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Kate Elliott

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  • Katie Glick
    I m curious if anyone here has read Kate Elliott s Crown of Stars series. It s a fantasy series that s based on different aspects of European history,
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 16 10:25 AM
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      I'm curious if anyone here has read Kate Elliott's
      Crown of Stars series. It's a fantasy series that's
      based on different aspects of European history,
      including Viking invasion, and Medieval Germany.

      Her treatment of religion is interesting. Her world is
      more female centered than male, because instead of one
      Deity, she has two, a male and female with the female
      being slightly supreme. Her religion is a version of
      Christianity, although there is a divide with the
      mainstream view that Daisan (Jesus) was an ordinary
      man who was so holy that he ascended from earth
      straight up to the Chamber of Light (heaven) in life.
      There is also a heretical viewpoint that in fact
      Daisan was the son of God and was flayed alive by the
      Empress and in this way ascended to the Chamber of
      Light to atone for the sins of the world. (Sound
      familiar?)

      I still have one and half books left to read and there
      is one more book in the series yet to be published so
      I have yet to see how this will be played out. She's
      set up some interesting possibilities though, and
      there is a main character who is out there performing
      miracles and converting people without knowing it, and
      is unwittingly responsible for the "civilization" of
      the people that were inspired by Viking culture, so
      I'm interested to see what becomes of him.

      I am really enjoying this series. If it weren't for
      the more fantastical elements (daimones, centaurs,
      dragons, magic, elves [although her elves are more
      like native americans, or some other tribal group than
      standard fantasy elves]) it could be historical
      fiction. It's a very detailed world and the characters
      are varied and sometimes complex.

      It doesn't seem to be a well read series though, so I
      was wondering if anyone out there had read it and
      thoughts of others. I think it's better than some of
      the popular fantasy out there (like the Wheel of Time
      series) but it hasn't seemed to have caught on.



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    • alexeik@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/16/4 6:24:47 PM, violet2393 wrote:
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 16 6:35 PM
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        In a message dated 6/16/4 6:24:47 PM, violet2393 wrote:

        <<It doesn't seem to be a well read series though, so I
        was wondering if anyone out there had read it and
        thoughts of others. I think it's better than some of
        the popular fantasy out there (like the Wheel of Time
        series) but it hasn't seemed to have caught on.
        >>

        I agree that it's a very intelligently thought-out fantasy world, with
        attractive characters and a treatment of spirituality that is mature and that
        informs the plot without overwhelming it. I don't know about it not having "caught
        on": fantasy lovers are evidently reading it. That it hasn't attained
        mainstream bestsellerdom may simply be a reflection of its quality: it bears no
        resemblance at all to a "Tolclone".
        Alexei
      • dianejoy@earthlink.net
        It s a series I ve been eyeing with interest for a while, but I ve gotten involved in other material. Almost bought the first HB edition at a library book
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 17 6:23 AM
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          It's a series I've been eyeing with interest for a while, but I've gotten
          involved in other material. Almost bought the first HB edition at a library
          book sale, but wanted it in paper, so let it pass. Anymore, I tend to lean
          to paper for space reasons, unless I've got earlier editions in hardback.

          Original Message:
          -----------------
          From: Katie Glick violet2393@...
          Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 10:25:20 -0700 (PDT)
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [mythsoc] Kate Elliott


          I'm curious if anyone here has read Kate Elliott's
          Crown of Stars series. It's a fantasy series that's
          based on different aspects of European history,
          including Viking invasion, and Medieval Germany.

          Her treatment of religion is interesting. Her world is
          more female centered than male, because instead of one
          Deity, she has two, a male and female with the female
          being slightly supreme. Her religion is a version of
          Christianity, although there is a divide with the
          mainstream view that Daisan (Jesus) was an ordinary
          man who was so holy that he ascended from earth
          straight up to the Chamber of Light (heaven) in life.
          There is also a heretical viewpoint that in fact
          Daisan was the son of God and was flayed alive by the
          Empress and in this way ascended to the Chamber of
          Light to atone for the sins of the world. (Sound
          familiar?)

          I still have one and half books left to read and there
          is one more book in the series yet to be published so
          I have yet to see how this will be played out. She's
          set up some interesting possibilities though, and
          there is a main character who is out there performing
          miracles and converting people without knowing it, and
          is unwittingly responsible for the "civilization" of
          the people that were inspired by Viking culture, so
          I'm interested to see what becomes of him.

          I am really enjoying this series. If it weren't for
          the more fantastical elements (daimones, centaurs,
          dragons, magic, elves [although her elves are more
          like native americans, or some other tribal group than
          standard fantasy elves]) it could be historical
          fiction. It's a very detailed world and the characters
          are varied and sometimes complex.

          It doesn't seem to be a well read series though, so I
          was wondering if anyone out there had read it and
          thoughts of others. I think it's better than some of
          the popular fantasy out there (like the Wheel of Time
          series) but it hasn't seemed to have caught on.



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        • dianejoy@earthlink.net
          On the strength of Alexei s reccommendation, I ve got the first Kate Elliott volume. A bit wooden to begin, but nice to see the Church treated fairly, though
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 18 6:00 AM
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            On the strength of Alexei's reccommendation, I've got the first Kate
            Elliott volume. A bit wooden to begin, but nice to see the Church treated
            fairly, though Frater Hugh is a real jerk. She's lifted things virtually
            straight from Christian liturgy, changing only names. I hope it improves.
            ---djb

            Original Message:
            -----------------
            From: alexeik@...
            Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 21:35:39 EDT
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Kate Elliott



            In a message dated 6/16/4 6:24:47 PM, violet2393 wrote:

            <<It doesn't seem to be a well read series though, so I
            was wondering if anyone out there had read it and
            thoughts of others. I think it's better than some of
            the popular fantasy out there (like the Wheel of Time
            series) but it hasn't seemed to have caught on.
            >>

            I agree that it's a very intelligently thought-out fantasy world, with
            attractive characters and a treatment of spirituality that is mature and
            that
            informs the plot without overwhelming it. I don't know about it not having
            "caught
            on": fantasy lovers are evidently reading it. That it hasn't attained
            mainstream bestsellerdom may simply be a reflection of its quality: it
            bears no
            resemblance at all to a "Tolclone".
            Alexei



            The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            Yahoo! Groups Links






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          • alexeik@aol.com
            In a message dated 6/18/4 1:03:25 PM, Diane Joy wrote:
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 18 11:57 AM
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              In a message dated 6/18/4 1:03:25 PM, Diane Joy wrote:

              <<On the strength of Alexei's reccommendation, I've got the first Kate

              Elliott volume. A bit wooden to begin, but nice to see the Church treated

              fairly, though Frater Hugh is a real jerk. >>

              I suppose that depends on how one defines "jerk". It's not the term I would
              use to describe that kind of character ("fiend" might come closer) :-).

              << She's lifted things virtually

              straight from Christian liturgy, changing only names. I hope it improves.>>


              Er, no. She actually makes subtle changes in both the liturgy and the
              ecclesial organisation to reflect the very different theology of her alternate-world
              "Christianity". Much of the pleasure the reader gets from her world-building
              is how much her setting resembles real tenth-century Europe, but with major
              differences arising as logical consequences of just a few changed premises. I
              think the seamless way she manages to weave these differences into her original
              historical model without drawing too much attention to them and without
              creating inconsistencies is commendably clever: many alternate-world fiction writers
              don't do it remotely as well.
              Alexei
            • alexeik@aol.com
              In a message dated 6/19/4 1:16:14 PM, Katie Glick wrote:
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 21 4:25 PM
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                In a message dated 6/19/4 1:16:14 PM, Katie Glick wrote:

                <<I thought of the books as fairly standard fantasy at
                first, but the detail with which she populates her
                world becomes more impressive the more of that world
                I've been allowed to see.>>

                As a stylist, Kate Elliott is competent but certainly not brilliant. She's
                not the kind of writer from whose works one can take a page at random and be
                instantly bowled over by the sophistication of the prose. Where she does excel is
                at world-building and storytelling -- especially storytelling on a giant
                scale: her attention to detail and her sense of pacing allow her to weave together
                a huge variety of plot-threads into a complex but satisfying whole, where a
                lesser writer would wind up with a confusing tangle. She also allows her
                characters to breathe and to develop, and to surprise us sometimes. And the world
                she works with is full of colour and mystery. I think this is enough to lift her
                far above commercial generic-fantasy level (and I suspect that it is habitual
                readers of such fantasy who criticise her for being too complicated).
                Alexei
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