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Steelflower (Steelflower Chronicles #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,098 ratings  ·  82 reviews
The first book of the Steelflower Chronicles features Kaia Steelflower--thief, assassin, and famous for all the wrong reasons. After she picks the wrong pocket, Kaia wakes up with a hangover, and gets far more than she bargained for.
Paperback, 310 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Samhain Publishing (first published March 13th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,254)
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Kathy Davie
First in the fantasy Steelflower Chronicles...and most likely the last, Steelflower refers to a shunned elf, Kaia, who believes she never manifested any of her expected elfin powers and so left home to seek her fortune as a mercenary. We encounter a hungover Kaia doing battle while still half asleep only to find she's fighting on behalf of the man whose pocket she picked the night before.

In general, I really like Saintcrow as an author and the idea of this story is intriguing. It also has a grea
I really liked this. It reminded me of the older style sword and sorcery books. Kinda like Jennifer Roberson's "Sword Dancing" but not quite as in depth. In this day and age to find a new author who writes an entertaining tale such as this that does not involve heaving bosoms or rampant masculinity is a treat. I look forward to more.
Updated upon rereading. i had to add a star. i liked this novel even better the second time around.

This was fun. No excess world building, with a witty, fun dialogue. The author expects u to be able to piece together the terminology and story line for yourself with the tidbits of what is given. I LOVE that! If u need to be spoon feed every tiny piece of history and terminology and love endless descriptions of everything- this book is not for u! If u like to figure the stuff the narrator knows, b
i love lilith saintcrow's style - she gives a kind of well-hidden fragility to her protagonists that makes them likable, real and gives them good depth. in this case, kaia was shunned because she thought she lacked powers (which, well. yes.) i cannot stop delighting myself with the strong bonds that miss saintcrow forms between the boy and the girl in her books. it's endearing. i liked the band of people she collected, and how firmly she embraced her honor and her debt. the story, the gods, and ...more
I picked this up on a whim, knowing that Lilith Saintcrow was one of those authors that could be hit-or-miss about me. Uusually she's in the group of fantastic worldbuilding but the characters tend to make me want to slap them sometimes. I also occasionally have problems wiht her romance.

I have a weakness for sword and sorcery that is compounded by my insistence on interesting and varied female characters. (What can I say? For all it's flaws, I cut my teeth on Mercedes Lackey's Vows and Honor d
Oh how I love a sword and sorcery tale! Love Lilith Saintcrow's writing, all her worlds are very well drawn and her writing style is very distinctive (makes me think of Simon R. Green).

Kaia Steelflower is a mercenary who insists on working alone. However, she soons finds herself unwillingly collecting travelling companions and possibly embroiled in two separate issues of 'succession', both of which may get her killed.

***A word of warning though, this is supposed to be the first book in a series
Luke Kendall
I'd resisted buying this book on principle because of the stupid larger-than-paperback size of the print edition, but eventually caved in. I'm glad I did. I hugely enjoyed this action fantasy. Another very strong and capable female lead with a good depth of character. The prickly and unsociable Kaia, outcast from her people and surviving by honing her fighting skills, starts to acquire a small troupe of friends, one of whom challenges one of her most deeply painful beliefs. There's plenty of act ...more
Jan 10, 2009 Melissa rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I changed this from "currently reading" to "read" because I have read as much of as I possibly can. The main character is insufferable and the action is slow. There is a lot of fantasy culture references with no explanation so I spent a lot of time reading and hoping that maybe the story would make sense later on. Maybe it does but there is nothing compelling enough to make me care.
I primarily read this because I really needed a break from UF titles and it felt like an age since I'd last read a proper fantasy novel. I have to say it was a great relief to get a change of pace and fall in to a story I really enjoyed. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I'm rather sad to discover that the author has yet to get around to continuing the series.

If there was one thing that really annoyed me, it was the heroine's constant denial of basic facts backed up with undeniable proof. I unde
*NOTE: Speed read only.

So where to start this review?
The book is called "Steelflower," but the ballads mentioned in the book itself call the main character "Iron Flower."
And that's pretty much how the rest of it goes.

Why would a society that reveres all females throw out one who has serious issues after her mother dies?

Why would a main character immediately start killing guards in the opening scene when they aren't even there for her and she's supposedly a thief and assassin (e.g., someone who
Basically the only thing that pissed me off about this book is the fact that it has no sequel.

If your looking for a fantasy about a strong, independent woman, who's unwilling to love but
still longs for it then you have found it.

I loved, loved, loved it.
The world-building was AWESOME. The concept of 'twins' was great; though I would have liked a bit more clarification about some technical details like the silence, and what exactly is happening to Kaia's magic.

The hero is one studdly mofo. yu
It is great, but it is mostly build up for a sequel. Except there is no sequel. It's been 6 years at this point and from what I can tell, the author hasn't even started one, so I'm not holding my breath. The explanation on her website is not promising either.

The book ends with a "to be continued." No cliffhangers at least but plenty of unanswered questions. Very frustrating. I repeat:read at your own risk.

PS I checked this book out from the library and am consider
This author is very hit or miss for me. Two of her series I really like, two others I couldn't finish the first book. Sad to say that this book fell into the later category for me. I made it about 20 pages in when I gave it up. There was something about the language that just bugged me, the shorted drawl, that you aren't sure what the characters are saying. This one just wasn't for me.
I read the Dante Valentine urban fantasy series by this author and loved it. This series is a traditional fantasy with a female warrior-for-hire as the protagonist. She's an elf, but an outcast because she lacks magic, then an elf man with a magical seeking necklace finds her and claims to be her twin - her other half - her mate. She thinks she's flawed and doesn't want to accept him. She goes about collecting people that she feels responsible for and eventually goes to pay a debt by serving in ...more
Colliding Worlds
4,5 Sterne

"Steelflower" war so ganz anders als erwartet! Wo ich eigentlich Urban Fantasy erwartet habe, bekam ich einen sehr gut ausgearbeiteten High Fantasy-Roman, der mich total umgehauen hat, obwohl ich durchaus meine kleinen Problemchen damit hatte. So geflasht wie ich war, kann ich dem Buch trotz seiner Schwächen nichts geringeres als 4,5 Sterne geben!

Kaia lebt in einer Welt, in der zahlreiche Länder mit ganz verschiedenen Staats- und Gesellschaftsordnungen nebeneinander existi
Fantasy with samurai elves and extraneous apostrophes, entertaining but not actually good. It's copyright 2008, but feels like an early novel; maybe a trunk novel?
Drudgery. Repetitive, irritating, and immature.
Okay, I have downright mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I like the concept, and the author endears herself to me by including non-Anglo-Saxon fantasy worldbuilding and really strong fight scenes. However, with all of that said, I have a few major bones to pick.

Bone number one: for f's sake, Kaia has the worst denial of any fantasy heroine ever, and that is really saying something. I think the first two-thirds of this book consisted of "oh, woe is me, no one wanted me and I have no mag
Mar 01, 2012 Lauren rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy strong female characters
3.5/5 stars

Kaia is one of the G'mai, called "elves" by those ignorant of their culture. The G'mai are worshippers of the moon and daughters have power and are held as particularly prized. The have destined mates that protect these precious daughters so that they can wield said power. In Kaia's case she has no mate and her people treated her with silence and avoidance because of her supposed lack of power. Now Kaia works as a sellsword and thief. The kingdom she's currently in is fighting a const
I usually shy from full-on fantasy stuff that is full on alternate reality and very far from our own reality which leaves me grasping for the first 50 or so pages to get a feel for WHAT it is that I'm SUPPOSED to be comprehending (feeling a lot like when I was in 6th grade at a G&T private school that thought we'd all fully comprehend every nuance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar). That being said...

I did struggle for the standard handful of (digital) pages, but Saintcrow does such a great job
Although I really enjoyed the storyline in this book by Lilith Saintcrow, I only gave it 3 stars because it was not as well written as her other books that I've read so far. At times the storyline seems to "stutter", either by repeating itself, or by seeming disjointed between paragraphs, as if they were written at different times. Like another reviewer, I wonder if this was a trunk novel.

However, I really enjoyed the storyline. The story is a fantasy that takes place in medievil times. The hero
Quite a decent book. The protagonist is well done, although a couple of the supporting cast are overly cliched. It was more than good enough to have me looking forward to the sequel. Sadly, the author has declined to write one, citing online piracy as the reason. I really don't buy this since she's still writing on some of her other series'. I guess we'll just have to hope that she changes her mind at some point.
Rena McGee
Steelflower is a sword and sorcery novel of the kind that reminds me of a certain “shared universe” series that came out in the early eighties. (Specifically, it reminds me of Thieves World by Robert Lynn Asprin.) It also has the flavor of a book that written based off of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. (The story begins in a tavern, for one thing. Because this is the most frequent way adventuring parties meet in table top gaming, you know.) Our Heroine is a young woman named Kaia. She is an o ...more
What do you do with yourself when you are the only elf without magic? Run away from home and become a famous sell sword of course! While Kaia has excelled at her chosen profession, one drunken theft and her suddenly her past begins chasing her down. As her dreams of a quite life running an inn get farther away, she must decide to face her past, or die avoiding it.

I loved it, I didn't want it to end!
Reading this novel was like venturing into a deep and wonderful world of possibiliti
It's been ages since I last read this.. but I remember being annoyed by trademark Saintcrow-crafted vocabulary. And another almost-whiny, bordering-on-bitchy heroine. The world building was engaging,plot interesting, blah blah. Yet another typical saintcrow book - it's nothing like her other books in terms of genre, but everything in the book screams WRITTEN BY LILITH SAINTCROW!
Don't buy

This is a good book. It is unfinished and the author does not intend to finish it. Some crap about e piracy. So, stop offering an incomplete book for sale. Don't serialize this book just tie up the ends and re release it. STOP SELLING THIS BOOK. It's cheating
I HATE this kind of book. You open it and expect it to be a contemporary book. You are thrown into a strange world full of new characters. There are tons of words you don't know (because they are made up) and you can't pronounce. You can't even say the name of the protagonist...yeah, I hate these. And then I fell in love...about 4 pages in. LOVED this book. Can't wait to read more of them. Love the world. Love the main character--strong woman with a soft spot for all things lost. Thanks Lilith. ...more
Engaging dialogue, feisty as well as canny female lead character, smoldering darkly handsome leading male and a supporting cast of characters that all help to round out a tale that brings to mind why fantasy was once one of my favorite genres. The sword fighting scenes were intense, the secrets from Kaia's past that were revealed helped make her more accessible for readers to relate to and her somewhat at times uneasy relationships with others really gave her depth as well.

All in all it is too b
This a traditional fantasy novel, set in another world, with different races, and so different languages. It is incredibly focused on the linguistics, particularly the G'mai language, often explaining the difference in what is said and how it has been said and how that affects the meaning. It was quite fascinating to think about the language in that way.
The only complaint I have is you are sort of thrown into this new world and language, and at first I was a little overwhelmed, but I eventually
Quite different from many of her other books, but I still loved it. Lili does Fantasy as well as she does Paranormals. This isn't to imply that this book is for everyone, but to suggest that people give it a good chance. Some of the world building was a little heavy, but that is common with any first-in-series fantasy world books, as we have no pre-existing knowledge to build on. As someone who loves languages, the linguistic aspects were great fun to read, if occasionally a smidge heavy for the ...more
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Lilith Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as an Air Force brat, and fell in love with writing when she was ten years old. She lives in Vancouver, Washington, in a house full of stray cats and children.
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