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Shadow Gate (Crossroads #2)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  1,824 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
Marit was pretty sure she had been murdered. She recalled the assassin's dagger, thrust up to pierce her heart. A certain path to a swift death, as any reeve would know. Her dying vision had shown her the next world but her spirit had not made the journey. She woke alone, sprawled on a Guardian altar with only a cloak for a covering.
Paperback, 657 pages
Published 2008 by Orbit
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Sep 02, 2013 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this was one of my favorite reads
of 2013. i don't read much adult epic
fantasy any more. i don't seem to have
the attention span for a large cast
of characters and multiple storylines,
and pacing that can often feel to me like
meandering. (and i used to in
my twenties, so this is personal taste
entirely as my preferences evolve.)

so it says a lot that i read and loved
Shadow Gate, which is a hefty book indeed.
as a reader, i loved all of the major
characters in this trilogy. (this is book
2 of 3.) it is ind
Spoilers for the first book, Spirit Gate. This one definitely feels like a middle book, in that I know the plot developed, things happened, but it didn't really feel like it? The plot may not have moved super far, but what happened was that we get a lot of new information: backstories and explanations for a lot of what was going on in Spirit Gate.

So looking at what I learned: Marit is a main character! Bringing back a female character who I thought was fridged offscreen in the first one back to
Aug 24, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book in Kate Elliott's Crossroads trilogy (though there's more to come, apparently) is as good as the first, though it must be said that it drags a bit more than "Spirit Gate." But it again pulls a four-star rating out of the fire with a strong conclusion.

Much of "Shadow Gate" is about new beginnings. Two characters killed early in the first book, and another who died before the action started, come back as Guardians, apparently immortal beings supposed to act as benign caretakers but
Feb 17, 2010 VMom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, asian, recommend
This is a big fat book, rich is calories and flavor. Consider the ingredients:
- Worldbuilding. Being Filipino, the asian and pacific islander influences in the cultures of the Qin & The Hundred are such a kick to me. The level of detail is wonderful; the feeling that this world really exists we're only seeing bits of it.
- Characters. Let me see if I can explain what I really like about the characters. They are all full of the prejudices of beliefs of their culture and upbringing, and they al
Feb 25, 2009 Evilynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
So far, so good. I was looking for a good (reasonably well written, preferably a page turner) High Fantasy series for quite a while, and had been recommended Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series, but it was quite a long series, and I have a hard time not finishing series, even if I don't like them much, so I held off. Then I saw the first two Crossroads books on sale, and thought WTH and bought them both. I like most of the main characters, I like most of the plot, I like how most of the social ...more
Jan 18, 2010 Tulara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book of the series. The tale continues with my favorite couples - , Marit and Joss and Mai and Anjii. The first book, is mostly the tale of Joss who in a moment of impulse takes Marit to a forbidden Guardian altar and Marit is captured by an evil band. The book is well-written and gave me a sense of culture of the time. The role of women in the society reminds me of Old Japan.
Kate Elliott weaves the story and you start to really want to see what happens to everyone with magica
Karen Williams
The story grows in interesting ways. Characters believed to be dead come back in interesting ways. Characters grow and change, as well. Struggles continue, and change, and grow, though not necessarily through combat. New interesting characters are introduced. The ending is strong, and throws a monkey wrench (or the Hundred equivalent) into Plans. I started "Traitors' Gate" as soon as I finished this one, because I couldn't wait.
Heather Scott
Mar 09, 2011 Heather Scott rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: got
Was difficult to finish this. Disappointing, because I really like Elliot's work. Like the first book in this series, I found it difficult to actually care about the main characters. Also, like the first book, the amount of smut has made me begin to wonder if this series hasn't been improperly categorized. It's really not to my taste. Sad, really, since I bought the whole series. Well, here's hoping the third one's the charm...
Sep 23, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In a way, more enjoyable than the first, because the world is now established and no longer so confusing. But it definitely felt like a middle book ... I didn't really feel too much tension throughout. And it's just way too long for that.

I was really upset when Elliott killed off one of my favorite characters :( It's so cruel, getting you to really like someone and then killing them off ... no mercy, that Elliott.
Jason Lang
Oct 17, 2009 Jason Lang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm re-reading this novel as I'm sick and bedridden. She keeps amazing me with how clearly she manages to tell three or more storylines and weave them amongst each other. It's a feat sometimes attempted, yet rarely as successfully achieved. On top of that, she weaves an amazing storyline.
Aug 05, 2011 Fayley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This is not a review, just a heads up. If you are going to read this series then buy all 3 and read them together - pretend they are 1 book because although the series has a proper ending, neither books 1 or 2 have a satisfactory ending. Don't say you weren't warned!
Doc Opp
Nov 24, 2008 Doc Opp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It pains me that I have to wait 9 months for the next book in this series to come out. It also pains me that I spent all weekend reading this instead of getting work done, and now I'm going to have to put in 18 hour days this week... this is why I shouldn't pick up such good books to begin with.
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Unlike in Spirit Gate, the pace is fairly consistent in this second volume; while there are a few slow spots, there was enough tension to keep me going throughout. Structurally, yes, it's a middle book, so not quite as much happens on the macro, political level as in books one and three. But still, partway through this book I fell in love with the trilogy, largely because I'd become so invested in the characters. This one introduces a couple of my favorite characters (Nallo and Marit--well, that ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Soho_Black rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, used-to-own
I found Kate Elliott's "Spirit Gate" to be a well written story, with great character development, but which took a little too long getting nowhere. With this in mind, seeing the sheer size of the second in the series was nearly enough to put me off.

Marit is sure she is dead, as she distinctly remembers being stabbed and her eagle is dead, which usually means death for a reeve. However, she is wandering around and all the evidence points to her not only being dead but also being a Guardian, one
I really struggled getting through this. while I like the premise of the series well enough, I thought this book was rather ponderous and plodding, with many of the major developments being rather obvious andvtelegraphed. While I will finish this trilogy, I'm not liking this series nearly as much as the "Crown of Stars" series.
Nov 15, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Again I found the author's choice to not explain a bunch of things somewhat frustrating, but the complexity of the narrative was very impressive. It was good to see the characters develop, and unexpected ones flourish or disappoint.
Dec 31, 2014 Fence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The blurb on the back cover of my edition of this book gives away a pretty big spoiler for book one. So does the first line of the book, so I’ve had to take a different one for the blog, I don’t mind the odd spoiler with warning, but it’d be a bit mean to surprise-spoiler people with not even a warning.

Events in book 2 pick up where book 1 left them. If you’ve read Spirit Gate you’ll know where that was, and if you haven’t then you should. Honestly, go read it. Yes, it is a huge book, and so is
Rachel Lein
The first book of this series seems to have suffered from what I refer to as "First Book Syndrome", where there's little at all to plot development. It was basically nothing more than character introductions and far too much description about the world they live in. The second book seems to have done a better job overall. I was apprehensive about reading it because the first book disappointed me so horribly, but as I already had it in my possession, I decided to give it a try, and I'm not disapp ...more
Jesse Whitehead
I’m beginning to lose a great deal of faith in Kate Elliot as a writer. She remains one of the great fantasy worldbuilders of recent years who consistently puts together intriguing concepts with brilliant imagery and complex-enough-to-be-historical plots. She’s also very good at writing conflicted characters.

So what’s the problem? Well to start with I think the characters are a little too conflicted. There are cowards and drunks and uncouth soldiers. There are mean-spirited thieves and low-life
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
Shelves: spec-fic
"P2008: Loved this book because it has giant eagles and their riders/guardians who patrol the skies as peacekeepers. I do like it when animals and humans have a closer connection as opposed to the normal relationships. Reported to be "" essentially the middle volume in the first trilogy."" this book contained additional information about the Guardians, including their abilities—riding winged horses, immortality, walking the 101 altars, possessing a third eye and a second heart to know a man’ ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Myridian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The books are worth the read, but aren't going to end up anywhere near my favorites pile.

This is the second book in this epic Crossroads trilogy and I did like it just a bit more than the first. I think this mainly has to do with adjusting to the (what feels like) dozens of characters that Elliott is following, and having more tolerance for her jumping from one thread in the story to another. It's still annoying though.

I understand why Elliott would pick technique of using the perspective of ma
Dec 25, 2015 Kenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This nearly dropped into 2-star territory, but the nice ending that brought together all the characters was a saving grace.

This is not really a complete book - its just the meandering middle of a larger book. Its a common fault of many "middle books". This one has so many meandering plot lines that I started to lose count - Mai and Anji have their own plot lines, then there is Nallo and Avisha, two refugees that are rescued, one becomes a Reeve and the other a handmaiden to Mai, again both have
William Bentrim
Feb 20, 2014 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadow Gate by Kate Elliott

I liked it better than Spirit Gate.

Following Spirit Gate, this book continues where the last finished. In this volume we have flying horses, horrific behavior and a twinkle of light at the end of the tunnel. Flying eagles instead of dragons, the Reeves are expected to keep an eye on the Hundred. The Guardians who were judge and executioner have disappeared leaving the Reeves to handle it all. Tumult is spreading across the Hundred and the Reeves and their eagles appea
Apr 01, 2013 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book series. There are very few things about it that I do not enjoy. This second book really ties in the first and third books. The amount of detail that Elliott puts into it never ceases to amaze me. I have read this book 3 times now and I have not yet grown tired of it. In fact, the time will come when I decide to read them again. Anji and the Qin are cool beans; their story line is definitely my favorite. Except I don’t like what they do in the third book, it ruins my image of the ...more


Apr 28, 2012 Evan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, what do I say about this book? Kate Elliott's Crossroads series is an interesting change from what I've been reading and an interesting departure from a lot of books I've read over the years. Shadow Gate introduces the concept of Guardians. Think of them like feudal police as they work with the reeves (the people who fly under eagles) to enforce justice and whatnot.

The only thing I didn't like about this book is that Elliott goes on for a full section of a chapter about this woman who gets
Oct 14, 2014 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition I have to wait anxiously for the next five books in this series to come out.

I had trouble getting through the first book in this series, Spirit Gate, but this book was easier because now I know the back story of most of the major players. This is a great book; my favorite books are big thick ones this this, with lots of characters and twisty but still follow-able plots. I'm intrigued by the civilizations that Kate Elliott has created in this series, and, having recently read Jaran, w
Shari  Mulluane
Jun 15, 2013 Shari Mulluane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book two flowed just as smoothly as book one. Alot like a talented dancer who moves seamlessly from one form into the next. A beautiful thing to experience.

This is very much a story about war. Almost every character, regardless of origin, has or is affected by one war or another. There is magic and a few folks with what I consider mystical abilities but only a select few. However, the story has more of a focus on the struggle of good against evil and the will to survive against all odds. It als
Jun 29, 2008 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually received the first book in this series, Spirit Gate, as an ebook from If you like fantasy and sci-fi go to the tor website and sign up. You'll get previews, free e-books, and even desktop images from book covers for free.

This book has a complex cast of characters. The setting has more of an occidental flavor, and the living quarters, etc of the chief secondary characters are heavily influenced by Japanese and Middle Eastern cultures. That said, I really dislike the book cove
May 15, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The saga continues. This is one of those series where you follow a dozen people as they travel and work towards different goals. Their paths cross or converge occasionally but mostly it's rather a lot of pieces to keep track of. I think the author handles this format well and keeps it from getting too soap-opera-ish.
A few characters I had gotten interested in die in this one. Bummer.
A few of the mysteries are resolved but while the first book seemed to have a good conclusion with room for anothe
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As a child in rural Oregon, Kate Elliott made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, often with a romantic edge. It should therefore come as no surprise that she met her future husband in a sword fight.

When he gave up police work to study archaeology, they and their three children fell into an entirely
More about Kate Elliott...

Other Books in the Series

Crossroads (3 books)
  • Spirit Gate (Crossroads, #1)
  • Traitors' Gate (Crossroads, #3)

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