Broadside No. 12 – Kate Elliott

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the twelfth broadside – the Kate Elliott edition.  She has written over 25 novels.  I have read 12 of them – 3 complete series and two partial series that are still being written.  I loved all of these novels though I have me favorites.

Please note: All book descriptions are taken directly from the author’s website and the book title links lead to Goodreads.

Jaran series

This is the series that made me fall in love with the author.  I got it from a library back in the day.  The item that struck me most in this novel was how strong the main character, Tess Soerensen, was.  This was back when finding strong female protagonists in sci-fi wasn’t the easiest.  The world building was exquisite.  Even though it is a sci-fi, the Jaran culture is seemingly primitive in nature.  I love this exploration of the various cultures.  And all of the novels in this series are available in an e-omnibus format.  So win!

The series blurb by the author:

The Novels of the Jaran (1: Jaran, 2: An Earthly Crown, 3: His Conquering Sword, 4: The Law of Becoming) are science fiction with elements of planetary romance and space opera blended into my long time interest in anthropology and the study of how empires rise, sustain themselves, and fall. I flippantly call the first book Jane Austen meets Genghis Khan, in a society that is not a matriarchy but in which women have real authority, both public and private, within their specific spheres of influence. The later books become deeply involved with conquest, politics, and family dynamics both in the less technological cultures of the planet Rhui and in a larger systems-spanning empire in space. Some readers have complained that the first volume is too much like a romance. Hmmm. But don’t worry, there are major battles as well. Hope that helps.

So next was the crossroads series which begins with:

spirit gate

This is hands down me favorite series.  It revolves around the story of Mai and Captain Anji but is so much more.  The main thing that I adore is the reeves, who patrol on enormous eagles.  Add in magical guardian spirits, awesome world building, epic scope, and political intrigue and I was hooked.  The story is told from multiple points of view and I love the characters.  The plot is awesome and the books don’t always go where ye might want them to.  Which is why some readers have issues with this one.  But I loved every turn and thought the ending was perfect.

The book blurb:

For hundreds of years the Guardians have ruled the world of the Hundred, but these powerful gods no longer exert their will on the world. Only the reeves, who patrol on enormous eagles, still represent the Guardians’ power. And the reeves are losing their authority; for there is a dark shadow across the land that not even the reeves can stop.

A group of fanatics has risen to devour villages, towns, and cities in their drive to annihilate all who oppose them. No one knows who leads them; they seem inhumanly cruel and powerful. Mai and Anji, riding with a company of dedicated warriors and a single reeve who may hold a key to stopping the deadly advance of the devouring horde, must try, or the world will be lost to the carnage. But a young woman sworn to the Goddess may prove more important than them all . . . if they are not too late.
A haunting tale of people swept up by the chaos of war, this is superlative fantasy adventure, rich in texture, filled with color and excitement, masterfully crafted by a brilliantly gifted storyteller.”
Then there is the spiritwalker trilogy of which the first book is:

cold magic

This is me least favorite series but not by much.  This is told in first person and Cat makes for a lovely main character.  I loved the world building as usual and thought the first book was amazing.  It’s a alternate history retelling with magic and science.  It has a strong female friendship.  I adore Cat’s relationship with Rory.  He is awesome.  I even love the lawyers!  A wasn’t a fan of the Wild Hunt aspects overall which is why me enjoyment of the later two books was not as high.

The author’s series blurb:

My most recently completed series is the Spiritwalker Trilogy (1: COLD MAGIC, 2: COLD FIRE, 3: COLD STEEL). It is the first novel sequence I wrote in first person, and if you like the distinctive voice of the narrator, Cat Barahal, then it’s likely you’ll enjoy the book. Cat is loyal and impulsive and rash and stubborn and has a tendency to leap before she looks. This is definitely my funniest series, due largely to Cat’s unique way of telling her story and her colorful and often sardonic observations of other people.

I love writing interplay between characters and this trilogy definitely contains some of my best bantering exchanges. It’s a story with female friendship at the center (and what I’m told is a memorable love interest), as well as a fantasia of a gaslamp-era alternate history whose ramifications I’m rather proud of. I call the setting Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk fantasy adventure, with Phoenician spies, revolution, and lawyer dinosaurs. It starts a little slow as I set up the world but on the other hand I suspect “starting a little slow” is typical of my work on the whole.

And then there are the series that are works in progress like:

court of fives

This is Kate Elliott’s first young adult series.  I have read the first one and I loved it.  Strong female characters.  A tournament called The Fives.  Awesome.  I haven’t got around to the second yet even though it is out.  The conclusion is out in July 2017.

The author’s series blurb:

My next newest book is also my debut YA fantasy, COURT OF FIVES: In a world of magic and peril, four sisters try to make a difficult transition to adulthood in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege. Fierce, determined Jes wants nothing more than to make her mark in the most popular game in the country, but disaster is about to strike her family, one that will bring her into stunning contact with her long-buried heritage.

I call this this “Little Women meet American Ninja Warrior in a setting inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt” while the publisher has pitched it as “Little Women meets Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games.” It’s fast-paced (it has to be, because it’s YA) and my most streamlined world building without, I hope, losing any of the depth and complexity I try to convey. As a woman who started participating in athletics as a girl, I wanted to write a love letter to female athletes and their competitiveness and drive, and I have adored the idea of competitive obstacle courses long before American Ninja Warrior or Tough Mudders and Spartan Runs came on the scene. This trilogy is my way of tossing my love for epic fantasy, sports, and girls in central roles all into one swirling story of intrigue, action, and a touch of romance.

the black wolves

To quote me own review of the first book of the series:

This wonderful novel is set in the Hundred. It is a new trilogy that begins twenty-two years after where her previous Crossroads series ended. If you have not read the Crossroads series first, then I suggest you do because it sets up the political wrangling and world-building that then sets the stage for this novel. The series is damn good besides.

So that be me introduction to Kate Elliott.  If ye haven’t read any of her novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

Don’t know where to start?  Check out the author’s “Where Should I Start With Your Novels?

To visit her website go to:

Kate Elliott – Author

To see a complete list of all books she has written visit:

Kate Elliott – Books

To add this author or her novels to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

If ye want to see me other author broadsides:

Garth Nix – No. 1

Sharon Shinn – No. 2

John Scalzi – No. 3

Tamora Pierce – No. 4

Brandon Sanderson – No. 5

Robin McKinley – No. 6

Michael Crichton – No. 7

Mercedes Lackey – No. 8

Dean Kootnz – No. 9

Justine Larbalestier – No. 10

Neil Gaiman – No. 11

16 thoughts on “Broadside No. 12 – Kate Elliott

  1. I LOVED her Crown of Stars series and have read them all. I found her easy to read and love the way she encompasses religion and power dynamics within her stories. I’ve also read The Spiritwalker Trilogy and loved that one, too. I thought the way the characters interact was very enjoyable and found it quite edgy in a way that often doesn’t happen in epic fantasy. What I haven’t read is the Jaran series – in fact until I checked her out – many thanks for the link – I hadn’t known about them. Science fiction? I MUST get me some of that! Thank you once again for an excellent summary of this author – I really love this series:))

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes so it is on the backburner for now. I am trying to get caught up on arcs at the moment. Once I get those numbers back down I will figure out the next big project. I have a lot to choose from that’s fer sure.
        x The Captain

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I manfully plowed through her Crown of Flame 7 book series, tried one other book of hers, then tried her spirit gate trilogy and just gave up realizing that she interjects her world view very strongly into her books. Her worldview and mine are rather opposed, so since she gives hers free reign, it is not a very much of a fun time reading her stuff for me. So instead of making myself suffer, I just let others enjoy her while I (not so) quietly go on about my business 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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