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.
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 & Science Fiction Book to Look For A Barnes & Noble Bookseller's Pick Fantasy Literature Favorite Books of 2015 Locus 2015 Recommended Reading List: Best Collection Cover art by 2015 Hugo Award-winning artist Julie Dillon [STARRED REVIEW] "Elliott's delightful first collection contains pieces set in the worlds of her major fantasy series--the Spiritwalker Trilogy, the Crossroads Trilogy, the Crown of Stars series, and the Jaran novels--as 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 Queen's 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." --Publishers Weekly "[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." --Shelf Awareness "Powerful, vivid, masterful--The Very Best of Kate Elliott is a touchstone for the legacy of women in writing and in history." --San Francisco Book Review "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." --Library Journal "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 Keeper's 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 & 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 fantasy's most reliably fantastic writers." --Barnes & Noble "Elliott is a writer of remarkable talent and sensitivity... This is, truly, a demonstration of the very best of Elliott's abilities." --Fantasy Literature "[Elliott's] writing is gorgeously toned and filled with evocative imagery. She's been a well-respected, prolific fantasy author for decades, and she's no slouch with science fiction, either. (Also, she used to fight in the SCA in full freaking armor.)" --Barnes & 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 & Spider Silk "A fantastic collection... Whether you are familiar with Elliott's writing or not, this collection comes highly recommended, as it is a great introduction to her writing as well as a great retrospective." --Fantastical Librarian "Elliott's 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 wouldn't expect it to be any better." --Interzone "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." --Book Smugglers "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..." --SF Signal "There is no better time than now to become acquainted with Kate Elliott's 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." --Locus "[A] delicious collection... A feminist titan in the fantasy/science fiction industry, Elliott's writing is just like magic!" --Sufficiently Distracted "It's 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