Book Review: Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

Posted February 15, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Pages: 507
Publisher: Luna
Review source: Library
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie
Series: Chronicles of Elantra, 1

First in the Chronicles of Elantra fantasy series. It’s thirteen years since events in “Cast in Moonlight“, and Kaylin has been a Hawk for a few years in the city of Elantra.

My Take
This really is good. I’d love it even more if Sagara would be a bit more clear as to who is doing what to whom for what purpose. It is at least a tiny bit more clear than the prequel, “Cast in Moonlight”, and does leave us with more of a sense of ending this particular adventure. Although, Sagara is wicked with leaving hints for the future. It’s creepy, fascinating, intriguing, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Cast in Courtlight to find out what happens next!

There is so much that occurs within this story…I’m feeling breathless just thinking about it! Sagara provides us with a backstory on Kaylin as well as Severn, and she doesn’t hesitate to create yet more drama and tension for future installments. Nicely done.

Arghh, Sagara is making me crazy, teasing with the bits and pieces she’s dribbling out about the markings on Kaylin! She gives a little and teases more. It’s going to be a long, slow road to finally learn everything I need to know!

I like Kaylin. She does her best to do right by everyone. She’s willing, for the most part, to be polite, but she definitely forges her own path in some very trying circumstances.

The Story
It’s a flashback to the horror of her childhood. Children being marked. Killed horrifically. Worse, Severn is back. He’s a traitor. A murderer and the Hawklord is forcing her to partner up with him to investigate this fresh spate of murders that bring it all back.

The Characters
Private Kaylin Neya, the former Elianne, was adopted by the Hawks some thirteen years ago, when she was thirteen. Her abilities are still kept secret to keep her safe. That side job of hers could see her dead.

The Hawks include:
Iron Jaw, more formally known as Sergeant Marcus Kassan, a Leontine Hawk. Tanner and Clint are Aerians (Kaylin loves touching Clint’s forbidden wings); Sesti is Clint’s wife and they’ve just had a baby. Tain and Teela are Barrani. Red—never call him Reginald—is their medical examiner. Moran, an Aerian, is one of the Hawks’ medics.

Corporal Severn Handred has transferred to the Hawks from the Shadow Wolves, and it’s only the Hawklord’s disapproval that keeps Kaylin from killing him. Steffi and Jade were part of their family.

Lord Tiamaris will be their third partner in this investigation in the fiefs. A dragonshifter with high-level magic and access. A powerful being with whom Sergeant Kassan has issues. Lords Diarmat, Emmerian, and Sanabalis are all Dragons. Maukron the Black is the only outcaste Dragon. Ybelline is Tha’alani, but one that Kaylin could be comfortable with. But she is the emperor’s.

Marrin is Leontine and she runs the human orphanage in Elantra. Catti is one of her young charges and desperately ill. Dock is another. Amos is the foundling home’s guard.

Callantine is one of the powerful pompous, and arrogant Imperial mages who shows up for the autopsy. Burlan Oaks runs a tavern that Severn frequents. Lord Evarrim, an Arcanist, is a Barrani lord who takes an undue and threatening interest in Kaylin.

Lord Nightshade is an outcaste Barrani fieflord who has lent his name to his fief. Where Severn and Kaylani once lived. Brecht is a drunk and a pub owner, used to catch the Hawks’ attention.

There are three peacekeeping forces and three Lords of Law: the Lord of Hawks, Lord Grammayre, the Hawklord, heads up the Hawks which are the city’s eyes and ears; the Lord of Swords and his men are the peacekeepers; and, the Lord of Wolves and his people are its hunters and killers. Think of the Aerians as birdmen, not shifters. Barrani are the upper class in this society. Vicious, cruel and seem to have the appearance of what I would consider Fey. The Leontine are lion shifters. Tha’alani, a.k.a., Truthseekers, are mind readers. Their touch is NOT delicate. Arcanists are mages who work independently of the Dragon Emperor.

Fieflords are independent rulers of large neighborhoods outside the city proper. Theft and murder is a way of life in the fiefs.

The Cover
It’s a cold turquoise cover with a bricked floor under roomy arches forming a tunnel into the light, an entire city built atop it. It’s a serious Kaylin all dressed in black with her tattooed arms (kind of looks like brown and turquoise plaid sleeves).

I suspect the title refers to Kaylin’s past, Cast in Shadow, with her interpretation of events.

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