The Witch Who Came in from the Cold Episode One: The Long Cold Winter by Max Gladstone and Lindsay Smith (Serial Box, Jan 27th, 2015)– So, Max Gladstone and Lindsay Smith… what a combo, yes? This story is great fun: obviously the title is a play on Le Carre’s The Spy that Came in from the Cold and the authors really capture the Cold War atmosphere of 1970, but this is a Cold War of another sort. Gabe Pritchard, a CIA agent, is trying to procure assets in Prague, and right before he closes the deal with the assistant undersecretary of the Czech Ministry of Economics, he’s struck by a debilitating headache, which cuts the mission short. Asset lost, superiors disappointed. Gabe will soon have to deal with the fallout from an incident in Cairo, and he’ll have to rely on help from people he doesn’t trust.
Meanwhile, KGB agents Tatiana and Nadia discover a young girl that has been designated to be a Host for one of the thirty-six elementals that control the world’s sources of magic, which puts a wrench in their asset procurement. The giant stomping menace that is sent to get the girl is a construct by sorcerers and powered by elemental energy and the ley lines that lie just beneath the surface of the city.
A secret war is being fought by two powerful factions, the Ice and the Flame, the Acolytes of Flame want all of the power from the elementals to themselves, and will do anything to get it. Like I said, so much fun, and you’ll want to dive right in to the next episode (out tomorrow), “A Voice on the Radio” by Cassandra Rose Clarke!