Spirit Gate - Kate Elliott

Book 1 of 'Crossroads' Trilogy

ISBN - 978-1-84149-274-2
PAGES - 630

AUTHOR - Kate Elliott

BEST-SELLERS - King's Dragon

SYNOPSIS - In a world torn apart by warfare and betrayal, a new darkness has risen.

For centuries the Guardians ruled the Hundred, but these unearthly beings have faded from human sight. Only the reeves, patrolling on enormous eagles, still represent the Guardian's power. But there is corruption in the land that not even they can control, and fanatics are devastating villages, towns and cities in a drive to annihilate all who oppose them. No one knows who leads them or why.

Outlanders Anji and Mai are on the run with a company of dedicated Qin warriors, when they meet an unusual reeve. Together they can take on the devouring horde; and they must make the attempt, or the land will certainly be lost. But a young woman sworn to the Goddess holds the ultimate key...

EXCERPT - She's insane!

She pushed with her legs, scooting away on her back. 'Wait! Cut the rope - !'

The thrust punctured skin and gristle with a smooth, strong, angled stroke.

She's done this before.

Right into the heart. There was no pain.

The last thing Marit saw, as the blood drained from her heart, as the white cloak of death descended out of the sky to smother her in its wings, was the implacable face of the girl who was in that instant the Merciless One Herself. Beyond, a lifetime away, men shouted and came running. The girl spun the blade, plunged it up underneath her own ribs, and with a gloating smile, died.

FL Speak - This is my first Kate Elliott book and looks like there will be 2 trilogies and a single book in this 7-book saga. 

Spirit Gate starts with a reeve Marit. Reeve's are portrayed as people who ride on huge eagles and make sure there is law and order. They are more like the servants of the Gods. Marit and another reeve, Joss, stumble onto an Guardian site where they find the remains of a dead Guardian. 

When Joss flies back to the reeve HQ to report on th discovery, Marit is kidnapped by bandits and murdered. Meanwhile, in a far away place, Mai is chosen by the Qin captain to be his bride. As circumstances make them flee into the Hundred, they make an alliance with Joss to drive an invading army out of the Hundred. This happens nineteen years after the death of Marit and Joss still can't come to terms with her death.

In these nineteen years, the reeve halls have become corrupt and someone has raised an army. Someone, no one knows. Someone, who controls huge amounts of power. Its upto Joss with his few reeve comrades and the Qin soldiers led by Captain Anji to stop the coming threat and protect the Hundred. 

The battle of Hundred starts at Olossi. It is where the Qin defend the city. Unknown to Captain Anji and reeve Joss, a bigger battle is already on. The war for the soul of the Guardians has already begun.

Excellent writing by Kate Elliott. The story is rich in detail and lovable characters. Though some of the gaps in character jumps are too long. I have had to go back again to realise that this is one of the main characters. You will love Joss as he struggles to take charge over the reeve's and fight against the corrupted ones. The book drags a bit in the first half but its the characters you will love. Though at times i felt like keeping the book down and it actually took me 3 days to finish it as i paused a lot. But after sometime, the interest perked up and am glad i read it all. Elliott makes sure she doesn't reveal much in the conclusion and makes the readers wait to read the sequel.

My Rating - 3.5 stars

PRICE - INR 290/- by TOR publications @ Flipkart

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