Kate Elliott published her first novel in 1992. Her Novels of the Jaran, set in a speculative future, follow the changes in the culture of the nomadic people known as the Jaran after their first contact with the technologically more advanced society of Earth.
The author has described Jaran, the first in the series, as "Jane Austen meets Genghis Khan" in a science fiction setting. Jaran was on both Locus Magazine's Recommended List and VOYA's Best of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Lists for novels published in 1992. Subsequent novels in the Jaran series are The Sword of Heaven and The Law of Becoming.
In addition to her science-fiction novels she is the co-author, together with writers Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson, of the bestselling fantasy novel The Golden Key, which was a 1997 World Fantasy Award finalist.
She has also published short stories in the field in various anthologies.
The overarching story is ethereal in the revelation; slow to be realised and slower still to understand the extent. This theme continues into the second book, but the slow build – for me – is rewarding and enjoyable. If you’re a fan of Kate Elliott, or authors such as Kristen Britain and Robin Hobb, then Spirit Gate and the whole Crossroads series will be a rewarding experience.
If you’re a fan of Kate Elliott, or authors such as Kristen Britain and Robin Hobb, then Spirit Gate and the whole Crossroads series will be a rewarding experience.
The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil. King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her banner. Internal conflict weakens Wendar's defences, drawing raiders, human and inhuman, across its borders. Terrifying portents abound and dark spirits walk the land in broad daylight. Suddenly two innocents are thrust into the midst of the conflict. Alain, a young man granted a vision by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman with the power to change the course of history. Both must discover the truth about themselves before they can accept their fates. For in a war where sorcery, not swords, may determine the final outcome, the price of failure may be more than their own lives.
"Earlier this year I read Kate Elliott’s ‘Cold Magic’, and fell in love with her writing. She writes with such flawless ease and produces work of such quality that I quickly found myself scouring the internet and bookstores for anything she’s ever written. Which was when I came across her ‘Crown of Stars’ series, completed back in 2006. Coming in at seven books long, and written by one of my now favourite authors, I was sure to enjoy it. But after some Twitterly advice from the author, I bought book one and two, just in case."
Prince of Dogs is the perfect second book. It draws you on from the first outstanding introduction to this new universe and drops you off ready and willing for the third. Kate Elliott is a master of her craft, able to leave you breathless and emotionally wrung out with the simple flip of a page.
The world of Liath and Alain is breaking apart as King Henry's kingdom is savaged by earthly and supernatural forces, which they alone have the power to understand. The Eika warriors thirst for the King's land and power, their enmity sealed by generations of blood. Bitter in-fighting within King Henry's court and the ceaseless attrition of raiders also weaken his reign. Those who remain true must stay strong as the shadow of the Cursed Ones falls, and the spell holding the exiled from the planet fails. Liath must force her wild sorcery to maturity and Sanglant, her husband and King Henry's heir, must struggle to hold the realm together. The twin destinies of Liath and Alain may yet avert the destruction written in the stars.
"The fifth volume in the ‘Crown of Stars’ saga, The Gathering Storm, has been a long time coming (duly noted by the apologetic author) but the delay has been worth it. We find ourselves trailing two Eagles, Hanna and Hathui, the former riding to join Sanglant and Sapientia who have gone to Jinn trailing Bulkezu as their prisoner, the latter heading towards King Henry who has been possessed, the Skopos and the insidious Hugh. Amongst this the small fervent band of ‘heretics’, numbering Sigfrid, Ivar and the beautiful Baldwin amongst them end up at the monastery where Alain is desperately attempting to forget who he is and seek peaceful obscurity." travelswithadiplomat
The long-awaited cataclysm has reshaped the very land and seas, and disrupted the war for the empire. Now all who have survived the return of the spell-exiled Aoi lands must find a way to mend their shattered territories and take a stand against their enemies in a power struggle that may forge new alliances-or doom them all.
"Elliott's barely disguised early-medieval world draws heavily on that social, geographical and religious structure and is delightful drawn, excellently characterized and possessing of a heavily built plot in a Jordan-esque fashion. Effortlessly building suspense and engendering real empathy in her characters with Hugh, Alain and Liath the stand-out people, the author has created a fantasy world that resides in the top echelons of the genre."
King Henry's kingdom has been ravaged by internecine warfare, in a conflict that has been both long and bloody. Furthermore, the spell holding the exiled Ashioi from the world has failed, and the land, ravaged by the fury of their return, is only now showing signs of recovery. Sanglant is struggling to legitimise his leadership as the returned Ashioi are planning war, and Stronghand has begun a march of conquest into the heart of Sanglant's realm. Adelheid and Antonia have made an unholy alliance, and Sabella and Duke Conrad are moving to seize Sanglant's crown.
"Elliott's barely disguised early-medieval world that draws heavily on that social, geographical and religious structure is delightful drawn, excellently characterized and possessing of a heavily built plot in a Jordan-esque fashion. Effortlessly building suspense and engendering real empathy in her characters with Hugh, Alain and Liath the stand-out people, the author has created a fantasy world that resides in the top echelons of the genre."
This book had me hooked from the first page, and the fact that this is a world where the ice-sheets never receded as much as they had in ours really played to the science-nerd in me. Add in the warped history and languages, characters I wish I knew personally, and a way with words I haven’t had the pleasure of reading since Steven Erikson, and Kate Elliott is now a contender for one of my favourite 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.
Trouble, treachery and magic seem to follow Cat Barahal wherever she goes. The Master of the Wild Hunt has stolen away her husband. The ruler of the Taino kingdom blames her for his mother's murder. An enraged fire mage wants to kill her. And Cat, her cousin Bee and her half-brother Rory aren't even back in Europa yet, where revolution is burning up the streets.
Rebellions to plot. Enemies to crush. Handsome men to rescue. Cat and Bee have their work cut out for them.