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ARC Review: Cast in Sorrow – Michelle Sagara

August 23, 2013

Cast in Sorrow – Michelle Sagara

Cast in sorrow
Series: Chronicles of Elantra #9
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 27th August 2013
Links: Amazon   Book Depository   Goodreads


The Barrani would be happy to see her die. So Kaylin Neya is a bit surprised by her safe arrival in the West March. Especially when enemies new and old surround her and those she would call friends are equally dangerous…

And then the real trouble starts. Kaylin’s assignment is to be a “harmoniste”-one who helps tell the truth behind a Barrani Recitation. But in a land where words are more effective than weapons, Kaylin’s duties are deadly. With the wrong phrase she could tear a people further asunder. And with the right ones…well, then she might be able to heal a blight on a race.

If only she understood the story…

Cast in Sorrow was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.

Cast in Sorrow is the ninth book in the Chronicles of Elantra series and it’s the second part of the two parter begun with Cast in Peril. Any who follow my blog and see my header will realise that I’m a fan. I re-read this series constantly and always find something new. I don’t know if that says more about how inattentive I am than how intricate the series is but never the less I love Kaylin and her adventures.

Since this is the ninth entry in the series, I don’t recommend that you start here. Go back to book one, Cast in Shadow. The story and characters have slowly but surely become so layered and interlinked that a new reader would be lost.

The Chronicles of Elantra follow the adventures of Kaylin Neya, a ground hawk in the city of Elantra. A ground hawk is essentially a police officer and Kaylin has a beat, a route or part of the city which is hers to police. Although since Elantra is a magical city with residents both magical and otherwise, the work is rarely boring or easy. In Cast in Sorrow, Kaylin has left the city proper and headed to the West March, a barrani region far from Elantra. The journey was perilous and convoluted as per usual but finally Kaylin has arrived in the West March.

First I must say that I adore the cover of Cast in Sorrow. It’s absolutely beautiful and the colours wow, I can’t wait to get my hands on my paper version.

I really enjoyed Cast in Sorrow, it’s not my favourite but it’s a really good entry in the series. This is a Barrani book with the other races not really featured as the story takes place in the West March. As always the characterisation and world building are fantastic, old friends appear again and several very interesting new characters are introduced. Some of these will have a fascinating impact on future plots. Be careful what you wish for can definitely be said for one character!

Kaylins opening monologue as she tripped and trundled through the forest surrounded by the ever graceful barrani was perfect. Alas for poor Kaylin, the forest was full of hidden tree roots that tripped her, branches that scratched her and insects that found her delicious. She has a great internal rant that perfectly synopses the events in the previous book for those a bit sketchy on the details.

In my opinion, Cast in Sorrow was Teela’s story. I loved how we finally found out some solid information about Teela. She’s finally revealed in all her glory; her loyalty, strength and plain crankiness are all on show. Teela’s really just a sweetheart at heart 🙂 Kaylin’s and Teela’s relationship in this book is complex and brilliant. Through Teela, Cast in Sorrow delves more into the barrani and we learn some really interesting things about immortality and its consequences. Boredom is bad!

I won’t go into details because this is a spoiler free review but Nightshade is his usual murky complex self but with insecurities and vulnerabilities not usually on show. Severn’s story becomes even more intriguing. What did he do during Kaylins early years with the Hawks. Enquiring minds want to know. Kaylin’s patience in letting Severn keep his secrets is admirable or is it a case that she’s afraid to ask.

I really enjoyed this entry but I did miss Elantra. I’m glad the journey is over and I’m really excited to return to the city in the next novel, Cast in Flame. Oh the consequences and complications! Highly recommended.

My grade: 8/10

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