Fantasy Book Review – Traitors Gate – Crossroads # 3 by Kate Elliott

Synopsis: In Spirit Gate and Shadow Gate, Kate Elliott took readers to the fascinating world of the Hundred, a land teeming with an array of cultures, gods, and conflicts blighted by the shadow of chaos and destruction. Now, with the same intensity and dramatic sweep that has brought this epic to life, Elliott returns to the exquisitely crafted cities and landscapes of the Hundred, in a thunderous conclusion to the saga.

In the darkness of war and destruction, forces gather to reclaim the peace: Those immortal Guardians who still serve justice seek a means to end the devastating reign of one of their own; a hired outlander army struggles to halt the advance of the horde that has despoiled vast lands and slaughtered countless people in its murderous wake, while still guarding against a burgeoning threat from an aggressively expansionist empire; and the eagle reeves who have long been the only law enforcers of the Hundred struggle to reorganize after a devastating massacre has decimated their numbers. But even as these forces give hope to those who would live in peace, a terrible danger looms: a traitor with Imperial ambitions, the most dreaded, least anticipated threat of all…

In the unfolding drama of political upheaval and violent change, nothing is certain, as alliances dissolve and power shifts with the unpredictability of a desert sandstorm. A riotous epic with the vast breadth and excitement only masterful storyteller Kate Elliott can summon, Traitors’ Gate will leave her many readers begging for more. 


From the very beginning of Traitors Gate, this did not feel like the conclusion to a trilogy. To me, it felt more like the third book in an ongoing series. There was just so much that was happening, new characters being introduced and conflicts that needed to be resolved. Despite this novel being close to 900 pages, I kept wondering through out how the author was going to resolve everything. Well, I wouldn’t really say that she did. This trilogy could easily become longer series. In fact, I would love to read another book in this world continuing from Traitors Gate.

As for the book itself, I think this has to be the best of the three. There was a lot more action, sense of danger and tension between characters. Shai in particular really comes into his own. In the beginning of Spirit Gate, he was a quiet recluse. By the end of Traitors Gate he’s become strong and confident. Putting himself in danger time after time to protect innocent lives. His adventure alone would be a worthy tale.

Unfortunately, I feel like this book (and the whole trilogy really) suffered from having too many characters. There were certain characters that I was far more interested in than others and I felt like the ones I actually cared about didn’t get very much page time. Marit and Kirit, for example, I didn’t get nearly enough of. I really wanted more about the Guardians in general. They were far more interesting than some of the other characters, but perhaps the author meant to keep an air of mystery around them.

One thing that really bothered me, not just about this book but the whole trilogy, was the prevalent misogyny. Men can basically do whatever they want in some cultures in this world. A man can literally go to a woman’s father and just buy her as a wife and there’s nothing she can do about it. She can’t say no. In one culture, the women aren’t even allowed to show there faces outside and their names can’t be spoken to outsiders. If her face is seen by a man not her kin, she’ll basically be disowned. It irritated me throughout that men, especially those in positions of power could just buy or take a woman if they wanted.

And the slavery! I’m sure the author was trying to show how horrible slaves are treated and that it is wrong and bad, but the things that happened to some of them was stomach turning. Did she have to go so far as to include pedophilia?

Kate Elliott knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats, ending chapters in such a way that you have to keep going. So many times, I was like “omg, I can’t believe that just happened!” There were so many unexpected things here.

Overall, I think Crossroads is a great fantasy trilogy that any fan of the genre would enjoy. My rating for Traitors Gate is 4 out of 5 stars and I would recommend it to fans of fantasy who also enjoy political intrigue and multiple points of view.

Have you read this trilogy? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

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