Wednesday, July 27, 2016

High Flight and Flames by Kate Coe

Release date: July 15, 2016
Sub-genre: steampunk, sparkpunk

About High Flight and Flames:

The land of Quorl is under attack. S'ian, badly injured when her Glider crashed is trapped in a city under siege. Meanwhile out on the plains, Toru is desperately defending his own city and people from the advancing enemy. The fighting is no longer between men: a battle for the air has started, and new weapons force both sides into desperate measures. Even if Toru succeeds in pushing the enemy back from Meton, what will the cost be? Can Toru reconcile his duty to his country with his own dreams?

High Fight and Flames is the third book in the series that starts with Green Sky and Sparks.
Coming soon: Salt Winds and Wandering - cover reveal.


It was nearing midday when Jan, Toru and Ziana had headed out to the pass to check on the progress of the spark net. The climbers had got higher than anyone had thought they could, and the top of the net was strung at least ten heights up the rocky walls. From the thick cable, twisted copper hung down and was interwoven with more copper, tied securely into a net. The holes had been designed to be a little way apart, using the least copper possible for the greatest coverage.

“What does it do?” Jan asked after Toru had carefully pushed a large wooden handle into a box sited further back along the pass and then walked forward to join them again.

“This,” Ziana said, and threw a chunk of meat that they had brought along to demonstrate. The lump hit the copper at head height; there was a flash of blue and a sizzling noise, and the meat thumped on the ground. Ziana pulled it towards them with a stick, careful not to touch the copper, and handed it to Jan.

He turned it over in his hands. There was a scorch mark along one side, and the meat was almost cooked through. “Will it do this to people?”

“Oh yes,” Toru said grimly. “We’ve set the cables for the spark this side, so they can’t cut them. Even if they get higher than our climbers, they’ve still got to find out how to stop the spark getting through, and I’m going to leave a few men here to stop anyone who does get past the net. They can’t touch the net to break it on that side – we made sure the spark is enough that it will go through most things, including glass. They’d have to have a really thick piece not to get burned, and that will take them time. The pass is blocked as long as that handle’s down.”

Jan looked at the net again. It looked beautiful; the copper was shining in the sunlight, brilliant red against the dark rock of the pass walls. Men would try to get through, and they would burn. He shivered. “It’s a horrible weapon.”

“Yes,” Ziana said. “But it works.”

About Kate Coe:

I'm a writer of fiction and fantasy, and I blog at In real life I’m a librarian with a background in classics and law, I live with an engineer and very grumpy bearded dragon, and I fill my spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). I also read far fewer books that I'd like to, but possibly more than I really have time for. 
You can read the Speculative Fiction Showcase's recent interview with Kate Coe here.

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