Breath of Earth By Beth Cato: Review/Giveaway

Sep 3, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Fantasy & Fangs, Terrance V. Mc Arthur

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Breath of Earth and links to purchase it.

Hanford-born Beth Cato became a personal favorite writer of mine with her steampunk-fantasy-romance-flavored Clockwork Dagger duology. She’s back with a new series, one that I hope will have more than two installments.

Breath of Earth introduces Ingrid Carmichael, an orphaned servant in a San Francisco house of earth wardens, geomancers who use their form of magic to feel earthquakes, siphon off the energy, and store it in crystals that power the machines and weapons of the age. Secretly, Ingrid is more powerful than any warden, but women aren’t supposed to have that power, or any of the other powers she eventually discovers. When explosions level the building, she and her Japanese mentor are the only

This alternate history has an alliance between the USA and Japan. China is nearly depopulated, Thuggees in India are legendary figures fighting the British, and Chinatown worships a dead emperor. There are steampunk airships, and Teddy Roosevelt is a near-mythic member of the ruling elite (Everybody talks about him, but we never meet him…in this book).

Chased by the military, Ingrid tries to uncover who is behind the slaughter of the earth wardens, and why localized earthquakes are happening so frequently. She is aided by Cy, a designer of an airship, and Fenris, a mechanic. From a glittering opera house to the waterfront, from the most dangerous parts of Chinatown to the skies of the Bay Area, Ingrid races around the City by the Bay.

Twisted history, real people and invented ones, multiple mythologies, and young lust (on a fully-clothed level) meet and intertwine. Secrets abound, and most of the characters have them. There’s blood and guts (but not always Ingrid’s or Cy’s), death and destruction, but what would you expect? It’s 1906, and it’s San Francisco.

Cato has a knack for putting young women with unusual abilities in close contact with dashing young men of other ethnicities, surrounding them with clockwork and airships, and watching as love develops suddenly, but unfolds slowly. Cato’s Valley roots pop up in some humorous mentions of sun-dried products and Central Californian cities.

Feel the magic. Feel the earth move under your feet. Feel a sense of wonder. Read Beth Cato’s Breath of Earth.

To enter to win a copy of Breath of Earth, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “breath,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 10, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

You can also use this link to purchase the book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Community Librarian for the WoW! (WithOut Walls) Division of the Fresno County Public Library, roaming the Valley to meet the public’s information needs.


  1. This looks like an interesting book. I love fantasy built on alternate histories!

  2. This sounds great, and that’s one of the prettier covers I’ve seen.

  3. I love Beth Cato’s imagination! I have read her other books and they took me to magical places and times. I look forward to this new read!

  4. This looks fascinating. I am so intrigued by the possibilities of human relationships, as well as the exploration of alternate world histories. This book seems the perfect fit and I’d love to both reas and share it.

  5. As a former denizen of California, I like this explanation for the earthquakes. And, like you, I like Beth Cato’s stories. If I don’t win this one, of course I’ll buy it. Via your link.

  6. I’m eager to read this book. Beth Cato is amazing!

  7. I’m a happy Beth Cato reader!

  8. I have Beth Cato’s Clockwork Dagger books on my TBR pile, and after reading your review, I think I need to push them to the top of the pile. 😀 Breath of Earth sounds like a fantastic story, and I’m looking forward to reading it as well.



  1. Enter to win a copy of Breath of Earth! | - […] not only gave my book a warm review, but they are also sponsoring a giveaway. Head over there and…

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