Synopses & Reviews
Strong heroines and riveting storytelling are the hallmark of groundbreaking fantasy author Kate Elliott (Crown of Stars
). Elliott is a highly-compelling voice in genre fiction, an innovative author of historically-based narratives set in imaginary worlds. This first, retrospective collection of her short fiction is the essential guide to Elliotts shorter works. Here her bold adventuresses, complex quests, noble sacrifices, and hard-won victories shine in classic, compact legends.
In The Memory of Peace,” a girls powerful emotions rouse the magic of a city devastated by war. Meeting in The Queens Garden,” two princesses unite to protect their kingdom from the blind ambition of their corrupted father. While Riding the Shore of the River of Death” a chieftains daughter finds an unlikely ally on her path to self-determination.
Elliotts many readers, as well as fantasy fans in search of powerful stories featuring well-drawn female characters, will revel in this unique gathering of truly memorable tales.
A Publishers Weekly Most Anticipated Spring 2015 book
A Buzzfeed February 2015 Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Book to Read
An io9 February 2015 Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy pick
A Fantasy and Science Fiction Book to Look For
A Barnes and Noble Booksellers Pick
Cover artist Julie Dillon has been nominated for a Hugo Award
[STARRED REVIEW] Elliotts delightful first collection contains pieces set in the worlds of her major fantasy seriesthe Spiritwalker Trilogy, the Crossroads Trilogy, the Crown of Stars series, and the Jaran novelsas well as several standalone works and four essays about writing. No familiarity with any of the novels is required to understand the stories set in those worlds, but the existing settings lend depth, complexity, and intrigue to what might otherwise be simple tales. Riding the Shore of the River of Death,” a bildungsroman about a young female horse-nomad who wants to be a warrior, benefit greatly from the depth of setting, as does the slapstick comedy To Be a Man,” about a shape-shifting saber-toothed cat with an eye for the ladies. But the standalones especially shine, and the political intrigue and subtle humor that Elliott brings to the fascinating culture and government system of The Queens Garden” make it perhaps the finest work in the book. This collection serves beautifully both as an introduction to Elliott and as a treat for fans who want more of her marvels.”
[STARRED REVIEW] In this compendium, vibrant details, unusual names and quirky plot twists are evidence of Elliott's active imagination, which sets off on a kaleidoscopic journey into the multilayered realms of these fierce, brave and loyal women, offering new readers and those familiar with Elliott a delightful plunge into fantasy.”
The Very Best of Kate Elliott does an excellent job of displaying Elliott's multi-faceted creativity, her huge talent for inventing a variety of worlds without ever sacrificing the sparkling little details in each one that make her writing so compelling.”
Katherine Kerr, author of the Deverry Cycle
Elliott (Cold Steel; Labyrinth of Stars) has built a career out of creating memorable worlds and populating them with strong, amazing women (and the men who love them). While the longer form gives her a bigger canvas, Elliott proves here she can make those same fantastic worlds and characters in short form. . . . Elliott excels at describing her brilliant worlds, employing a meticulous eye for the significant detail that illuminates a whole landscape.”
"Intricate and enthralling. This really is the best of Kate Elliott."
Seanan McGuire, author of Rosemary and Rue
Kate Elliot fits more rich and complex writing into her short pieces than many authors manage at novel length, tackling the social fabric of SF&F with clarity and grace.”
Tanya Huff, author of the Keepers Chronicles and The Enchantment Emporium
If you're a fan of Kate Elliott's fantasy novels, then you know she knows how to tell an epic. But remarkably Elliott is one of those rare writers who is also able to distill that sense of an epic fantasy novel into the short form. For fans of epic storytelling, this is a collection not to be missed.”
John Joseph Adams, series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy and editor of Lightspeed Magazine
Collecting stories set in worlds both familiar (including the settings of the Spiritwalker books and her Jaran quartet) and new, as well as non-fiction essays about writing, it makes an excellent introduction to the work of one of epic fantasys most reliably fantastic writers.”
Barnes and Noble
Elliott is a writer of remarkable talent and sensitivity. . . . This is, truly, a demonstration of the very best of Elliotts abilities.”
[Elliotts] writing is gorgeously toned and filled with evocative imagery. Shes been a well-respected, prolific fantasy author for decades, and shes no slouch with science fiction, either. (Also, she used to fight in the SCA in full freaking armor.)”
Barnes and Noble.com, Sam Reader
...lyrical prose, wrapping the reader up into each world with every syllable.... an excellent collection of short stories.”
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews
I highly recommend this book for people who enjoy fantasy and science fiction, but also people who want to expand their social consciousness. This is an excellent, enjoyable, thought-provoking book.”
Snowflakes and Spider Silk
A fantastic collection. . . . Whether you are familiar with Elliotts writing or not, this collection comes highly recommended, as it is a great introduction to her writing as well as a great retrospective.”
Elliotts characters dominate the pages, and live on when the stories are over. If this were the best of collection by an author who had published five hundred short stories you wouldnt expect it to be any better.”
This is a great collection, a fun collection, an important collection, a highly recommended collection. The Very Best of Kate Elliott is the very best that genre fiction can offer.”
Brilliant...a must-read for anyone who likes their women badass and their fantasy epic.”
There Are Inkspots On My Page
Fans of her novels should not hesitate to pick up The Very Best of Kate Elliott; readers new to her work can find the themes and style of the author in evidence in this collection....”
There is no better time than now to become acquainted with Kate Elliotts wonderful worlds and I look forward to enjoying the perspective, voice, and talent she brings to epic fantasy for years to come.”
A Dribble of Ink
extraordinary richness...this collection swiftly outpaces detailed discussion.”
[A] delicious collection.... A feminist titan in the fantasy/science fiction industry, Elliott's writing is just like magic!”
Its an absorbing read, for anyone who enjoys sci fi, fantasy, blending of the two, excellent characters, Elliots previous work, or dang good storytelling. Or all of the above.”
Nerds in Babeland
"An absorbing read, for anyone who enjoys sci fi, fantasy, blending of the two, excellent characters, Elliot's previous work, or dang good storytelling. Or all of the above."
--Nerds in Babeland
"This is a great collection, a fun collection, an important collection, a highly recommended collection. The Very Best of Kate Elliott is the very best that genre fiction can offer."
Kickass heroines and riveting storytelling are the calling cards of groundbreaking fantasy author Kate Elliott (Crown of Stars, Crossroads, Court of Fives). Here her bold adventuresses, complex quests, noble sacrifices, and hard-won victories shine in classic, compact legends. In "The Memory of Peace," a girl's powerful emotions rouse the magic of a city devastated by war. Meeting in "The Queen's Garden," two princesses unite to protect their kingdom from the blind ambition of their corrupted father. While "Riding the Shore of the River of Death" a chieftain's daughter finds an unlikely ally on her path to self-determination.
About the Author
is the pen name for Alis Rassmussen, the author of the bestselling epic fantasy series Crown of Stars, the Crossroads Trilogy, and most recently, the Spiritwalker series. Forthcoming in 2015 are her novels Court of Fives
(Little, Brown, Young Reader) and Black Wolves (Orbit).
Table of Contents
"The Queen's Garden"
"Leaf and Branch and Grass and Vine"
"Riding the Shore of the River of Death"
"The Gates of Joriun"
"Making the World Live Again"
"With God to Guard Her"
"A Simple Act of Kindness"
"To Be a Man"
"The Memory of Peace"
"My Voice is My Sword"