Praise for Poisoned Blade:
A Locus Awards Top-Ten Finalist
"With strong characters and vivid worldbuilding that refuses to oversimplify individuals, cultures, and the opposing forces they represent, this sequel to Court of Fives (2015) blends emotional intelligence, passionate idealism, and realpolitik in a plot ending at the cliff's edge of revolutionary change. At once nuanced and thrillinga worthy sequel."
"A worthy sequel, doubling down on the tension and politics and surpassing Court of Fives in suspense and depth of world-building.... a tense, dramatic adventure, raising the stakes and the potential for drastic consequences as the story barrels towards its conclusion."Barnes & Noble
"Jes makes for a worthy heroine, as bold and daring as she is endearing. One of the best things about this series is that the charactersheroes and baddies alikeare vividly real, their motives and emotions often fierce but always recognizable."Booklist
"The main character is the classic 'strong female warrior' archetype...and will remind most people of Katniss Everdeen.... The book deals with issues of family loyalty, standing up for one's beliefs, and self-discovery.... A solid addition to a high school collection."Voya
"Anyone who things Young Adult fiction can't successfully handle themes like a culture's endurance in defiance of colonialism, the myriad socio-economic factors leading toward revolution, or racial and/or gender inequality, needs to read these books."Fantasy Literature
"Stellar description and pacing. [Elliott's] eye for detail is extraordinary, and descriptions of court life are very evocative."Teenreads
"Kate Elliott adds to her fantastical Court of Fives series with Poisoned Blade, and fans won't be disappointed."Bustle
Praise for Court of Fives:
A New York Times Bestseller
An Andre Norton Award Nominee
An NPR Best Book of 2015A Junior Library Guild Selection-
* "Jes will remind readers of fearless Katniss with her skill and strategy for games. But it's the fascinating descriptions of traditions, royal interactions, and, of course, the intensities of the Fives that will enthrall readers most of all. Let the games continue!"Booklist, starred review
"A gripping, original plot; vivid, complicated characters; and layered, convincingly detailed worldbuilding. A compelling look at racial and social identity wrapped in a page-turning adventure."Kirkus Review
"An imaginative journey.... Elliott creates an intricate and intriguing story, conjuring a world of mysticism and centuries-old customs.
Jessamy's boldness and impulsiveness make her a striking heroine in a male-dominated land."Publishers Weekly
"A high fantasy novel that explores race, class, and gender struggles in a patriarchal society.... Jessamy is loyal and strong female protagonist who fights against injustice. This trilogy opener will be a hit with readers who love action-packed fantasy adventures."School Library Journal
"Full of high-stakes adventure but also heartfelt musings on identity, family and colonization, this book presents a fantasy world that is refreshingly inspired by Greco-Roman and Egyptian cultures."NPR
"Haunting. Epic. Impassioned. Layered. Breathtaking. This isn't just a novel; it is a coup d'état of the soul. Prepare to be ravished by Kate Elliott's Court of Fives."Ann Aguirre, New York Times bestselling author of the Razorland trilogy
"Kate Elliott's magic and mastery is better than ever. Court of Fives enchanted me from start to finish, with characters and worlds that lingered long after I turned the final page."Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series and the Young Elites series
"Fast-paced, tense, and riveting. I couldn't put it down, and you won't be able to either!"Tamora Pierce, author of the Tortall series and the Circle of Magic series
"This book is amazing. Kate Elliott combines everything I love best in a YA novel. Jes is a killer protagonist, tough and capable, but also lost in her upbringing and faced with impossible choices that test her character and her beliefs.... This book will not fail you."
Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series and the Finishing School series
Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives--the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons in her embattled kingdom. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes's only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the change to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on her traveling party puts Jes at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos--the prince she still loves--is fighting against their country's enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal's life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion....She must become a warrior.
Praise for Poisoned Blade:
Jes runs the game of Fives for ruthless Lord Gargaron, the Patron responsible for tearing her family apart; her winnings support her mother and sisters in hiding—but at the price of beating Kal, whom she loves.The kinky-haired, dark-brown-skinned girl successfully navigates palace intrigues that threaten the safety of both her own family and golden-skinned Kal, but competing in the provinces, on tour for Gargaron, raises the stakes. Reunion with her twin, Bettany, and their sister, Amaya, brings both joy and horrifically unforeseen consequences. For a century, Commoners like their mother have been forced to serve the ruling Patrons, like their general father. Unrest is growing. Taking advantage of the Patrons' brutal, internecine war for power and an imminent invasion from outside, Commoners see an opportunity to overthrow their oppressors. Jes must decide where she stands: with Patrons, like Kal and her humbly born father, fighting to repel a new Saroese invasion, or with her mother's people, the long-dominated Efeans, led by handsome poet Ro-emnu, who has a thing for Jes? She's a pawn in events beyond her control, but she's also smart and strategically placed, with allies, a mission, and the will to succeed. With strong characters and vivid worldbuilding that refuses to oversimplify individuals, cultures, and the opposing forces they represent, this sequel to Court of Fives (2015) blends emotional intelligence, passionate idealism, and realpolitik in a plot ending at the cliff's edge of revolutionary change. At once nuanced and thrilling—a worthy sequel. (Fantasy. 12-18)