Book Review - Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

Friday, January 16, 2015
Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
Series: Chronicles of Elantra #1
Publisher: Luna
Publication Date: 1 July 2005
Genre: Fantasy
My Copy: Library - Paperback

Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered -- and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin...

Since then, she's learned to read, she's learned to fight and she's become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and immortal Barrani, she's made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.

But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging, Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she knows she can't trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers -- powers that no other human has. Her task is simple -- find the killer, stop the murders... and survive the attentions of those who claim to be her allies!

This book was kind of weird for me. I loved the characters, and that alone is enough to make me read the second book. There's a lot of action and mystery in the book. However, the story line was very confusing to me. There wasn't enough of the setting explained early enough in the story, so it took me a long time to figure out what the world was like. It's difficult to read a book when you don't understand the foundation. I'm not one to like long winded descriptions, but in this case, a little more description would have been helpful. I found myself going "What?" on multiple occasions. Despite that, I was hooked into the story early on. I'll admit Kaylin is a bit annoying, but somehow I still found that I liked her. I think what annoyed me is trying to figure out what was going on, and Kaylin kept saying she didn't want to know. I wanted to yell at her "But I do!" 

The book has a wide variety of elements from lion/human-like characters to angel type characters to dragons. Once I understood the world a little better, I really liked it. I also have a thing for the fieflord Nightshade. I get that he's probably sort of a bad guy, but I think he's also kind of a good guy deep down. Probably not the right person to root for, but I liked him anyway. Tiamaris is probably my second favorite. He seems very wise and private, but he's also weirdly likeable to me. Severn is the obvious male interest, but because he's obvious, he's also somehow less interesting to me. Plus compared to the other two, he's just kind of a guy with a past. I still liked him, but I wasn't crazy about him. I'm curious to see how things play out in Cast in Courtlight.
Favorite Quote:
Truth, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder.


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