Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Cold Magic Cold Magic
by Kate Elliott

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith

I really should have loved this book. It certainly covered the bases. The setting is beautifully conceived – a fantasy set in an alternative earth where the glaciers have not retreated, and Brigantia is still joined to the rest of Europa. It’s the Augustan Year 1837, and there are Zeppelins. There are also temples and there is magic. So, you can call it steampunk fantasy. It has to be cool… The characters are well conceived, and the plot works – it’s very Machiavellian. The Cold Mage Andevai has been sent by Four Moons House to claim the eldest daughter of the Hassi Barahal family in marriage. Of course, when it turns out that she’s not whom she appears to be, the Mansa of Four Moons is not amused and orders her killed, so that Andevai can marry the right girl. She escapes, and leads the Cold Mages on a merry chase. However, there was something not quite right… when I put it down, I found I had frequently lost not just the plot, but also the page. The book somehow hadn’t grabbed me, and I’m still not sure why.
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