Cold Fire (Spiritwalker 2)

Although I’m posting this on 31 August my time, in the parts of the world where it is already 1 September, it is official release day for Cold Fire (Spiritwalker 2). That means you, UK/Australia/NZ and other English language/bookstore areas served by the Orbit UK and Orbit Australia divisions.

Some friendly Australians have already emailed me to let me know they have seen it in stores there (and in a couple of cases have purchased it–what fine people they are, and they know who they are!)

IMPORTANT: There is a bonus chapter that takes place within the timeline of the book but which is not in the published version. I will post it online AFTER the USA/NA release (it contains spoilers). If you are in the UK/Aus/NZ/etc market and want to read this bonus chapter NOW, please email me at Kate.Elliott at

Gosh, are you going to get sick of this cover, or what? I’ll post it again on 26 September, which is the official release date for the book in the USA/NA market.

I describe book 1, Cold Magic, as an Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency fantasy adventure, with airships, Phoenician spies, the intelligent descendents of troodons, and a dash of steampunk.

I spent a while trying to figure out a similar description for book 2, which I posted some weeks ago, but all things considered, I think I’ll just go with this one:

Sharks! Kisses! Sword-fights!

Continue reading

Seeing New Covers Never Gets Old (Crown of Stars in Poland)

I got a box in the mail.

In it I found copies of the new Zysk (Poland) translation of Child of Flame, titled Dziecko Plomienia (there’s a slash through the ‘l’ but I don’t know how to get those letters on WordPress yet). I’m not quite sure what the cover has to do with the book, but I quite like the colors and design, and I’m delighted at the slightly larger paperback (the original versions of the first three books were regular mass market size).


Zysk also reissued King’s DragonKrolewski Smok — with a new cover.

Here’s the old cover, from the 2000 edition. Admire its 70s cheesy glory. Yes, she is bare-breasted. And don’t even think about how she is managing to sit on the dragon with its spiky spine ridge.


The new cover fits the design of book four, and I think it is quite wonderful:


I’m hoping Zysk may be re-releasing #2 and #3 with the new design and images as well, because they will make a striking set if they do. Stay tuned.


NOTE: These don’t embiggen. I grabbed them off the internets.

First review of COLD FIRE (Publishers Weekly)

I will endeavor not to bombard this blog with quotes from or links to reviews of COLD FIRE as they begin to appear (UK/Oz/NZ release is 1 Sept; US/NA release is Sept 26) .

However, it’s difficult not to get excited about the first review that appears in the wild, in this case, the forthcoming (Monday’s issue) Publishers Weekly.

I’m chuffed because the review (which can be found in its entirety here) mentions two things I am very glad to see highlighted:

The setting:

Elliott’s second Spiritwalker novel (after Cold Magic) explores a magical alternate Earth in all its intricate and colorful glory.

And the mix of action and emotion that characterizes this particular story:

Elliott skillfully blends intrigue and romance in this lively series about strong women caught among powerful and deadly forces.

Between a rock and a hard place

Thanks to all who entered the contest to win an early copy of COLD FIRE.

There were many fine guesses of where the photo in the header of this blog was taken. I can only wish I had been in Mongolia to take any photos, but alas I have not (yet) been there. I can dream!

I’ve emailed the two winners but until I hear back from them I’m not going to announce any names.

Here is the original uncropped photo from which the cropped version shown on the header was taken. I’m sure it is fairly obvious I am facing (relatively) east and taking the photo as the sun comes up. The photo was taken in mid July.


All of you who guessed England were correct (although there were a lot of very reasonable guesses based on the flat terrain and fog). As the sun continued to rise, one might have turned around, as I did, and seen this scene:


Yes, it’s Stonehenge.

My children and I had taken advantage of a program in which one can pay extra to enter the area very early in the morning before regular hours. Only a dozen people are allowed in at a time, and they are allowed to walk in among the stones.

I know Stonehenge is not physically large compared to its huge reputation as an iconic stone circle of great antiquity and spiritual, astronomical, and cultural significance. But I gotta say, all four of us were utterly blown away by the weight, if you will, of its presence.


Cold Fire: Giveaway

Orbit UK has copies in the office of COLD FIRE (release date in the UK market is 1 September, while release date in the US/NA market is Sept. 26), and have generously offered to supply a copy for a giveaway. They’ve also sent me advance copies (which should be arriving any day now).

So with a new wordpress blog and a new release, it is time for a giveaway.

This one is easy to enter.

1) Anyone can enter internationally, no region restrictions.

2) One entry per person, please.

3) Just make your guess, in the comments below, of where the photo in the header was taken (I took it). Personally, I think you should just guess without checking to see what other people have already said, because

There will be two winners:

3a) One drawn randomly from all people who commented below.

3b) One drawn randomly from that subset of people who guessed correctly. If no one guesses correctly, I’ll simply do another random drawing from the entire set.

4) Comments will be open from NOW until Friday midnight HT (Hawaiian Time) 26 August.

Your COLD FIRE sentence of the day:


With a snarl of rage, Rory dropped the bags. In a blur of gold too bright to be fully seen, he melted from man into huge, deadly saber- toothed cat, and sprang at the . . . [cut for spoiler]

Trying to Write Non-Colonial Alternate-History in a Fantasy Context

The Spiritwalker Trilogy (starting with COLD MAGIC) is my attempt to write “an Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency fantasy adventure with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendents of troodons.”

There’s a quite interesting discussion of colonialism and post colonialism (specifically with regard to fantasy and science fiction and her own work) in N.K. Jemisin’s post Considering Colonialism. In the comments, Jemisin mentions that she thinks Spiritwalker might be a non-colonial narrative.

I suspect it is difficult if not impossible to write non-colonial narratives in our colonial and post-colonial world when writing from the perspective of a culture that has done its share of colonizing. However, I believe the point is to examine other ways the world could be (and is, outside a certain narrow range of vision) and open a window onto them.

Here is the map for COLD FIRE, Spiritwalker #2  (click to embiggen)

Map drawn by Jeffrey Ward from an original by me (assisted by A’ndrea Messer).