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ARC Review: Cast in Flame

July 29, 2014

Cast in Flame – Michelle Sagara

Cast in Flame1Series: Chronicles of Elantra #10
Genre: Fantasy
Published: July 29th, 2014
Links: Goodreads   Amazon

Any day that starts with dragon arguments is going to be bad 

Kaylin returned from the West March in one piece. Now that piece is fraying. She’s not at home in the Imperial Palace—and she never intends to be. All she wants is normal garden-variety criminals and a place of her own. Of course, normal in her new life involves a dragon as a roommate, but she can handle that. 

She can’t as easily handle the new residents to the city she polices, because one of them is Nightshade’s younger brother. On a night when she should be talking to landlords in perfectly normal buildings, she’s called to the fief—by Teela. A small family disagreement has become a large, complicated problem: Castle Nightshade’s latent magic is waking. 

And it’s not the only thing.

I received an ARC of Cast in Flame from Harlequin via Netgalley sometime in June. Because I’m a sluggish review writer, I took some notes while I read to help me compose my review. Alas my notes consisted solely of superlatives such as amazing, awe-inspiring, brilliant and wonderful. I simply refused to stop reading long enough to write more. So it’s fair to say that I loved loved loved Cast in Flame.

Cast in Flame is the tenth book in Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra series. For the uninitiated, the Chronicles of Elantra account the adventures of Kaylin Neya, a young Hawk in the magical city of Elantra. If you are uninitiated, you do not belong here. Go back to the first book Cast in Shadow in order to fully appreciate the brilliant world building and characters, slowly established through 10 books.

Cast in Flame follows on directly from the events of Cast in Sorrow. Kaylin and her cohorts have returned from the West March. Kaylin is still unhappily residing in the palace following the destruction of her home in Cast in Peril. I was really surprised how the events of Cast in Peril and Cast in Sorrow had such a direct impact on the story. I would go as far to say, that Cast in Flame is part 3 of the Peril/Sorrow duology. Earlier books were more episodic, I think.

To me, the events of Cast in Flame were really unexpected and surprising. I loved how plots quietly introduced in previous novels, came roaring to life in Cast in Flame. The cast of characters get larger with each new novel but somehow they all remain individual, unique, layered and to me utterly riveting. I adored the trio of Kaylin, Teela and Bellusdeo. Together Bellusdeo and Mandoran are comedy gold. The story was well plotted and as I mentioned before really unexpected. Events opened with some great and surprisingly funny scenes between favourite characters, both old and new. The action was literally non-stop, with vivid battles. At times, I roared with laughter, at others my heart ached.

If I listed all that I loved about Cast in Flame, I’d spoil the entire book. It’s enough to say I think that house hunting, Dragons, Barrani and Hawks are all present and accounted for. Fans are going to be delighted with Cast in Flame.

My Rating: 9.5/10


Waiting on Wednesday: Loop

July 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Loop sounds like a crazy fun read – I’m in :)

Loop – Karen Akins

Series: Stand alone
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Published: October 21st, 2014
Links: Goodreads   Amazon

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

Waiting on Wednesday: Heroes Are My Weakness

July 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips has written some amazing, heartbreaking, sweet and funny stories. I didn’t enjoy her last book all that much so I’m really hoping that Heroes Are My Weakness is a return to form.

Heroes Are My Weakness – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Series: Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: August 26th, 2014
Links: Goodreads   Amazon

The dead of winter.

An isolated island off the coast of Maine.

A man.

A woman.

A sinister house looming over the sea …

He’s a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She’s a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids’ puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she’s not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they’re trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.

It’s going to be a long, hot winter.

Waiting on Wednesday: Night Shift Anthology

July 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Dali is my favourite heroine ever! She’s just so adorable :)  Hurry up November.

Night Shift Anthology – Ilona Andrews et al.

Night ShiftSeries: Anthology
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: November  25th, 2014
Links: Goodreads   Amazon

Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark…

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight , as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals , when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn’t a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.

It’s seer Makenna Frazier’s first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms .

Waiting on Wednesday: Magnolia

July 2, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Enemies to more… Count me in :)

Magnolia – Kristi Cook

Series: Stand alone
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Published: August 5th, 2014
Links: Goodreads   Amazon

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Storyspinner

June 25, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Pity The Storyspinner isn’t released until March 2015 because I can’t wait to get my hands on this one :)

The Storyspinner – Becky Wallace

The StorySpinner 
Series: The Keeper Chronicles #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published: March 3rd, 2015
Links: Goodreads   Amazon

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky.

All Johanna Von Arlo wants to do is become a Storyspinner. But her options are so limited that she is forced to work for the aggravating and handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. While in his employ, Johanna is exposed to a dangerous game of thrones, a game where she will discover that the magically inclined Keepers from her stories might be real after all.

The Keepers are searching for an heir to a great power and the key to saving their land. They aren’t alone in their hunt. Girls matching the heir’s description are turning up dead all over the kingdom. Girls who look exactly like Johanna.

I’m Reading…

June 23, 2014

Mirror Sight – Kristen Britain

Mirror SightSeries: The Green Rider #5
Genre: Fantasy
Published: May 6th, 2014
Links: Goodreads   Amazon

Karigan G’ladheon is a Green Rider – a seasoned member of the royal messenger corps whose loyalty and her bravery have already been tested many times. And her final, explosive magical confrontation with Mornhavon the Black should have killed her. But rather than finding death, and peace, Karigan wakes to a darkness deeper than night. The explosion has transported her somewhere – and into a sealed stone sarcophagus – and now she must escape, somehow, before the thinning air runs out and her mysterious tomb becomes her grave. Where is she? Does a trap, laid by Mornhavon, lie beyond her prison? And if she can escape, will she find the world beyond the same – or has the magic taken her out of reach of her friends, home and King forever…?

With hindsight I’m revising my near hysterical reaction to the ending of the  previous book in the Green Rider series, Blackveil :) While still a little miffed about the epic cliffhanger, I’m really enjoying the setting and new characters in Mirror Sight.


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