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Spirit Gate: Book One of Crossroads [Hardcover]

Kate Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 17 Oct 2006 --  
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (17 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0014E3MWO
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,269,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping and mysterious storyline 26 May 2007
By Martin
Format:Paperback
Kate Elliott has started a new series after finishing the "Crown of Stars" (7 volumes!). She tells the story of a world that is slowly coming apart. The reeves flying on great eagles try to uphold the law, but they are failing. For most of the book it is not at all clear if there is a driving force behind this descent into destruction and war. And it is only towards the end of Vol. 1 that one starts to get inkling what this mysterious cause might be.

Despite the fact that she introduces a number of main characters, she manages to maintain the momentum and the tension. You keep wanting to know what will happen next and keep getting surprised too.

I sincerely hope that Ms Elliott will not revert to her rambling style of the final volumes of "Crown of stars" and keep introducing new main characters each with their own story, completely loosing her focus on the central plot.

She's got off to an excellant start. But then so was the "The King's Dragon", the first vol. of "Crown of stars".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better! 28 April 2010
By J. Cook
Format:Paperback
Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series would have been up there with the very best on my fantasy list if it hadn't been so long winded - and that is me being kind. For this reason I've put off reading Spirit Gate for quite a while and have only just finished it - and I'm glad to report that that all the old problems seem to have been ironed out and it is an excellent story.
The first half of the book mainly concentrates on character and world building and that does slow it down a tad, but the action soon picks up and it had me turning the pages at a furious rate. In fantasy terms there is nothing really new here, although the author keeps it fresh by introducing new people throughout and making you interested in their day to day lives. There is a very brutal conflict at the centre of this book, but it is also very character driven and that puts it above many other series in this overcrowded genre.
I'm already half-way through the second part and the third is on it's way from the US, as I'm too impatient to wait for August when it is due to be published over here. Best fantasy I've read in quite a while.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars These Eagles Can't Quite Take Wing 18 May 2009
Format:Hardcover
Ms. Elliott has established a fair reputation with her Jaran series and the Crown of Stars set. This book looks like it might be the start of another incredibly long series. In and of itself, long stories are not a problem, as they allow the author to properly set the scene, build up all the little details of the world, and explore the characters in depth, and there's a lot of that set-up work done in this novel. Much of this is quite good, as she gives us a look at not one but multiple different societies, each with their own culture, habits, gods, and idiosyncrasies, along with a fairly nice reworking of the old trope of giant flying creatures capable of hauling people around with her eagles that are at least a little less unbelievable than the fire-breathing dragons that inhabit too many fantasies.

However, there becomes just too much of this background and scene setting. Every time someone walks down the street, every detail of that street needs to remarked upon, every peddler, beggar, fruit stand, scent, and building. The world mythology is detailed multiple times, frequently with the exact same words. After a while, this continuous descriptive work becomes overwhelming and smothers the story. In a planned series of books, I don't expect the first book to have a great amount of story/plot development, but here I found only enough to really occupy about a 200 hundred page book. As it actually runs to over 400 pages, that's a lot of filler.

Her character development is good, with enough depth given to several characters to make me care about what happens to them, and I found these people to be generally likable even with their obvious character flaws. The problems her characters face grow naturally from the environment and the starting premise of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully constructed, well paced fantasy 12 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you like fast, action packed novels that rush from fight to fight, then this probably won't appeal to you.

However, if you enjoy world building, sympathetic character development and multi faceted story lines, then you may enjoy it as much as I did.

The entire book is shown (not told). I have been wondering if this was a forgotten art! The reader has the world (3 cultures, climates and countries + subcultures and rebellious individual attitudes) shown by observation. By the end of this book you could read a description of a town market, or village, and know which country you were in. The courage, pathos, generosity and venal self interest of the characters is revealed by changing points of view and occasionally overlapping timelines. The effect is beautiful (and I don't often say that).

I'll be starting the next vol this evening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the best tradition 23 Jan 2013
By SueL
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book having been entranced by the first page and was not disappointed on reading it all. Kate Elliot paints a superb picture of a land, its varied peoples, their beliefs and politics. Worthy of being categorised as in the best Tolkienesque tradition.

I then had to get the next in the series and the next....

I have now read this book and its companions three times and will read them again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
read all the series loved it
Published 3 days ago by David N Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
really enjoyed this book, a very good read, could not put it down, ended to quickly, as I read a lot.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. J R Brockman
5.0 out of 5 stars Crossroad series
Great series of books. I really enjoyed this first book. I loved the characters, and look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Published 4 months ago by S Simmons
3.0 out of 5 stars A long-winded epic. One step forward, two steps back.
I picked up Spirit Gate four years ago with a few other fantasy books, but there's a reason why this has sat on my book shelf for so long. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Colette
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm about to put this book down...
I've read other books by Kate Elliott before so was happy enough to pick this one up (or download it to my kindle, as the case may be). Read more
Published 12 months ago by S. Amitay
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable reading
This is another well written book which gradually lures you in until you start wanting to know what will happen next. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Crescent
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start to a new series
Spirit Gate creates an immersive fantasy world with well developed characters, and the supernatural woven subtly through it. Looking forward to finishing the series.
Published 21 months ago by Catherine Da Graca
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Service
This book was bought to complete the set - i have vol's 2 & 3 in hardback. I ordered this book one evening and it was delivered the following day. Great service as always.
Published on 3 Aug 2011 by Mr. A. R. Trunkfield
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying and plodding
I found the writing for this book annoyingly disjointed.
The author dispatches what the reader thinks were major characters and introduced so many new ones that I was... Read more
Published on 25 July 2010 by Voracious for Books
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story but slow to get started
Spirit Gate is very slow to get started but eventually becomes quite a page-turner.

The book is the first in a series, meaning the author devotes considerable chunks of... Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2009 by K. Hickman
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