Cold Steel: Spiritwalker: Book Three by Kate Elliott
|Cold Steel: Spiritwalker: Book Three by Kate Elliott|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Like the others in this epic fantasy series, this is perhaps a little on the long side but has brilliant characters, excellent world-building and a satisfying climax. One trilogy that's well worth a read!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 624||Date: June 2013|
|External links: [http:www.kateelliott.com Author's website]|
The Master of the Wild Hunt has stolen away Cat Barahal's husband. She's being blamed for a murder. Fire mage James Drake wants to kill her. And rebellion is burning up the streets back in Europa. Can Cat save her man and crush her enemies, and maybe even change her world?
Much of my favourite epic fantasy is written in the third person, often bouncing around between several points of view - take Daniel Abraham's stunning The Dagger And The Coin sequence, starting with The Dragon's Path, for example. So it's rare for me to see a series which focuses so tightly on one narrator, but it's an aspect that has made this trilogy stand out. It helps, of course, that Cat is such a great main character, with an outstanding voice. In addition, her relationships with her friends, enemies, and love interests are intriguing - particularly half-brother Rory, a shapeshifter, her father the Master of the Wild Hunt, and husband Andevai. In particular, the chemistry between Cat and Vai has always been one of the outstanding things about this series, and continues to be wonderful here.
As well, Elliott has developed a stunning world here. I said when reviewing the first in the series that the combination of magic, politics, airships, trolls, dragons, and too many other fantasy elements to mention was overambitious and lacked focus for much of the book, but over the course of the trilogy, as we've found out more about the world, it's proven to be an outstanding setting.
It does have some issues - as a trilogy, I think it's one that's always been rather longer than necessary. Book one started slowly but was rescued by an absolutely stunning ending, book two had a fabulous start and slowed down towards the middle, before picking up at the climax. Here, we're back to something of a slow start, with things only really picking up once Andevai takes more of a major role in the book. Once we get to the finale of the series, however, that's not an issue. Elliott has proven with each book that she's fantastic at creating compelling endings to novels, and this gives us a hugely satisfying finish to the series.
Overall, a mixture of superb world-building, really good characters, and brilliant relationships make this an easy recommendation, both for the book itself and the entire trilogy.
As mentioned above, The Dagger and Coin: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham is the first book in my very favourite current fantasy sequence. For another stunning female narrator in epic fantasy, The Hundred-Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance Trilogy) by N K Jemisin is superb.
You can read more book reviews or buy Cold Steel: Spiritwalker: Book Three by Kate Elliott at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Cold Steel: Spiritwalker: Book Three by Kate Elliott at Amazon.com.
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