NOVLbox Giveaway!

Kate Elliott is the June curator for the NOVLbox giveaway at The NOVL! She will be putting together a box of fantasy goodies, including some of her own works and possibly even an early copy of Poisoned Blade, the sequel to her YA debut, Court of Fives


What’s a NOVLbox? It’s a care package from one of The NOVL’s favorite authors. What’s inside? It’s a mystery! You can check out the archive to see what curators have included in the past.

How It Works:
1. Enter HERE for a chance to win.
2. The NOVL will select & notify 10 lucky winners at the end of the month.
3. A surprise will be waiting in the winners’ mailbox!

Good luck!

Short Story Audio Drama with Redshift

The audio drama for Kate Elliott’s short story, “My Voice is in My Sword” premiered yesterday on Redshift!

Originally published in the anthology Weird Tales from Shakespeare, the short fiction story also appeared in print in Apex Magazine: “It is said that Macbeth is a cursed play, but will the curse follow an acting troupe to a distant world?”  Apex has partnered with Redshift Audio productions to bring sci-fi audio dramatizations to life.

You can listen to “My Voice is in My Sword” at Redshift or download the podcast on iTunes.


RT Reviewer’s Choice for Epic Fantasy Novel: BLACK WOLVES!!!

RT AwardSuper proud and excited to announce that Kate Elliott’s BLACK WOLVES won RT’s 2015 Reviewer’s Choice award for Epic Fantasy Novel!

This year’s RT Booklovers Convention took place in Las Vegas, NV from April 12-17, with over 200 workshops and other parties and events attended by authors, readers, bloggers, and reviewers. You can read more about the Awards Night and the RT Convention events at RT Book Review’s blog. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees alike!


Giveaway Winner & YASH Recap

Thank you to everyone who participated in the YA Scavenger Hunt! Make sure to check out the final results for each team, including my team, the Purple Team!

Congratulations to CALLY H., the winner of my bonus giveaway for a Court of Fives audiobook, narrated by Georgia Dolenz!

CoF-coverAn additional thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and helped make the YASH such a success. For those of you interested, here are the results of the poll you all answered for the giveaway:

In my secret heart of adventure I want to:
A) Study magic in secret while pretending to be the responsible one – 82%
B) Be a kickass athlete – 15%
C) Rage against the machine – 2%
D) Always be the drama queen – 1%

That was more of a landslide than I expected. Special shout out to the proud drama queens! Don’t forget to keep an eye out later this year for the Fall 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt at the YASH main blog. Good job, everyone!

YA Scavenger Hunt (Spring 2016) + Hosting Erin Moulton + Giveaway

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt Spring 2016! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors and a chance to win some awesome prizes! The Spring 2016 YASH runs from March 29 (12PM PST) to April 3 (12PM PST).

Team PurpleI am part of the PURPLE TEAM. You can view the authors participating, all nine teams, and each team’s full list of prizes at the YASH main page.

Each author for each team will be posting their own clues (along with exclusive content) for the hunt. Below, you’ll notice I’ve hidden a SECRET NUMBER. Collect and add up the clues for each author on my team to enter to win our prize — a book from each author on the Purple Team!

YASH PURPLE TEAM SPRING 2016Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

YASH is open internationally, but anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by APRIL 3, at noon Pacific Time.

Fireworks on Google Android 6.0.1Fireworks on Emoji One 2.1Fireworks on HTC Sense 7
I am hosting the amazing Erin E. Moulton for the YA Scavenger Hunt.
Fireworks on Google Android 6.0.1Fireworks on Emoji One 2.1Fireworks on HTC Sense 7

image6Erin is the author of Flutter (Penguin, 2011), Tracing Stars (Penguin, 2012), Chasing the Milky Way (Penguin, 2014) and Keepers of the Labyrinth (Penguin, 2015). She graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook. Check out her website for more information.

keepers When Lilith Bennett heads to Crete to track down the truth about her mother’s death, the last thing she expects is to be thrust into a deadly labyrinth and a quest of mythological proportions…

Take a sneak peek into Erin’s journal from her Keepers of the Labyrinth research trip to Crete, Greece!

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, Erin, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 27, which is why it is also my secret number. Add up all the secret numbers of the authors on the Purple Team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

 To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author: Joe Beernink! Click here to continue the journey!


In addition to the YASH prize, I am doing my own giveaway. Enter below to win a COURT OF FIVES audiobook, narrated by the fabulous Georgia Dolenz. You have until April 3! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Court of Fives_Elliott_CourtOfFives_HC-LOIn this imaginative escape into enthralling new lands, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family she can be whoever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best contenders. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between two Fives competitors–one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy–causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.”

Podcast: Fantasy and Worldbuilding with Kate Elliott, Helen Lowe, and Courtney Schafer

Enjoy the latest podcast from The Skiffy and Fanty Show, in which Kate Elliott, Helen Lowe, and Courtney Schafer join Paul Weimer in a special discussion of what makes their fantasy novels (Black Wolves, Daughter of Blood, and Labyrinth of Flame respectively) tick, from worldbuilding, language, style and much more.

The Skiffy and Fanty Show is a Hugo-nominated podcast that covers anything and everything related to the science fiction and fantasy genres, with commentary on controversial topics and news in literature, film, and interviews with authors, scientists, and filmmakers. Their current theme is “Women and Non-Binary in SF/F.”

Official Kate Elliott Bookstore Launch

The Kate Elliott bookstore is open for business!

In an effort to clear out some closet space that is currently taken up by way more author copies than I have room for, my stalwart assistant Cheri and I are launching a bookstore on my blog.

You can browse the categories and the individual books and box sets, from the Jaran series and Highroad Trilogy, favorites like the Spiritwalker trilogy and Crown of Stars series, and new releases like Court of Fives and Black Wolves.

ALL BOOKS WILL BE SIGNED and can be personalized if you want. I’ll also include a lovely postcard of the fabulous The Very Best of Kate Elliott cover with a fantastic illustration by Julie Dillon and excellent cover design by Elizabeth Story.

Be sure to check out the DISCOUNT section as well for special sale items: These are mostly books that have some yellowing or discoloration on the edges/spines but are otherwise in acceptable condition. A few have minor tears.

For those purchasing internationally I am sorry to have to mention (as you already know) that international postage for packages is obscenely expensive. But we will mail internationally; just note the postage costs. Because this is a new venture for me there may be some delays and bumps for the first month, but the goal is to send out a shipment every week.

A quick note about the bookstore: My business is writing, not bookselling. The money from some of the few complete sets will go to Partners in Health, a respected organization that builds access to health care in impoverished communities from the ground up. The rest will go to pay my assistant.

I can never thank my readers enough. You are honestly the best, and I hope you know that. My thanks for your continued support.

The First Kings (The Shahnameh Reading Project 1)

Join Tessa Gratton and I as we read the Shahnameh by Abolqasem Ferdowsi. We’re using the Dick Davis translation (Penguin Classics).

Today’s portion: The First Kings (pages 1 – 8)

Summary: “Here is our introduction to the establishment of civilization through a succession of glorious kings who ruled over people, animals, and the earth itself. They tamed the demons, discovered fire, invented irrigation, divided kinds of animals and kinds of human work all while honoring God.”

Sassanid king art

KE: A few things struck me immediately on reading this first section:

The story does not start with the creation of the world but rather with the creation of sovereignty, the “first man to be king, and to establish the ceremonies associated with the crown and throne.” I don’t know what traditions Ferdowsi is drawing on but given that this was written in the 10th century C.E. I thought the description of the piece by piece evolution of culture was fascinating. For one thing, the order makes sense. First people wear skins; then fire is discovered, and step by step more accoutrements of civilization are invented (by the kings).

Another element is how clearly stated the ethical theme is. Everyone, good or bad, will die. All that lives on after death is your deeds. Basically Ferdowsi sets up the morally good, just kings and their creation of civilization, and then we reach the pinnacle of glory and pride (symbolized by Jamshid commanding the demons to raise him into the heavens and his subsequent question “who would dare say that any man but I was king?” And so, the fall.

It’s refreshing to read an epic in which an expression of justice and morality sit front and center (even with the caveat that a monarchical system is not one I personally would consider the most just and moral).

No women so far, but the young men are, without exception, handsome or splendid.

TG: Yes! It makes sense to frame the narrative with the creation of civilization instead of the world, since this is literally the book of kings and kings require a civilization to rule – mortal men who are indebted to God for the farr that allows them to rule humans, animals, magical creatures, and even the earth itself. I was impressed by how concise the progression of invention was, and like you said, how clearly the theme was laid out.

If you don’t come to it knowing what farr is, by the end of the section you probably have a pretty clear idea that it’s essentially the grace of God – much like the “divine right of kings” in the West – without that ever being spelled out. Last year I read a book called THE PERSIANS by Homa Katouzian and the author emphasized the importance of understanding farr in understanding the pattern of thousands of years of revolution and rebellion in Persia and even Modern Iran – and here this fundamental epic poem is about the exact same thing.

The section even ends on a sort of cliff hanger that only works because of the tension created by the narrative leading us to understand that great kings must have farr to rule strongly and Jashid has lost it so… TURN THE PAGE TO FIND OUT THE DIRE CONSEQUENCES!

As a side note, I appreciated the practical details here and there, like using blue as a color of mourning, and the delightfully self-aware “There was no armor at that time, and the prince dressed for war in leopard skin.” Of course, soon after armor is invented!

I wonder if we should take bets on how long before the first lady is mentioned, and how much longer before there’s a lady who does anything?

KE: The “turn the page to find out” element of Jashid’s story places this classic firmly in the written tradition. Oral storytelling also uses cliffhangers but I think not quite in the same way.

Also, reading that specific detail–“There was no armor at that time, and the prince dressed for war in a leopard skin”–was the point where I knew I would love this. And for exactly the reason you cite, that it is such a self-aware comment. It’s like a glimpse of the poet himself peeking through.

TG: And the origin of the term farr, or at least a more in-depth discussion on Wikipedia. The etymology section alone makes me drool:

Next week: The Demon-King Zahhak

Link-back to the Introductory Post which includes the reading plan and links to each section as we complete it.

NIGHT FLOWER – Available Now!

Exciting news: NIGHT FLOWER is now available exclusively as an e-book! Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and The Novl, you can download the Court of Fives prequel for only $2.99 through these e-tailers:

Apple iBooks | Google Play | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Goodreads

night flower 1
NIGHT FLOWER focuses on Jessamy’s parents, Kiya and Esladas, and their serendipitous story prior to the events of Court of Fives:

When adventurous Kiya leaves behind her country home for a new life in the city of Saryenia, she meets a young soldier by the name of Esladas while working in the marketplace…and despite neither of them speaking the same language, chance encounters and stolen moments lead to a blossoming romance.

Everyone around them seems to be frowning upon their relationship, but how can they let it go when there’s this feeling in their chest that tells them that something great could come out of it? Is their love worth becoming outsiders for the rest of their lives?


For more information, visit The Novl’s official NIGHT FLOWER post. Happy reading!

ICYMI: Kate Elliott Interviews & Guest Posts

In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of Kate Elliott’s recent online appearances:

Nov 5 – John Scalzi’s Whatever Blog Guest Post: The Big Idea
“Change always happens, but as Kate Elliott explains in this Big Idea for Black Wolves, the opening novel in a new fantasy trilogy, not all change happens at once.”

Nov. 13 – Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog Guest Post: 10 Fantasy Novels Whose Depictions of Women Did Not Make Me Smash Things
“Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, […] it [was] almost impossible to find fantasy novels that gave me a fresh, provocative, innovative landscape without simply replicating the same dull and retrograde roles for women. Fortunately these days it’s new world dawning and I, for one, am thrilled.”

Nov 20 – Fangirl Happy Hour Ep. 27: “That Darn Internet”
“This week on Fangirl Happy Hour, Renay and Ana welcome Kate Elliott back to the show to discuss H.P. Lovecraft, the World Fantasy Award, fandom, rec the best pigeon dating game you will ever play, and answer some listener questions.”

Nov. 23 – Tor. Com’s Rocket Talk Ep. 69: Kate Elliott & Emma Newman
“This week’s episode features fantasy and science fiction authors Kate Elliott and Emma Newman on their recent novels, what it’s like to write aged characters and what kinds of resistance exists in society to hearing those stories. They also discuss the rarity of anxiety disorders in fiction.”

Dec. 2 – Lady Business Guest Post: The Call to Adventure
“Kate Elliott shares the old opening to her new novel, Black Wolves, which came out November 3.”

E.P. Beaumont Interview: The Muse of Research with Kate Elliott
“Kate Elliott took time from a very busy schedule of writing, revising, and promoting her work to grant this interview. As reader, I’m entertained; as writer, I’m taking notes.”

Happy reading!