Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

I’ve been curious about Kate Elliott’s books for sometime now so when I saw Cold Magic in Fully Booked, I decided to give it a try. I’ve been waiting for her books to become available here for some time. At 502 pages, this lengthy novel is available in trade paperback format for P630.

Here’s the summary found at the back of the book:

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.

Cat and 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?

The first line of the book is, “The history of the world begins in ice, and it will end in ice.” Such an appropriate start because the world where Catherine Hassi Barahal, Cat for short, lives in is surrounded by ice. Even the magic-wielders in this world are cold mages. In this alternate world, magic and science have an uneasy relationship and Europa is on the brink of a revolution. The author managed to add magical elements and modify historical events in the 1800s for this novel. While not exactly the best of students, Cat enjoys learning and loves to read books, especially her late father’s journals. She’s a student at the academy with her best friend and cousin, Bee. Even though their impoverished family cannot provide them with everything that the want, Cat is satisfied. Until a cold mage suddenly shows up at their household, changing everything that she knows. Cat is forced to leave her beloved family behind and soon after, to flee for her life.

While I found the book slow in some parts because of the history of the world and all the explaining involved in that, I still enjoyed reading the entire thing. Now I’m thinking that I probably should have read this one when the other two books in the series are already out because I can’t wait to find out what happens next. I really enjoyed reading this book not just because of the interesting worldbuilding but also because of the character development. Cat is smart, practical and adapts to her situation if not with ease, then with determination. I also liked the supporting characters, most especially Rory because he seems like so much fun. Sorry I can’t give any more details than that, I don’t want to give away spoilers. There’s a hint of romance but it isn’t as fully fleshed out as I would’ve liked. The story will probably continue in the next books. It is Cat and Bee’s relationship that’s given importance in this novel, they’re more like sisters because of how their fiercely loyal to each other. Having had a taste of what Kate Elliott is capable of, I now have the urge to track down the rest of her books. This is also the first (sort of) steampunk novel that I’ve read and I’m more curious about the subgenre.

Other reviews: (manually generated)
Lurv ala Mode
Charlotte’s Library
Dear Author
Bookworm Blues

8 thoughts on “Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

    • On the author’s website, she mentions that her publisher described the book as “a Victorian fantasy set in an alternate world of trolls, dragons, and darker magic, this is a combination of steampunk and adventure fantasy at its most fast, and furious.”

      It’s a mishmash of a lot of different things. I haven’t read other steampunk novels so I’m not exactly sure how they’re defined.

  1. Hmmm…I’ll keep this one in mind if I run out of steampunk novels in the challenge. I’m reading my second one in the challenge right now, but I sort of consider it more biopunk than steampunk. It’s listed as steampunk so I’ll count it, but if I continue liking the genre I’ll pick this one up. I hate having to wait for the next books in the series to come out though!

    • I don’t think this one is really steampunk so I don’t know if you could read it for your steampunk challenge. If His Dark Materials is steampunk then I recommend that you read that trilogy. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Cold Magic by Kate Elliot | Janicu’s Book Blog

  3. Pingback: Review of Cold Magic by Kate Elliott | Fantasy Cafe | Reviews of Fantasy and Science Fiction Books

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