NOW J.K Rowling did the same thing with Harry Potter, she knows a LOT than what she put in the books, but used only enough to tell the story.The other major problem I had was the prose It seemed like there were a few large SAT worthy words sprinkled into the prose that also felt jarring I understand that Cat is an educated young lady who is obsessed with her scholar father s journals, and might throw in a few rando big words into her narration, but it just didn t feel right And there s nothing wrong with using the thesaurus mighty words, as long as they fit The way it was done in Cold Magic these words interrupted the flow of the prose A lot like the infodumps got in the way of the story This is the first book in a trilogy, and thus we probably need all the information being thrown at us to get the story I just wish it had been integrated a bit better into the story, instead of ACTION infodump ACTION infodump ACTION ACTION ACTION infodump Jog jog jog BRICK WALL Give us enough to understand the next bit and move on, we ll keep following because we NEED TO KNOW MORE OMG.This is not a bad book It s a good book that is also very frustrating I ll be reading the second book because I do like the all the ideas and the strong characters I just sincerely hope that the infodumps are a lot smoother the second go round.


  7. says:

    Review also available Scaredy Engines End of Line LibraryThis was such a richly described complex novel that was about a lot of things I m interested in e.g culture, mythology and the what ifs in history This is not a story to be rushed it has to be savored and analysed to get the full experience The novel is set in an alternate early 19th century europa that still has fragments of the ice age and magic and the spirit world are real and well known After the fall of the Roman empire the regional princes and nobility ruled their areas but were still influenced by the somewhat regional mage houses who gained power when people from the sahara area were driven from their land by a plague of ghouls that were released when digging too far in the salt mines These people had sorcerers who led them safely north across the desert to Europa where they met the celtic drua of the north and together they formed the mage houses There is just too much complex history for me to go into here but I will say the world was richly crafted and described especially the spirit world scenes.The things I liked were the world building like I said , the characters and the reveals toward the end One of the things that intrigued me so was this whole idea of dragons controlling the natural forces of the mortal and spirit worlds by dreaming and shifting in their sleep I wanted to know about this ability to walk the dreams of dragons and what exactly it meant and it would also be interesting to learn of Cats heritage and why she has a spirit mantle and what her brother actually is The idea of the wild hunt was also really interesting as I m sure I ve heard that name before but not known what it is It turns out the wild hunt kills or carries away those who have drawn the attention of the night or day courts, the courts that rule the spirit world..The characters were well developed and complex and I loved seeing how they evolved throughout the book I know she is the MC but I really got on well with Cat I could really sympathize with her situation when she discovered her whole life was a lie and I liked her quick wits and determination She is a strong character who will do anything to protect those she loves and survive The things I didn t like that much were the slow pacing I can t really say how but I thought this novel could have moved along faster There was a lot of descriptions of average things so maybe things could have been edited down a little The ending also felt a little unbelievable and unclear regarding the mage houses desire to control Bee the girl who walked the dreams of dragons I knew they were guarding her but afterwards the girls went to seek legal help with old friends while also meeting the very man those in power want to stop It would seem that everyone powerful on both sides is going to start fighting over the power to get the girls to do their bidding I really hope this series is not going to turn into political ramble like Golden Son I really hope this series will focus on the fantasy side of things and I would really like to know about the spirit world courts and the dragonsThis is how I envisioned one of the dragons representing the forces of ice and winter and perhaps cold magic even though the cold mages were said to get their power through the spirit world after looking at my front cover of this book. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a really complex alternate history fantasy book Anyone who likes rich culture and history along with strong characters would like this but on saying that there is a lot of patience needed with this book due to the pacing and all


  8. says:

    Kate Elliott s Cold Magic is about as slippery as dress shoes on ice But fortunately without the painful fall.Why is it slippery Because it s as Elliott describes it a mashup novel.When I started reading I decided it was a magic riddled steampunk novel Then I decided it was also a political novel exploring cultural beliefs using an alternate Europe But no sooner had I decided that when Elliott threw in an I hate him with all my heart romance in the best Harlequin tradition Later, once I had accepted the three themes, seemingly for fun, Elliott tossed in a coming of age story colored by who am I changeling motifs At this point I was sliding around so much in the various plots that I m convinced that there are other novels hidden inside Cold Magic that I didn t see.In other words, it s a mess of a novel Oh and it s long Very long It s also full of physical detail, whole sections of alternate history lessons and worldbuilding summaries.It should be a disaster I shouldn t have made it past the first addition of complexity I like my stories simple, plot oriented and on the shorter side I hate book bloat yes, looking at you Harry Potter Book 4.And yet I loved it, so much that I was momentarily angry with Elliott for abandoning me at the end, just as the main character and I were getting some answers.I ve heard can t remember where that the twenty first century s only original contribution to culture is the mashup a nice piece of irony that the only thing new isn t new at all If that s true, then Elliott demonstrates that she s one of the Mashup Movement s masters.Every single thing that she shouldn t have done should have blocked my slide through the book such as the passages of history stuck into the thoughts of the main character, or the use of description and details that seemed to have nothing to do with the plot , but as I glided along screen after screen I marveled at how well she had done it Cold Magic is a great example of a book that breaks the rules of conventional fantasy and yet succeeds for the skill with which it s done.This isn t a Hollywood blockbuster hitting us over the head again and again with its action scenes and overarching lesson It s a European period piece that lets the reader decide what to get out of the slippery messages the story contains Not that it doesn t have action scenes, because it does aplenty written with dexterity, of course.


  9. says:

    The beginning of Cold Magic was both slow and felt rather cumbersome, and while I did not precisely struggle to read it, I was than ambivalent about it There are reasons for this The world building has to begin and the author balances a delicate line between too much detail and exposition and not enough well, like all fantasy novels I wouldn t say that it was clumsily done, but it was a little heavy I found myself at turns confused and then enlightened and then confused once , but once all of the preliminary setting is laid out, then the book really hits its stride and I found myself enjoying it I found that Cat, the main character, was someone I liked very much She s a little impulsive and hotheaded, but she does her best to try to temper it without smothering herself She makes mistakes, but she tries her best in just about impossible conditions, and she does it without going woe is me all of the time She s a strong character But who really interested me I can t say liked , since I like Cat better I pretty much always like main characters best , but he is fascinating in his own right was Andevai What was best about him was the slow progression of his character, that as time went on he became not fleshed out, exactly because that would mean that he was poorly characterized in the beginning , but familiar to the reader, and so we understood of what is going on in his mind You read the book and you understand about him and it s very skillfully done that you don t get whiplash from cold arrogant jerk to, well, still a cold, arrogant jerk, but someone with depth to him It was fascinating seeing him evolve, and learning about him as Cat learns about him The plot is skillfully done It races along the pages and you find yourself tense when Cat is, and relaxed when she is though, yes, that doesn t happen as often as she d like, heh The character Rory is great, I feel compelled to give him a great giant squeeze of a hug, and I love the addition that he made What is perhaps one of the best bits is Cat s relationship with her cousin Beatrice, and how strong it is They love each other and would do whatever they can to protect each other, and it s a relationship that does not flounder, but only grows stronger Overall, a very strong book and I look forward to reading the next.


  10. says:

    I ve held off on this review for long enough, haven t I Well, let s get started then Cold Magic is fabulous I think the strongest part of the book is the world building There is great depth and complexity woven through it, created with a great deal of intricate thought Not only is there an established rank of classes with all its ensuing ramifications prejudice, the dynamic between the rich and the poor, etc , careful economic considerations what makes the poor, poorer and what makes the rich, richer, and what the society revolves around , and the complicated battle between science and magic Or you can take this as an upgraded version of Victorian society which is what the alternate history in this book is based off of.Also, the author has created a diverse world of many ethnicities, Cat herself being one, and of course, also, Andevai, the male protagonist But there are many allusions in the book It s awesome I can totally envision this world as being real and dropping myself in it The relationships are also a fantastic high point of the book I love how close Cat and her cousin, Bee, are in here They might only be cousins but they were raised almost as sisters and it s wonderful to see how devoted and loyal they are to both each other no matter what nasty things they encounter along the way It s refreshing to see that they keep their love for each other strong and don t go the way of misunderstandings, misconceptions, and what not to make them vilify the other like some stories do Ah, I can t forget about the romance Aha, that got your interest did it It s actually very subtle and not very prominent in that the focus of the novel shifts away from the main plot to build up their love love times I m quite happy about that This is no insta lust love It takes them quite a while to grow into their feelings for each other Mainly because Cat is headstrong and stubborn, but determined, while Andevai is arrogant, detached, and riddled with a superiority complex because of his magical schooling He is cool to her and not at all friendly but it s very understandable once you understand the reasons behind his behavior I m sure I would behave the same way.I don t know why people call this book steampunk, because it s not really Except for one instance of a dirigible there really isn t anything else concrete to make it a steampunk book Especially since this world is based on firmly grounded in magic and not on steam powered creations Maybe we ll see of the steampunk side in the later books, but this is firmly in the fantasy genre for me.Sometimes the world building does tend to overshadow the narrative at times but the pace of this book is fast and addictive, you won t really mind it all that much I m really curious, though, if Andevai is stated as being cold all the time due to his magic, is he like some popsicle all the time Because that is not very attractive Haha But other than that, there are few qualms I have with this book.This is one of the few books I can see straddling the crossover boundary It s not quite YA she s 19 , but not yet adult It s firmly in the middle A rare breed if I do say so myself.I love this book I can t wait for the next one


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Cold Magiccharacters Cold Magic, audiobook Cold Magic, files book Cold Magic, today Cold Magic, Cold Magic e6d8b As They Approach Adulthood, Cat Barahal And Her Cousin Bee Think They Understand The Society They Live In And Their Place Within It At A Select Academy They Study New Airship Technologies And The Dawning Industrial Revolution, But Magical Forces Still Rule And The Cousins Are About To Discover The Full Ruthlessness Of This Rule


About the Author: Kate Elliott

As a child in rural Oregon, Kate Elliott made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction She now writes fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, often with a romantic edge It should therefore come as no surprise that she met her future husband in a sword fight.When he gave up police work to study archaeology, they and their three children fell into an entirely