I am giving away TWO copies of the ARC (Advance Reviewer Copy) of BLACK WOLVES. Official publication date in the US/Canada/UK/Australia/NZ is 3 November 2015. Rules below!

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Set in the same universe as the Crossroads Trilogy, Black Wolves begins a new, standalone trilogy in which two old people have to find and face the truth about their past, and three young people get caught up in the unexpected repercussions from a long-ago act of violence.

One early reader calls it: “a murder mystery at the heart of a political thriller wrapped up in an epic fantasy setting.”

Another likened the book to “Jane Austen’s Persuasion meets Dragon Age, played in family saga mode.”

3 November 2015
Orbit US, Hachette Book Group

“Sophisticated, multifaceted worldbuilding sparked by original flourishes, populated by characters we quickly come to care about and whose motivations drive intricate, absorbing conspiracies.” -Kirkus Review

“Black Wolves is a sweeping tale of loyalty and betrayal, ambition and intrigue, impelled by the mysteries that lie at its heart.”―Jacqueline Carey, bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy series

“Intricate, fascinating worldbuilding, twisty political intrigue, vivid characters to love and hate — this is Kate Elliott at the top of her epic fantasy game.”―Karen Miller, author of The Tarnished Crown series and Rogue Agent series

“On a vast, colorful canvas, Kate Elliott has drawn dozens of characters who act and react with poetry and grit. Lush and textured, by turns moving, exciting, playful, and contemplative, Black Wolves is a masterpiece that soars with an epic soul.”―Ken Liu, Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy award-winning author of the Grace of Kings

1. Leave a comment telling me about your favorite villain, either from one of my books or from another work of fiction (any medium).

2. PLEASE INCLUDE whether you are USA or International.

3. I will pick one USA and one International winner using a random number generator.

4. Giveaway ends 20 Sept., 10 PM Hawaii Time.

Good luck!

85 thoughts on “BLACK WOLVES Giveaway

  1. USA

    If I had to pick a favorite villain, it would have to be Melisandre from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series. I wouldn’t say that she was evil – just that she was true to her nature, and her methods of getting things done meant that anyone could be used.

  2. There are a lot of really great villains that I love for one reason or another, but Gaston from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast really stands out to me. He’s gross and overbearing and hugely sexist, and he seems like a parody of that sort of man, except that nope, those dudes really exist. Also he has a great song and I quote it whenever appropriate


  3. Hugh from Crown of Stars.

    When he reappeared in book 2 or 3 (can’t remember at the moment which one, sorry!) I had to put the book down for a moment because I felt physicslly sick. He made quite an impression!

    In the USA!

  4. I think Mrs. Coulter from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. She’s so horrid and cruel and pitiable and brilliant all at the same time. She’s like a pawn and a queen at the same time. So maybe she doesn’t really count as a villain, more of an antagonist. In which case: Robin Hobb’s Regal. The way his simple spitefulness develops over the series and Shrewd’s willful blindness to his transgressions are maddening. Despite his lack of subtlety he’s clever enough to destroy Fitz’s place and create a glossy fiction around himself that even Kettricken’s return can’t completely tarnish, leaving echoes of malice long after he is gone.

  5. My favorite villain is the one who doesn’t necessarily know they’re a villain, and might not even be one at all later in a series. For me, I pick Jamie Lannister. We’re taught to hate him, yet through his interaction with Brienne of Tarth (particularly after his injurt), he becomes a much more fleshed out and likeable character. His loyalty to his flawed family and relationship with his brother is almost admirable, in a distorted ASOIAF kind of way.

    P.S. US entry here. And September 20th is my birthday. 😉

  6. My fave villain from your books is spoilerific but i will say that discovering his villainy kept me up for three nights running thinking of all the ways i tried to ignore or reason away the clues to his true self.

    The emperor from star wars has had my villain vote for so long i think I’ll continue to stick with him. His creepy face when he’s going after luke is seared on my childhood brain.

    New Zealand

  7. I think people are seriously forgetting about Q. You did say any genre or media, so Q from Star Trek next generation. The sarcasm alone was worth re watching episodes.

  8. My gut instinct any time I hear this question is Geder from the Dagger and Coin series. He’s a great example of good, albeit very misguided, intentions going horribly wrong.

    But I think some other people have excellent answers as well, particularly Melisande and Mrs Coulter

    In I’m the USA

  9. I live in the USA.

    My favorite villian? Gellis Duncan from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. But trying to think of one made me dive into Jaran, where I was lost for a few hours. I do so love Ilya.

  10. Plenty of good baddies to choose from, but one that I’ll always remember from back in the day is Lucifer in R.A Macavoy’s Damiano series. His measured logic, subtle menacing, deceptively ‘benevolent’ dealings with Damiano, and almost business-like destruction of his brother Raphael were in many ways scarier for me than many an overtly nasty villain.

    New Zealand, where a good book is essential because not everyone likes sheep and scenery

  11. Not a great surprise, but for me its Cersei Lannister. A woman who has had children with her own brother, who manipulates and schemes, has had people murdered (not to mention pushed out of windows!) and yet, despite it all, maintains a certain air of distain and her own (admittedly warped) sense of justification.

  12. Australia

    I think mine would have to be Moriaty from the Sherlock Holmes series. Intellect like Hilmes, but bent on destruction. Scary.

  13. My favourite villain is the murderer in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie – whom I’m not going to name for obvious reasons. (International)

  14. I like a good dastardly villain, and there are so many to choose from! Mrs, Coulter from His Dark Materials….Moriarity from Sherlock Holmes….Granddaddy Jaybird from A Boy’s Life….way too many to pick! Your stories have such interesting women characters, that I haven’t paid close attention to villians yet, but that’s what I re-read for. The “extras” on the set! Keep up the good story work, we love it!

  15. USA

    I would pick Messrs. Croup and Vandemar – Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Something about their scenes always gave me the creeps yet I was super intrigued by the back story and the characters.

  16. In the USA!

    Big Jim Rennie from Under the Dome will always stand out. Dude was a religious fanatic that made things worst for every character involved. I loved hating him so much.

  17. USA

    Damn it, someone beat me to Melisandre! 🙁 A sadistic, layered woman who is doing it because she wants power and zero hints of woman scorned or related to boys? Amazing.

    Otherwise, I’d have to go with Maleficient (animated). She the OG bad-ass cinematic witch 🙂

  18. Changing things up around here and going with Disney villains. Yzma from The Emperor’s New Grove is one of my favorites, but Scar from the Lion King is also a favorite! These villains have catchy songs, quotable one-liners, and lots of sarcasm. Winning combination.

    Also, I’m in the US. 🙂

  19. My favourite villain would have to be Saruman from Lord of the Rings trilogy in both books and movies. A good wizard gone bad, so brutal that he betrayed his own kind to help the dark Lord and started the war between men, elves, dwarves, even ents. Created an army to rule the world, believing that being one with Sauron would be the best choice instead of fighting against him.

    Such a cool question for an entry to a giveaway. I’m from Canada by the way and thank you for the chance, Kate!

  20. From the UK:

    Teatime, the assassin in Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather whose hobby is to plan the killing of deities.

  21. Several spring to mind, but would be Andross Guile from The Blinding Knife. Three books in & still no redeeming features & now he’s got his mojo back, I dread to think! I find myself holding my breath and reading through my fingers when he appears 🙂

    I’m in the UK by the way

  22. I think the villain that made the biggest impression on me was Brandin of Ygrath from “Tigana” by Guy Gavriel Kay. I think he struck a chord with me because he did some absolutely horrible things, but it was mostly out of severe grief over his son who was slain in battle. That sort of grief can lead to a kind of madness and yet, when we get to know him through Dianora, we feel terrible pity for him despite the horrible things he’s done.

  23. At the moment, my favorite villain is Meredith Stannard from Dragon Age 2— a complex woman with a terrible past that forces her to makes terrible choices in the present.

    In the US!

  24. USA entry here.

    My absolute favorite antagonist is Lady Eboshi from Hayao Miyazaki’s film, Princess Mononoke. She’s ambitious, powerful, headstrong, determined, and brash, but at the same time, remarkably kind and altruistic. She rescues prostitutes and lepers and gives them work and purpose, treats them like human beings and gives their lives a purpose. While she’s an antagonist character, she’s entirely heroic in nature… Not sure that counts since she’s really not a villain at all, now that I’ve said it, just someone whose interests run contrary to the protagonists.

    If we’re talking about true villains, I’d go with the Emperor from Star Wars because he’s basically Space-Iago. Cunning, clever, charming when he needs to be, and completely, irrevocably evil to the core. I think Ian McDermid’s performance of him was the best part of the somewhat regrettable prequel trilogy.

  25. There have been so many great villains mentioned already, but I didn’t see one of my favorite guilty pleasure villains: Grand Admiral Thrawn. The calm tactician side of him belied the somewhat crazy megalomaniac underneath. His brilliance was, of course, manufactured by the author, but it was done in an intricate way.

  26. My favorite villian is Hugh from Crown of Stars. Even though he is such a baddie there’s still something about him and his passion that draws the reader in in an inexplicable way. He’s a character that I love to hate.

    I’m international.

  27. Bulkezu is my favorite from your books. He’s just so unapologetically wrong. I do like that you have a lot of complicated characters that straddle the line between right and wrong. It makes following them way more interesting. US entry.

  28. One of my favorite villains is Delores Umbridge from the Harry Potter books. Scary because- minus the magic- her mania and evil is very much of the muggle world.

  29. Lots of great villains listed here! Ever since reading and seeing Wicked, my favorite villain has been the Wicked Witch of the West. I love misunderstood villains that can be read more than one way.


  30. USA here!

    I see a few others have agreed with me on Melisande from the Kushiel series. (Almost typed Melisandre… who is also a favorite to watch/read) Melisande continues to intrigue me, long after I’ve finished the books.

    Also a favorite is Judge Claude Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame.

  31. USA!

    Favorite villain? There are so many to choose from! If I had to pick just one, it’d be Six and the Cylons from BSG. Although I’m not quite sure I’d classify them as villains…they had a pretty legit beef with humanity, imho.

  32. It’s always the simplest questions that seem the hardest to answer. Let’s say Gan buri Gan from the Silmarillion.


  33. In the USA.

    My favorite villain? I gotta pick only one?

    From the same series comes two wonderful villains: Pyrates and Ineluki. Of the two, I think I’ll choose Ineluki – he is the embodiment of a probably good person making choices that lead him to become evil. Pyrates is just… icky.

  34. My favorite is probably Deign from KT Hanna’s The Domino Project. She does horrible things out of a sense of family duty and wanting to protect the innocents under her, even as her actions leave thousands in terrible situations for lack of the sheer opportunity of choice.

    USA entry. Thanks for the chance!

  35. International (Canada) reader here.

    I have a soft spot for Smaug from The Hobbit — how can you not love a villain whose favourite battle is a battle of wits?

  36. I think my favourite villain might have to be Professor Snape. While I hated him when first reading through the books (as we were meant to) after the end of the series I see him differently and while I haven’t reread the books since, re watching the movies gives me a very different perspective of him.

    International (Canada) reader.

  37. Argh, too hard! From your books – probably Hugh. From others – I’d say Kennit from the Liveship Traders. I like a villain whose path is revealed to us slowly and who you come away knowing and understanding as well as a protagonist, even though they’re awful.

    I’m in Australia.

  38. (International)

    Probably Loki from The Avengers. He’s an asshole, okay, but an interesting asshole.

  39. I have to echo the first commenter in mentioning Melisande, from Kushiel’s Legacy. She’s cruel, but human — driven, but she still has weak spots.

    I’m INT.

  40. Cardinal Richelieu from Three Musketeers. His machinations made me forever love the political villains.

  41. Gods, I shouldn’t have read the other comments because now I want to choose like half the characters mentioned therein. (Whoever first mentioned Hugh: congratulations, you literally made my skin crawl 😀 I’m ambivalent about Crown of Stars as a whole, but I can’t deny that Hugh is a horribly good villain.)

    Still, at the moment I think I’ll go with Geder Palliako, simply because he somehow managed to turn into this sick and twisted villain from a harmless little nerd who was all too relatable for me. Fascinating character.

    (I’m UK-based)

  42. My favourite villain is The Enemy of Death from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black’s ‘Magisterium’ series, as the way events unfold through The Iron Trial ( this is so hard to explain without giving away spoilers…) stretches the reader’s understanding of what makes a villain and their perception of good versus evil. This can be seen clearly in the use of The Enemy of Death’s character but perhaps more so in Call and Aaron. The lack of conventional and expected plot twists makes the differences even more poignant.

    (International (UK))

  43. Who I consider the worst/best villain in your books, Kate, is the Cloak of Night/the Orphaned Girl in the Crossroads trilogy. She scares me, with the magnitude of her wrongdoing, and she bothers and worries me, because she was originally the heroine, the saint, the girl who changed the world, who, possessing great power, succumbed to great fear and selfishness.
    On other fronts, the actor Tim Roth, in my opinion, plays utterly delicious villains, combining ruthlessness, sexiness, humor, irony, and occasional vulnerability.

  44. This is a tough one. After quite a bit of thought, I decided that Maleficent is my favorite villain. She is truly (in Sleeping Beauty anyway) an evil person without remorse. But even better… SHE TURNS INTO A DRAGON! <3 her

    I am from the USA

  45. I love DomDaniel in Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap books. He is simultaneously dangerous and ridiculous – a wonderful combination.

  46. I’m in the US! And really really really want this book!

    I know a lot of people have picked him already but every time Hugh came back on the page I felt sick to my stomach. He was a very well drawn villain. Another villain of yours I liked (or disliked) was James from the cold magic series but he was more of a mosquito. Eventually he was easy to swat away.

  47. hhmmmm this one is a toughie…
    well as mangas go i would go with Lelouche Lamperouge from Code Geass and Shishio Makoto from Rurouni Kenshin.
    as comics go, i choose Mystique and Two-Face
    as books go then i would say Victor from V.E. Schwab’s Vicious and Adelina Amouteru from Marie Lu’s Young Elites

    International (Greece)

  48. One of my favorite villains is definitely Eli from Vicious by V.E. Schwab. His views were definitely warped, a far cry from the ambitious college student he started out as.

  49. Internationally speaking… can I turn to a completely different medium and nominate Makishima Shougo? A villain who quotes Shakespeare is nothing new, but few do it with such panache… while also recommending “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” to his chief henchman. 🙂

  50. Archbishop Loris from Katherine Kurtz’s History of King Kelson. The man is absolute evil in all of his actions but truly believes God has given him the right to do so. I’m in the US. Thank you for the chance at one of your books and a brilliant idea for comments.

  51. My favorite villain from any medium…

    That would have to be Smaug. It’s a tough race…I’ve cheered and booed Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sand Dan Glokta, Cersei and Jaime, and Voldemort. I cheered when Gaston died, and might have shed a tear for Godzilla.

    But Smaug, the Chiefest of Calamaties, has held a special place in my heart since I was six years old. I mean, come on…Smaug!


  52. I just found this giveaway and don’t have a lot of time to think this through. Time is something this topic deserves. I love villains. I love villains who don’t think that they are. I love villains who embrace it. Villains with deep grey areas, love them. Villains make the story much of the time. I choose however to list a villain I came across very early in my life, Kitiara uth Matar, from the Dragonlance Chronicles, created by Margaret Wise and Tracy Hickman. I read these books when I was around ten years of age and she was one of the first examples of a woman who allowed herself to be driven by her goals, regardless of what family and friends thought. She rose to power through skill and intelligence. She was ruthless enough to kill her friends in battle but let them live in the end. This example of a female villain who didn’t rely sex appeal, and was only a villain because her goals didn’t match her friends was the first example for me of a complex woman in fantasy, and a key lesson to make your villains complex. I live in the US. Thanks for reading.

  53. US

    For true villainy, I will never forget Moriarty. My father introduced me to the Sherlock Holmes books at a very young and impressionable age.

  54. US here.

    My favourite villain is Verin Mathwin from the Wheel of Time. I just about cried finding out she was Black Ajah. I was so shocked I just say and stared at it. I mean, there were a lot of hints that she was more than she wanted to be seen as, but I never imagined that twist. Whatever get reasoning, she was definitely a villain.

  55. USA

    Hugh would be my favorite evil character.

    We lost power yesterday until 11pm, so I’m a tad late! ???

  56. International here.
    I’ll be very unoriginal in stating the first name that came in mind when I thought “fictional villains”: Severus Snape. Yes, I know he’s technically not a villain, but for the first 5 and a half books you see his burning hate for Harry, his pettiness, all the tiny ways he tries to make Harry’s life miserable… and yet, in the course of the last two books, we all end up loving Snape.

  57. Tough choice! Soo many great villains out there!! But I’ll go with Folken Fanel from anime movie ‘Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea’ (not to be confused with anime series “The Vision of Escaflowne”, where the storyline is different). As a close second comes Raistlin Majere from Dragonlance, only he’s not exactly evil, right?

    international, Poland

    I so shouldn’t have read all the comments, now I know that Verin Mathwin (Wheel of Time) is the villain, while I’m still stuck on 11th vol.!!!! aghrrr!!!

  58. I have to agree with everyone who nominated Hugh… But I do think Captain Anji is a beautifully crafted villain – he starts out so reasonable… And then it gradually all changes…!

    I’m in Australia!

  59. My favorite villain is from a wuxia series called Paladins in Troubled Times. Wang Longke wears white and uses a fan – in a Jin Yong story, usually signs of a showy but incompetent villain. However, this series is based on a Liang Yusheng novel. Thus, Wang Longke is smart, persistent, charismatic, and resourceful. And loves his sister very much but not above playing mind games with her (which she replies in kind).


  60. Ok, I have a thing for Villains. I love them. These are the villains that I don’t despise but actually would like to hang out with. From movies I love LOKI. I mean he is the villain I dream of marrying?! Why? He is narcissistic, conceded, will hurt anyone in his path but he is oh so smexy. Darth Vader is the Dad of all villains, haha get what I did there? In books I loved LJ Smith Julian from The Forbidden Games, he was this hot white hair guy who wrecks havoc, Game of Thrones Tyrion, he’s small and wants power but so funny! And my fav villain from your books can’t be relived as a villain or it gives too much away. I mean how did you keep this from us?

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