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A Reader of Fictions: Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #17: Cold Fire

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #17: Cold Fire

Cold Fire
Spiritwalker, Book 2

Author: Kate Elliott
Pages: 652
Publisher: Orbit
Read: June 11-15, 2013
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
Recommended by: Nafiza of Bibliophilic Monologues

Description from Goodreads:
They did the impossible, deposing the godlike being whose brutal rule had lasted a thousand years. Now Vin, the street urchin who has grown into the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and Elend Venture, the idealistic young nobleman who loves her, must build a healthy new society in the ashes of an empire.

They have barely begun when three separate armies attack. As the siege tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

It may just be that killing the Lord Ruler was the easy part. Surviving the aftermath of his fall is going to be the real challenge.

Previous Books in Series:
1: Cold Magic

First Sentence: "It was a cursed long and struggling walk hauling two heavy carpetbags stuffed with books across the city of Adurnam."

You know what I love? A series that just gets better and better as it goes along. Cold Magic had a rocky start, and took a couple hundred pages before I really started enjoying it. Cold Fire caught my interest right away, amping up to a finale that stomped on my heart and made me need to read book three posthaste. The Spiritwalker Trilogy boasts one of my favorite romances, and I'm going to need to fangirl about the feels.

Know that there's totally a lot more going on in Cold Fire than romance, but that I'm mostly going to blabber on about that, because, being totally honest here, THAT is what I care about most. BY FAR. I make no secret of the fact that I burn for hate to love romance arcs, and this one is SO well done. Gah. There's a very Pride & Prejudice sort of emotional arc that just makes me swoon. When they meet, Vai is dismissive of Catherine, which is all sorts of awkward, since they're forced to marry at the beginning of the first book. However, you find out that he's just sort of awkward and makes disdainful faces when he's uncomfortable, but that he actually really cares for her. Cat, on the other hand, does not forgive or trust easily, so she has little interest in Vai for most of Cold Magic.

In Cold Fire, my ship finally takes sail, and, oh my, was it ever glorious. There's also a sort of vaguely Tamora Pierce-ian element to the romance, wherein Cat has a dalliance with someone else. Even though I ship them so hard, I loved this, because in some ways it was needful. There's just something so freeing about the heroine making her own choices and being more informed. And, yes, technically it was adultery, but they were forced to wed, so that doesn't bother me in this instance.

Once Vai and Cat are together again, the sexual tension is something fierce. They have crazy amounts of chemistry, and Vai is being such a freaking sweetheart. He KNOWS she hooked up with someone else, and he's still so understanding even though she's technically his wife. He keeps feeding her all of this delicious fruit, and omg it's so hot I can't even. Plus, these two and their banter. Oy, it's fantastic. She's under a bit of a curse thing where she's not allowed to impart certain information, so she has to respond to certain questions with questions, which sort of becomes a flirty banter thing for them and I love it so much. Yes, I do realize I'm a bit incoherent, but GOD I LOVE THEM. Vai loves her for her spirit and strength and the fact that she can be so damn stubborn, and just LOVE.

Obviously, I would rate the romance a full five glorious stars, but, despite those feels, I still had to rate the book a four overall, because I feel like Elliott's still getting a hang of the pacing and plotting. Parts of the book do drag (like when Vai and Cat are not together duh), and it feels like not all that much is actually happening for a lot of the book. The plotting really does pick up towards the end, when Elliott decides to wreak havoc on my emotional state, but the rest felt like a really long way to get there, not that it was not worth it for Vai and Cat.

The world herein is quite lush, but I still don't entirely understand its underpinnings, though I vaguely remember it was some sort of alternate history spun off from Roman times, I think. What I love is how diverse the characters are, many of them mixed race. There are a lot of messages about cultural sensitivity, which is great.

While I think this series has some drawbacks, for me, it's ONE HUNDRED PERCENT worth the slow moments for the epic ship of Cat and Vai. I am all kinds of glad that I sort of neglected to read this review copy for a shameful amount of time, because I would have HATED waiting for book three to come out, because THAT ENDING.

Rating: 4/5

Favorite Quote:
"'Catherine, I promise you, no one will ever make you feel as good as I will.'
     As the djeli said, "Men act humble until they get what they want." Although obviously the djeli who said that hadn't met you. Anyway, wouldn't a person of scientific inclination say that to verify such a statement I would need to make a significant number of comparative tests with other subjects?'
     His eyes opened as at a shot. 'No!'
     'Then I could never actually know.'
     He pushed up onto one elbow, dislodging my head from its pleasant resting place, and brushed hair from my cheek. 'You can't possibly have any complaints.'
     'But I do.'
     His hand stilled. 'Name one.'
     'You're talking.'"

Up Next:
The next Sadie Hawkins Sunday book will be Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, with the other books in the Lumatere Chronicles following as time permits. So freaking excited to read my first Marchetta ever. Let's hope I love it! Thanks to Steph of Cuddlebuggery and Lynn for requesting it!

Want to tell me what to read? Fill out the following form with a suggestion! For more details, check this post.

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Blogger kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Ah, I knew you'd love this one! :) What a fab review, Christina! I can't wait to read Cold Steel as well. It's on Netgalley, but my request has been pending for a month, so I have no hope to read it before its release. :(

June 16, 2013 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you loved this. I loved the ship something fierce. Did you check out the author's site for the sexy times that were not included in the book? I swooned and then some. Haha. I chose to wait for my preordered copy of the last one instead of requesting it on Net Galley. It just seems like reading the paper copy will be a better and richer experience. I hope the ending is epic.

June 17, 2013 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger Soma Rostam said...

Well,this sounds really good
This is the first time I hear of this book and the author
But looks good enough and i love romances that have a Pride and Prejudice feel to them
GREAT review
Your reader,

June 17, 2013 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

OMG. I need to go look that up pronto. Thanks for that information. GAHHHHHH. This romance is the best.

June 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awesome! Hope you enjoy it if you check it out.

June 17, 2013 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

You called it! I was just so hesitant, because book one was a slog for me. WORTH IT.

June 17, 2013 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Is it bad that I have never heard of this series? It sounds good, but I don't typically read a lot of books like this. Great review hon!!

June 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahaha, no, I don't think so. I'd not heard of it either, until I read the first one. There's not much buzz for epic fantasy, aside from LOTR/Game of Thrones/Wheel of Time. Pretty much only when they get shows or movies. Haha.

June 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Yay I am so glad to read your positive review of Cold Fire! I think that it's been a long enough time since I read Cold Magic that I'll just wait until Cold Steel releases so I can read Cold Fire and Cold Steel back to back.
My favorite part of the first book was actually Elliot's worldbuilding and creation of this alternative history steampunk Victorian-era world. It's so interesting (even if it did cause the first book to slow down from info-dumping and all. I liked Cat's relationship with Vai, but even more than that I remember loving Cat's relationship with Bee. I want all these things to be there in the final two books.
Wonderful review! So glad you were able to enjoy the second book. (And it really is the best when two people you ship really get to come together in a satisfying way, I agree wholeheartedly.)

June 17, 2013 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Waiting is a good choice, I think. This one left off in a really tense place, not exactly a cliffhanger, but you know what the arc of the next book is going to be and want to get started.

The world building confuses me. I never did figure out exactly what was going on in the first book, and, since she established it there, there was almost nothing here to help me.

I think I did like her relationship with Bee in the first book, but now I've joined the camp of readers who find Bee intensely irritating. Haha.

June 18, 2013 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Lynn K. said...

Must add this to list! Haven't read a slow burn romance in awhile now. Might as well get a head start since book #3 is coming out soon. *___*

June 18, 2013 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That it is! So excited!

June 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM  

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