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!

NIGHT FLOWER Cover Contest Winner

Thank you to everyone who voted for The Novl’s cover contest for NIGHT FLOWER, the Court of Fives exclusive digital prequel! And the winner is…

night flower 1

NIGHT FLOWER tells the “legendary love story” of Jessamy’s parents prior to the events in Court of Fives:

Kiya is a Commoner who has just arrived in the bustling city of Saryenia. Esladas is a member of the Patron ruling class and determined to prove himself in the army. His plans are disrupted by the outgoing and beautiful girl who sells him fruit in the market, though, despite the fact that neither of them speaks a word of the others language. Brief conversations and stolen moments together soon become something more, but when their divided cultures clash, Kiya and Esladas must decide if their blossoming love is worth becoming outsiders for the rest of their lives.

This companion novella will be available digitally through Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via The Novl on 8 DEC. 2015.

Read more about NIGHT FLOWER at The Novl!

PS – The sequel to Court of Fives, POISONED BLADE, will be available Aug. 2016. Read NIGHT FLOWER to tide you over until then! 😉

Court of Fives Prequel – NIGHT FLOWER

Kate Elliott is releasing an exclusive digital prequel to COURT OF FIVES through The Novl. Entitled NIGHT FLOWER, the prequel will focus on how Jessamy’s parents met prior to the events in Court of Fives. VOTE AT THE LINK for one of these two covers:

night flower 1night flower 2

The winner will be announced 9 Nov. 2015, along with more details on the digital original. Don’t forget to vote!

Code Switching in COURT OF FIVES

In Kate Elliott’s Court of Fives, Jessamy must navigate between different cultures, classes, and languages, as she competes in an athletic tournament and struggles to save her family. Elliott explains this navigation, or code-switching, in her guest post at Diversity in YA:

Jessamy’s parents come from different ethnicities, Saroese and Efean (also called Patrons and Commoners in the book). She knows both languages, is fluent in both, and can switch easily between the two in contrast to most of the population, who only speak either Saroese or Efean depending on their ethnicity.

But because Efea is a conquered country, and because the Saroese are the conquerers, she also must negotiate a far trickier form of code-switching: That between the class divide created by the privileged and powerful Patrons and the conquered and looked-down-upon Commoners.

Read more and enter to win a copy of COURT OF FIVES and four other YA SFF novels at Diversity in YA.

COURT OF FIVES Audiobook Available

Kate Elliott’s YA debut novel, COURT OF FIVES, is now available in audiobook format by Hachette Audio of Little, Brown Young Readers.

CoF-coverIn this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott begins a new trilogy with her debut young adult novel, weaving 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 at night she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test Kal’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.


“Jes will remind readers of fearless Katniss with her skill and strategy for games. But it’s the fascinating descriptions of traditions, royal interactions, and, of course, the intensities of the Fives that will enthrall readers most of all. Let the games continue!”Booklist, starred review

This series opener, the auspicious teen debut of a seasoned author of adult fantasy and World Fantasy Award finalist, features a gripping, original plot; vivid, complicated characters; and layered, convincingly detailed worldbuilding. A compelling look at racial and social identity wrapped in a page-turning adventure.” -Kirkus Review

“An imaginative journey…Elliott creates an intricate and intriguing story, conjuring a world of mysticism and centuries-old customs. Jessamy’s boldness and impulsiveness make her a striking heroine in a male-dominated land.” -Publishers Weekly

Also available in hardcover and ebook formats at your local independent bookstore, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other online and bricks and mortar stores.

Court of Fives: Mapping it Out

Let Kate Elliott guide you through five real-life visual inspirations for the world of COURT OF FIVES for Novl’s new feature, Mapping It Out.

Map of Saryenia from The Novl.

Map of Saryenia from Novl.

I’m a visual writer, and when it came time to imagine Saryenia and what sights my heroine Jes would see as she walked the streets of the city she grew up in, I relied on images of places I have seen and places I’d like to visit.
[…] I often think of reading fantasy as being a form of travel, because you are journeying to a place you’ve never before visited. I hope you enjoy the trip!

Find out what real-life visuals inspired COURT OF FIVES at NOVL



The Book Smugglers’ SFF Roundtable

Kate Elliott is one of five fantasy authors, all of whom have new novels out, who participated in The Book Smugglers’ recent SFF in Conversation roundtable. Together with Zen Cho (Sorcerer to the Crown), Aliette de Bodard (The House of Shattered Wings), Cindy Pon (Serpentine), and Tade Thompson (Making Wolf), Elliott discusses how culture and history inform their respective writing, expectations of SFF Western audiences, and diversity within the genre.

We have curiosity, imagination, and empathy for a reason: To build gates and windows into places that aren’t us. Story creates connection.

Court of Fives is set in a fantasy world inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt, the history of Hawaii’s annexation and cultural renaissance, the sports/obstacle course game show Sasuke/American Ninja Warrior, and the 19th century novel Little Women. Across time and regions, cultures have met and mingled and influenced each other, and as the child of an immigrant I think that mindset of how things connect and how they change each other is what I often bring to my writing. I’m always exploring the crossroads.

Read more at The Book Smugglers.
SFF in Conversation is a new monthly feature on The Book Smugglers where guests talk about a variety of topics important to speculative fiction fans, authors, and readers. “Our vision is to create a safe (moderated) space for thoughtful conversation about the genre, with a special focus on inclusivity and diversity in SFF.”

Kate Elliott Guest Post: Ptolemaic Egypt & COURT OF FIVES

A big thank-you to Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate and the Finishing School series, for hosting Kate Elliott’s most recent guest post in her Intellectual Salon blog series. Elliott gives an in-depth look at the many historical aspects of the Egyptian dynasty, culture, and Greco-Roman influence in her Young Adult debut novel, COURT OF FIVES:

[W]hen my spouse and his co-director received the concession (permit) from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities to work at the site of Tell Timai, I was both excited and a tiny bit disappointed.

Tell Timai has no pyramids or massive, monumental statues.

In fact, Timai became important long after the Old and New Kingdom Egypt famous for its monumental architecture and elaborate tombs. […] However, the more I learned about Ptolemaic Egypt, the more I began to see the cultural interaction of that time as fertile ground for a fantasy setting.

Read more at Gail Carriger’s website.

You can also enter a giveaway for COURT OF FIVES, along with Waistcoats & Weaponry, and the Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce through September 13 at this link to Carriger’s website.

Deadly Destinations w/ Kate Elliott at Dark Faerie Tales

Take a visit to the royal city of Saryenia with Kate Elliott as your personal tour guide to offer tourist tips, local observations, and even a detailed map of the districts! (You can also enter to win a free copy of COURT OF FIVES at the link!)

Enter the royal city of Saryenia. You will see such wonders here as you never knew existed in your tour of the many countries bordering the Three Seas.

It’s true this magnificent city began as a humble Efean fishing village built between Mist Lake and the Fire Sea. The narrow, twisting lanes of the oldest part of the city, the Warrens, are all that remain of the village, and of course only Commoners–that’s what we call people of Efean ancestry–live there now.  Because the streets have no names, the only way to figure out where you are is by your proximity to the fountains at each intersection of three or four or five alleys (we can’t really call such narrow passageways “streets”). Each fountain bears the statue of an animal atop it, so the Commoners who live in the Warrens will give you directions according to how close they live to the “cat fountain” or the “scorpion fountain.” We won’t go there today, nor do we recommend you attempt to navigate that maze alone or, in truth, at all.

Saryenia has much more interesting and splendid things to see.

Read more at Dark Faerie Tales’ Deadly Destinations…

Thank you to Dark Faerie Tales for continuing this leg of the blog tour. Deadly Destinations at Dark Faerie Tales takes readers on intimate journeys into their favorite paranormal/supernatural and SFF Young Adult novels.


P.S. Kate Elliott’s live Worldcon Ditch Diggers podcast, along with Fonda Lee, Linda Nagata, Aliette de Bodard, and Lee Harris is now available for your listening pleasure.

The Secret Genesis of COURT OF FIVES In Title IX at YA Bibliophile

YA Bibliophile Kate Elliott reveals Novel Secrets on COURT OF FIVES at YA Bibliophile, (where you can also enter a giveaway to win a free copy of COURT OF FIVES!).

When I was a girl the books written “for girls” almost never included the girls themselves being involved in thrilling sword fights, arduous overland treks, riots, and revolutions even though that was exactly the story I most wanted to read. Boys got those stories, not girls.

[…]When I was a young teen the girls often did not even have official leagues. Girls played “club” sports while boys played official high school sports, with leagues, play­offs, and state titles. All that changed with Title IX. Girls had to get the same opportunities as boys.

Read more about this Novel Secret at YA Bibliophile!

The Novel Secrets Blog Tour lets readers discover fascinating behind-the-scenes information connected to brand-new YA novels! Thank you to Heidi at YA Bibliophile for participating!