Of all the alternate history fantasies published in the last few years, this one may just be this reviewer’s favorite. The
historical timeline diverged from our own thousands of years ago and while some things are the same, much is very different. Elliott’s world is fascinating and painstaking in detail; one of the highlights is the way she blends different human
cultures into a nearly seamless whole.
The world is caught in the midst of an ice age and an industrial revolution. Technology is coming into its own, posing a direct threat to the power of the cold mages who dominate the known world — and they will not give up their domain easily.
One young woman, Catherine Hassi Barahal, is caught up in these revolutionary forces and her response will change her life — and possibly her world — forever. The eldest Barahal daughter, she is taken by the cold mages and whisked away to a world of which she knows nothing and where she must use all her intelligence and resources to survive. (ORBIT, Sep., 544 pp., $14.99)