Books: Cold Magic & Cold Fire


I read Cold Magic and Cold Fire this past week and I liked the books so much I went to Kate Elliott’s blog and sent her an email telling her how wonderful the story is and how much I appreciated that her world is populated with diverse and well developed POC characters. First time I’ve ever written to an author, but I felt it was important for her to know that her work has special meaning to people like me.

I originally passed on these books because of the cover. Covers and I have an ongoing battle.  Sadly, the covers gave no indication of the diversity contained in the story. I thought it was just another generic, pretty white girl protagonist and frankly, I wasn’t interested. Then I saw a list of books with POC characters and Cold Magic was on the list. I figured I should try it and took myself to the library. Why the library instead of the store? Because I’ve been disappointed with some books this year that were supposed to be diverse, but instead were full of bastardized cultures and/or just plain bad. So I didn’t want to waste my money just yet. If it was good, I’d buy Cold Fire. If it wasn’t, only my time would be wasted. I’m so glad it was worth it.

Cold Magic and Cold Fire are two of the best books I’ve read this year. There is so much to enjoy that making a list would be exhaustive, but here are a few reasons why I liked them:

  • Tons of POC - but not just any POC, but well developed POC, with cultures and histories
  • Catherine is not a Mary Sue - she screws up, learns, grows
  • Catherine has a great relationship with her cousin Bee and other women she meets
  • There is no insta-love or love triangles - tropes that should die already
  • Women are allowed to own their sexuality - yay for no slut-shamming
  • The parts of cultures that were borrowed where well done and most importantly RESPECTFUL
  • Women are varied - there are multiple representations of women as complex individuals where strength and vulnerability are not mutually exclusive
  • The world building is detailed and diverse with its own history - some descriptions were a bit long and repetitive, but not enough to detract from the overall goodness of the books

I could go on, but you get the point. I still dislike the covers because I think it’s a disservice to the story. If the books were not a recommendation I would never have given them a second look.  Yet, I liked these books so much that I’ve ordered Cold Steel and now I’m buying Cold Magic and Cold Fire so I can give them to someone else to read (as soon as I find someone), because yes, they are that good. Why can’t we have more of this (minus the cover)? Why?

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