Breath of Earth (Blood of Earth #1) by Beth Cato ~ Review

Breath of Earth (Blood of Earth #1)
Paperback400 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 
by Harper Voyager
Source: ARC provided at ALA
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


After the Earth’s power is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magical powers to survive in in this fresh fantasy series from the author of acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.


Thank you Harper Voyager for providing me an arc of Breath of Earth at ALA Confrence. This in no way affected my opinion.

Breath of Earth is a fantasy book but is more then that it is rooted in 1906 San Francisco. This reads like a historical but the fantasy elements were amazing and I loved the cultural diversity between the Chinese and Japanese at that time. My sons fathers family are Chinese and I remember having so many conversations with them when they had to flee China. So getting the Japanese point of view at the time was interesting.

This books pacing was a little slow at the beginning but man does it pack a punch at the end. The Mythology and powers pick up and enchant you. I am very excited for Call of Fire.

I will however say that this book was clean as far as content for young readers but I did not see the crossover appeal and would say this one was for adults but is a book I would recommend to my library to refer. This is a must read for historical and fantasy fans.

About the Author:

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 (a 2015 Locus Award finalist for First Novel) and THE CLOCKWORK CROWN (an RT Reviewers' Choice Finalist) from Harper Voyager. Her novella WINGS OF SORROW AND BONE was a 2016 Nebula nominee. BREATH OF EARTH begins a new steampunk series set in an alternate history 1906 San Francisco.

Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.


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