Cold Fire by Kate Elliott
I have never been more teasingly frustrated as I was whilst reading ‘Cold Fire’ by Kate Elliott. You see, I am – at the core and heart of it all – a hopeless romantic. I might be a Christian and all, but when it all comes down to it, I want the boy to get the girl, the girl to get the boy, and for there to be no stupid miscommunications (I’m looking at you J.K. Rowling). I want a happy ending, or, really, I want true feelings to be brought into the open before an unhappy ending.
I’m a sop. Leave me alone!
Cold Fire is Kate Elliott’s second book in her Spiritwalker trilogy, and it’s just as good as the first one. For a while there, I thought maybe Elliott had slipped up a little: the book seemed disjointed, odd time-jumps and stilted progress. Then I realised that was exactly how I should be reading the book, as that was what was happening to Catherine, our lead character. She was as temporally disrupted as we were in the reading. Being able to translate that onto the page is proof of Elliott’s mastery of her craft.
I’ve had the real joy recently of communicating with Kate over Twitter. She explained how she “got a card-carrying physicist to come up with a rationale for the magic” so that she could “make it function within the laws of thermodynamics.” When I was told this I had no trouble believing her, because the magic in this world really doesn’t seem all that “magical” to me. By which I mean, it fits! By saying it doesn’t seem magical, I mean that it doesn’t need to be called magic; it’s not unlikely, it’s not “magical”. It is, however, a perfect extension of a world that never saw an end to the ice age. It is a perfect extension of a world that allowed for the evolution of bird-like trolls.
This entire world – an Earth that is as likely as ours – makes sense, and as a result provides the perfect backdrop for one of the more fascinating stories I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.
The romance that stems from the events in this book sinks deep into your ‘self’ and resounds; shockingly at times. You feel as if Elliott has somehow tapped into your own history and drawn it onto the page with words that spellbind you. I think Elliott is the perfect example of an author who follows George Orwell’s number 1 rule of writing; Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous. I don’t want grammatical perfection in the books I read; I want realistic interpretation of events and feelings, and unless you were born with a British-pole rigidly inserted unpleasantly through your core, you don’t adhere to all the (often contradictory) laws of grammar when you relate your life to another. Why should we require such a thing of authors?
Without the ‘high-fantasy’ of Steven Erikson or the grab for popular attention of J.K. Rowling, Kate Elliott simply must be listed as one of the finest writers of fiction today. Dedicated to telling a story of utterly imaginable truth, there is no author I would rather be reading right now.
This Cold Fire book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: Spiritwalker
Spiritwalker: Book 1
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 airs...
Spiritwalker: Book 2
Cat and her cousin are key players in a drama of dragons and politics. Everyone wants something from them - including the warlord who's conquering all Europa and the Co...
Have you read Cold Fire?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Cold Fire reader reviews
9.8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop...
Guy Gavriel Kay
Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the t...
A Christmas Carol
It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scroo...
Sailing to Sarantium
Guy Gavriel Kay
Rumoured to be responsible for the ascension of the previous Emperor, his uncle, amid fire and blood, Valerius the Trakesian has himself now risen to the Golden Throne of t...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
The Moon and the Sun
Vonda N McIntyre
Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific ...
Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar...
Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-...
Publius Varrus is the last legionnaire in Britain, and The Skystone is in many ways his story. He is a common man with aristocratic friends, and successful both as a soldie...
Dreaming Of Zhou Gong
The Wu have been living in isolation for decades while the Shang Emperor and his enchantress have ruled the land. It has been a terrible time for the common people and the ...
Kepler is like you, but not like you. With a simple touch, Kepler can move into any body, live any life - for a moment, a day or for years. And your life could be next. SOM...
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
Philip Jose Farmer
About a hundred years ago, a group of mutant supermen began playing a major role in our affairs. It is no accident that Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Nemo, and Doc Savag...
The High King of Montival
Rudi Mackenzie has returned to Montival with the Sword of the Lady, ready to face the legions of the Prophet. To achieve victory, Rudi must assemble a coalition of former e...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
Sold into servitude in the pagan splendour of the Night Court as a child, Phedre no Delaunay is a woman who struggles for honour and duty, whose loyalty to the land she lov...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
The Silver Mask
The gods and goddesses are dead, killed two hundred years ago. With their destruction the moon split apart, the sun dwindled and the land was devastated. Civilisation has re-e...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she...
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...