Water Logic

Laurie J. Marks  - published June 2007

trade paper · 9781931520232 | ebook · 9781618730121 · Edelweiss
Elemental Logic: Book 3
Tiptree Honor List

Now shipping with the new cover by Kathleen Jennings.

Fire Logic · Earth Logic · Water Logic · Air Logic

Laurie J. Marks’s third novel in her ground-breaking and award-winning Elemental Logic series (following Fire Logic and Earth Logic ) is a triumph of politics, fantasy, world-building, and intelligent design: of character, world, and magic.

Amid assassinations, rebellions, and the pyres of too many dead, a new government forms in the land of Shaftal—a government of soldiers and farmers, scholars and elemental talents, all weary of war and longing for peace. But some cannot forget their losses, and some cannot imagine a place for themselves in an enemy land. Before memory, before recorded history, something happened that now must be remembered. Zanja na’Tarwein, the crosser of boundaries, born in fire and wedded to earth, has fallen under the ice. Now, by water logic, the logic of patterns repeated, of laughter and music, the lost must be found—or the found may forever be lost.

By water logic, a cow doctor becomes a politician. A soldier becomes a flower farmer. A lost book contains a lost future. The patterns of history are made and unmade.

Read the first chapter.

Listen to the author read Chapter 1: part 1 · part 2


“Frankly, it’s mind-bending stuff, and refreshing.”
—James Schellenberg, The Cultural Gutter

* “How gifts from the past, often unknown or unacknowledged, bless future generations; how things that look like disasters or mistakes may be parts of a much bigger pattern that produces greater, farther-reaching good results.”
Booklist (Starred Review)

“Finely drawn characters and a lack of bias toward sexual orientation make this a thoughtful, challenging read.”
Library Journal

“Marks’s characters are real people who breathe and sleep and sweat and love; the food has flavor and the landscape can break your heart. You don’t find this often in any contemporary fiction, much less in fantasy: a world you can plunge yourself into utterly and live in with great delight, while the pages turn, and dream of after.”—Ellen Kushner

“Marks plays the fantasy of her unfolding epic more subtly here than in previous volumes, and the resulting depiction of intransigent cultures in conflict, rich with insight into human nature and motives, will resonate for modern readers.”—Publishers Weekly

Map of Shaftal by Jeanne Gomoll:

On the web:


  • Cover image © Corbis.
  • Author photo © Deb Mensinger.
  • Map of Shaftal © by Jeanne Gomoll.