Posts Tagged ‘The Spiritwalker Trilogy’

Kate Elliott on the Spiritwalker Trilogy

cold magicFor the Spiritwalker project I wanted to write a multicultural world in which a mixing of cultures and people was the expected, the norm. I happen to think that when cultural change is considered across time, mixing is the norm. It is going on all the time throughout history. Interaction and influence are what keep cultures dynamic. A closed, static culture is a dying culture. In addition, these processes are not one-way. Cultural change happens in many directions, some of them exploitative and coerced and others subtle, subversive, and unexpected.

Certainly living in Hawaii since 2002 has influenced my choices in this regard. My earlier Crossroads Trilogy is influenced by although not specifically based on the Asia-Pacific cultural mix of Hawaii. COLD MAGIC (US | UK | AUS) and the other Spiritwalker books do not use any specific local-to-Hawaii cultural influences; however, they do incorporate ways in which I perceive that local culture has found to keep the cultural integrity of varying cultural groups (not always easily, and certainly the Native Hawaiian culture has fought a tremendous battle against colonization and erasure) allowing a unique syncretic local culture to arise that incorporates elements from all the different ethnic and cultural groups that co-exist here.

cold fireIn Spiritwalker the cultural mixing is a bit different but the process is similar: an immigrant Malian culture meets and mingles with northwestern Celtic Europe while old imperial Rome and merchant Phoenicia retain a strong influence, just to name the four most prominent cultural groups in the book (the second novel, COLD FIRE (US | UK | AUS), adds the Taino culture of the Caribbean to the mix). I admit that I wanted to highlight the immense and too-often overlooked power and richness of the West African Mande traditions and civilizations, specifically the Malian Empire. Western media and narratives too often and too easily dismiss sub-Saharan Africa (as if it is all one thing) with a few words: famine, civil war, guns, blood diamonds, slavery, and so on, and in doing so miss, denigrate and outright disappear the significant history and culture that was present historically not to mention the actual life and culture and history-in-the-making that is there right now. The history and culture of Mali is not my story to tell but I did feel I had a story to write about how we TELL history. (more…)

COLD STEEL: The Exciting Conclusion to the Spiritwalker Trilogy

Kate Elliott was one of my favorite authors growing up. I wrote a gushing letter in the front of COLD MAGIC (US | UK | AUS) that she still tortures me about to this day. Let’s see if I can find it! Ah. Here it is:

I was 13 years old when I first fell head over heels in love with Kate Elliott’s Jaran. I still remember sitting on the floor of my local library one minute, and being transported to another world the next. Over the years, I’ve gone back and read the series again and I still love it as much today as I did then. So it is an absolute privilege and a pleasure for me to welcome Kate Elliott to the Orbit list.

Kate is known for her enormous epic fantasy tales, full of brilliant characterization, in-depth politics and mind-blowing plot twists and turns. Now, in Cold Magic, she’s created an alternate Victorian England where airships rule the skies and Cold Mages will do anything to keep technology from getting into the wrong hands. It’s a world where magic rules the day and science hides at night, and where one young woman must discover her destiny.

Kate has outdone herself, creating an intricately detailed and lavish world where technology mixes with magic, and our own history is rewritten in an alternative world.

Many readers spend their adult lives trying to rediscover the feeling of the books that first transported them as readers. I can safely report that this book did just that for me, and I hope it does the same for you.


And to think that I wrote this three years ago! A whole series has passed! And with it, comes the conclusion of this fantastic series that everyone has been raving about. Mysterious men? Check. Airships? Check. Steampunk? Check. Kate Elliott tells a wonderful story that culminates in COLD STEEL (US | UK | AUS). It was many years in the making and when you reach the end, it is everything that a satisfying series should be. Plus just a bit more.  I love the experience of working with her on this series — and I can’t wait to tell you more about her new one! Though that will wait for a bit. But here’s a bit about COLD STEEL:

Trouble, treachery, and magic just won’t stop plaguing Cat Barahal. The Master of the Wild Hunt has stolen her husband Andevai. The ruler of the Taino kingdom blames her for his mother’s murder. The infamous General Camjiata insists she join his army to help defeat the cold mages who rule Europa. 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.

Revolutions to plot. Enemies to crush. Handsome men to rescue.

Cat and Bee have their work cut out for them.  

I hope you have as much fun with this series as I did.

cold magic    cold fire    Elliot-Cold Steel-TP