Next SFF Author: Hugh B. Cave
Previous SFF Author: Brian Catling

SFF Author: Beth Cato

Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair west of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham. She’s the author of The Clockwork Dagger, The Clockwork Crown, and Breath of Earth. Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.

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Breath of Earth: Alt-history and magic in a high-stakes adventure

Breath of Earth by Beth Cato

Breath of Earth begins a new fantastical alternative-history series from Beth Cato, in which hydrogen-filled airships dot the skies, giant beasts in the ground cause earthquakes, and Teddy Roosevelt became an internationally-renowned Ambassador rather than the 26th U.S. President. (There’s also a nationally touring opera prominently featured in a side plot; if Lincoln isn’t a sly nod to a certain massively popular Tony-winning musical, I will eat my least-favorite hat.)

In an almost-recognizable San Francisco,

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Call of Fire: Searching for friends in the shadow of Mount Rainier

Call of Fire by Beth Cato

Call of Fire (2017) continues the adventures of Ingrid Carmichael, introduced in Breath of Earth as a secretary at a geomancy school with tremendous hidden powers and who, in this second BLOOD OF EARTH novel, is on the run from an ambitious ambassador with deadly secrets. This time, Beth Cato takes Ingrid, Lee Fong, Cy Jennings, and the brilliant engineer Mr. Fenris up the Pacific Northwest coastline to Portland and Seattle, where the Japanese influence of the United Pacific conglomeration is inescapable.

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Roar of Sky: A solid conclusion to this magical alternate-history trilogy

Roar of Sky by Beth Cato

Beth Cato concludes her BLOOD OF EARTH trilogy with Roar of Sky (2018), bringing the story of clandestine geomancer Ingrid Carmichael, which began in Breath of Earth and continued in Call of Fire, to an action-packed close. This review will contain some spoilers for events in previous books, so proceed with caution.

Badly wounded and permanently debilitated after her desperate fight in Seattle against Ambassador Blum,

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A Thousand Recipes for Revenge: Magic simmers in this action adventure

A Thousand Recipes for Revenge by Beth Cato

Set in a solidly defined second world, Beth Cato’s A Thousand Recipes For Revenge (2023) gives us political intrigue, rising stakes and a bubbling action adventure steeped in a new, culinary magical system.

Adamantine Garland, who goes by Ada, is—or was—a chef, a magical adept who was part of the army of Verdania. When the king of Verdania betrayed her (and others) and disavowed her marriage, Ada deserted, holding a secret close to her heart.

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Next SFF Author: Hugh B. Cave
Previous SFF Author: Brian Catling

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July 2024