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Naomi Kritzer Books In Order

Publication Order of Eliana’s Song Books

Fires of the Faithful (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Turning the Storm (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Dead Rivers Books

Freedom's Gate (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Freedom's Apprentice (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Freedom's Sisters (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Catfishing on CatNet (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Gift of the Winter King and Other Stories (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Comrade Grandmother and Other Stories (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Naomi Kritzer is an American science fiction and speculative fiction author and blogger. She has been writing for more than two decades and has several works to her name. Her works include the “Ellana’s Song” series, the “Dead Rivers” series, and several collections. Her short story “Cat Pictures Please” which she published in 2015 was the winner of the Locus and Hugo Awards and made the finals of the Nebula Award. She fell in love with science fiction at a very young age when she was introduced to the Star Wars movies Star Wars. Kritzer was barely six years old when she was introduced to the stories and was hooked to everything about the universe. When she learned how to read she got to know that she could read the stories rather than wait for Hollywood to produce the movies and everything changed. She trawled the libraries and read all about swords, ships, and everything about Star Wars. Her passion for the franchise soon led her to read “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeline L’Engle and it is at this point that she made an attempt at writing her own stories. She submitted her first story to the editor of the “Sword and Sorceress” anthologies when she was fifteen and was rejected. She was disappointed and it was not until she was done with college and was a mother that she made writing a full-time pursuit.

The journey to becoming a published author was not easy for Naomi Kritzer, particularly since she was a mother whose child had no interest in sleeping. The only way she could make it sleep was by driving around in her car. She would thus get her laptop and drive around until the child fell asleep and then proceed to write in some parking lot until the kid woke up. She now has more time to write given that her children are older though she still gets distracted by the internet. In fact her latest blockbuster “Cat Pictures Please” is a product of that distraction. Kritzer was procrastinating and browsing weird corners on the Internet when she stumbled on a story that gave her the inspiration for the collection of stories. She has been a member of a writing group for more than two decades and asserts that it has been a huge help in keeping her on track with her authorship goals. Naomi also credits the city of St. Paul for its many science fiction authors that have been a great help in showing her how to do fantasy and science fiction. While she was born in North Carolina, grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and lived in Houston, London, and Indiana, she has found that she loves Minnesota best. She moved to the state when she graduated from college and has been living there ever since.

Kritzer’s Dead Rivers Trilogy is full of thrilling adventures swashbuckling battles, calculated risk-taking and narrow escapes right from the first novel “Freedom’s Gate.” In the second novel “Freedom’s Apprentice,” she expands to include fantastic elements of sorcery and shamanism. Freedom’s Gate introduces the desert bandit tribes and the concept of homosocial sisterhood that puts female characters at the center of the story. The second novel explores the competition between factions who want to control the material and magical resources that can only be done by enslaving racial minorities and the spirit djinn. The characters grapple with penance, power and duty even as freedom is an overarching theme in the trilogy. Overall, Naomi Kritzer centers on women as an important class of people who resolutely fight on in a society that is determined to erase their voices and achievement. In her world, women are warriors, enemies, slaves, lovers, sorceresses, whores, leaders, outlaws, politicians, and rebels. However, they are not those things because of their gender but because they are fully realized complex human beings with purpose, emotions and agency. Men also participate in the trilogy as acquaintances, friends, villains and allies though they are not the focus of the story as the women take center stage.

Naomi Kritzer’s “Freedom’s Gate” the first novel of the series is the story of Lauria. She is the aide to a powerful military officer named Kyros under whom she works as a spy, observer, and messenger. After years of peace, she suddenly has to undertake one of the most dangerous missions of her life. Kyros has been informed that the Alashi, one of the most vicious bandit tribes are planning an attack. Lauri is charged with infiltrating the tribe which is very dangerous as she has to work in disguise for a high ranking Alashi officer. Posing as a slave, she is to collect information and then stage-manage an escape that will allow her to go work in another corner of the kingdom where she can gather even more information. She believes can pose as a virgin concubine but posing as a slave may be a very hard thing to do given that she is a freeborn woman. Lauria does not know how to behave like a slave and she thinks she may not be able to pull off the slave part. In the meantime, her perspectives on her world are changing and she is questioning a lot of things in her world.

In her debut novel “Freedom’s Gate,” Kritzer introduced a world of intrigue, magic, and danger. In the second novel of the series Freedom’s Apprentice, she continues with the story of the bold young woman named Lauria who has new perspectives on her world. She used to the most trusted aide to Kyros, the most powerful military commander in the land as she hunted down and recaptured slaves that had run away from their master. But on her latest mission to the Alashi bandit tribe, she had an awakening that had resulted in a shift in her loyalties. She had arrived as a spy and had then been found out by the Alshi who had cast her out. But since her perspectives had changed, her own people do not want her back and she now has to work to ingratiate herself with the Alashi. She teams up with Tamar her Alashi blood sister to pursue their mission of freeing slaves that she was once charged with recapturing and returning to captivity. But the task is too daunting for the two women and they need some help. To free a mine slave, she needs a spell chain and the only way to get it is to become an apprentice to a sorceress of the “Sisterhood of the Weavers,” one of her biggest enemies. But could the apprenticeship lessons and the power she gets come at too great a price.

“Freedom’s Sisters” the third novel of “The Dead Rivers Trilogy” continues the story of the two sisters Lauria and Tamar torn apart by enemies and bonded by blood. Lauria is a freeborn Greek that had seen the light to become a liberator of the escaped slaves she once hunted down and enslaved. Her sister Tamar is among those she had tracked down and freed to become her bond sister. But she had apprenticed herself to her nemesis the Sisterhood of Weavers so that she could harness magical powers that would make her work easier. The powerful sisterhood has held djinni as slaves for centuries and they do not take it lightly when Lauria frees them. Given that they had taught her all the magic she knows, they deem it treason for her to liberate their most faithful slaves. She is caught and sent to prison and Tamar her bond sister prostrates herself before the Alashi asking for their help to liberate her sister from the Weavers. As she searches for Lauria in the fantastic realms known as the borderlands and in the real world, Lauria is hopeful that the magic she learned can bring freedom not only to herself but to all who are oppressed.

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