Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cast in Chaos by Michelle Sagara

Kaylin Neya is a Hawk, part of the elite force tasked with keeping the City of Elantra safe. Her past is dark, her magic uncontrolled and her allies unpredictable. And nothing has prepared her for what is coming, when the charlatans on Elani Street suddenly grow powerful, the Oracles are thrown into an uproar and the skies rain blood..

The powerful of Elantra believe that the mysterious markings on Kaylin's skin hold the answer, and they are not averse to using her - how ever they have to - in order to discover what it is.

Something is coming, breaking through the barriers between the worlds. But is it a threat that Kaylin needs to defend her city against - or has she been chosen for another reason entirely?

This book took me a good long while to finish. Not because it was that bad, but because it was that good. Sagara's series gets me so invested and involved that I have to pay a lot of attention to the dynamics between different people, races, cultures - it's all there. Then you start tacking on language barriers and the difficulty when immortal beings try to understand mortal limitations and you've just got a lot to keep your eye on. Luckily she makes it all worth it.

Probably one of the most straight forwardly fantasy series that I read, Sagara has gone to great lengths to create a world that is both foreign and familiar. I love her characters and I love the fact that Kaylin is wonderfully human. She makes mistakes, lots of them sometimes, but usually has the best of intentions and a willingness to grow. It's hard to watch your heroines fall in the dirt but when they pick themselves up and just keep going and doing what they know is right, it turns into a wonderful story.

In this book Kaylin learn slightly more about what purpose the runes on her body will serve and what journey she still has ahead of her. Sorry for the vagueness there but this book is so complex that it's hard for me to pin point exactly what's the most interesting to hear about it. I think you as a potential reader should care that emotions run hot in this book. That the dragons - Sanabalis, Arkon, Tiarmis - are ancient and intimidating and while very much 'other' are also part of the world Sagara has made. Kaylin has to confront a lot of hard emotions in this book, going back to a traumatizing experience that's revealed to readers in the first part of this series, and she has to use those emotions and what's she's learned about life to save the world.

Sounds dramatic doesn't it? Well it is, so I can safely say I'm not exaggerating.

Sagara began this book with an author's note detailing why she hoped this series was one people could enjoy whether they picked up one book or all 6, which I agree with to an extent, but I truly believe full understanding of these people and this world doesn't come unless you've read the rest. Especially book 5, as there's a lot of HUGE changes that happen in the book that effect how characters act, what responsibilities they have, in this book. In my opinion this is a series that you read all the books to, read in order, and then when you finally arrive at book number 6 you're almost guaranteed a great time.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - 1) Cast in Shadow 2) Cast in Courtlight 3) Cast in Secret 4) Cast in Fury 5) Cast in Silence 6) Cast in Chaos