Cold Steel. Book Review

cold_steelCOLD STEEL by Kate Elliott

Orbit, p/b, 624pp, £13.99

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

The Master of the Wild Hunt is still after Cat, which would be bad enough under normal circumstances but now he has taken Vai from her, and just as she was beginning to understand her husband, too. Maybe even like him. Things are only set to get worse as Cat has been accused of killing a queen. Her enemies want her to answer for it and even her dreams plague her.

Cat and Bee are both married now and among the other difficulties playing out they will need to find out whether love or obligation will dominate and dictate their lives. Cat is determined to fetch Vai back from the spirit world and only time and persistence will reveal whether the magical bonds that tie her to Vai are stronger than those that tie her to her sire.

Cold Steel continues Cat’s trials and traumas as she journeys between the spirit world and the true world in search of her husband. Taking her to Expedition, the academy, Europa, and a multitude of locations on the way, the final book in the Spirit Walker trilogy is a fast-paced, tension-filled epic. Magic, trolls, dragons and talking skulls all have a part to play in a story that gets bigger by the page.

The first person point of view that has remained constant throughout the series has really allowed the reader to bond with Cat over time and the empathy for the character has only increased as a result. She is a very likeable heroine – strong, spirited and stubborn when necessary, not to mention witty and intelligent. I defy anyone not to find her amusing, pleasantly surprising and admirable.

The romping, the bickering and the fantastic use of colourful language never let up, making this book and its 600 pages hard to put down. Fiery Shemesh! but Elliott spins a good yarn, and given that this world is based on and close enough to our own, I keep expecting to see slivers magic out of the corner of my eye and blinking back at me in every mirror. Cold Steel is an excellent ending to an enjoyable and unique fantasy trilogy and we will be waiting excitedly to see what Kate Elliott comes out with next.