The history of the world began in ice, and it will end in ice.
–Kate Elliott - Cold Magic - c2010
Book 1 in the Spiritwalker series
Catherine Barahal is an orphan. Her mother and father died and she came to live with her uncle’s family. Herself and her cousin Bee are best friends. There are only a few months between them, Cat is slightly older, and they are very different personality-wise, but they do everything together. If one of them gets into trouble the other is right there too.
But one day a lie comes to light that changes everything for Cat, and for Bee.
Okay, so over the past two years I have turned into a total Kate Elliott devotee, and this series has a whole hope of positive buzz about it. Before I started reading it I knew nothing about the plot or the characters, apart from the fact that it was set in an Afro-Celtic world and was about two friends. And that’s true, although there are more aspects to it that might make you pick this up. It is an alternate regency-esque era, where the Roman Empire never destroyed Carthage, instead they battled one another until both ran out of steam. Where Europe never colonised Africa, instead a salt plague and a horde of ghouls led to African tribes leaving to become part of Europe’s culture. And, I’m guessing that the Camijist character [ref]I know I’ve spelt his name wrong, but if you’ve read the book you probably know who I’m talking about[/ref] is an alternate Napoleon. In the books timeline it is 1837, but their calendar is not quite ours so I think it is the 1810s.
And all that world-building is part of what makes Elliott so worth reading. All her world’s are just so great and fascinating and interesting.
Although I will say that this did feel very much like the first book in a series to me. Which is understandable, it is the first book in a trilogy, but the whole way through I kept thinking it was more an introduction to the world and the people rather than getting stuck into the story proper.
Still hugely enjoyable though. And I will definitely be reading the next book soon.