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Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
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Cast in Shadow (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Michelle Sagara

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1,265496,244 (3.89)46
Member:Maaike15274
Title:Cast in Shadow
Authors:Michelle Sagara (Author)
Info:Luna Books
Collections:Your library, Gelezen (van Mijn boeken)
Rating:***1/2
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Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara (2005)

Recently added byprivate library, knotbox, pwaites, thermopyle, Lauren2013, HouseOfBookworms, DeltaQueen50, Eden00
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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
My reading relationship with Cast in Shadows had a lot of ups and downs. The beginning made it seem like it would be terrible again. The middle made it seem like it’d be all right. Then the ending brought it to back down to a “not very good.”

Kaylin is a Hawk, the police force of the City of Elantra. Seven years ago she fled the lawless streets of the fiefdom Nightshade, when strange marks appeared on her skin that had marked death for other children. Now children are dying again, and the marks on Kaylin’s skin are changing. But this time, Kaylin has the power to investigate the mystery.

The world building should be one of the draws here. There’s an invented fantasy world, different sentient species, and an urban fantasy feel. Unfortunately, Cast of Shadows did not make that as fun as it sounds. The world never felt very well realized to me, to the point where I couldn’t figure out if it was pre or post industrial revolution. The multitude of non-human species was probably the high point of the series, although I would have liked to see them veer away from strict analogs to Earth species (lions and birds for instance).

When it comes to the plot itself, everything was so weird and vague. It also ends up trying to justify child murder in the backstory? I don’t want to talk too much about it here, but it’s under spoiler tags in my LibraryThing reading journal. The pacing also felt super slow, although it did speed up for a while during the middle.

I was also hoping from what else I’ve read of the author that there’d be a number of significant female supporting characters who interact with Kaylin. This sort of happened. Kaylin had a female best friend, and there were a couple of other female characters. But it still ended up feeling like almost everyone else involved in the plot was male.

Cast in Shadow just felt lacking. I’m not planning on continuing with the series.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jun 11, 2016 |
Cast in Shadow
3 Stars

After fleeing the crime-ridden streets of Nightshade as a child, Kaylin Neya joined the ranks of the Hawks, the guardians who patrol and police the city of Elantra. Now, seven years later, Kaylin is drawn into an investigation that has its roots in her childhood when several children with strange markings similar to her own are found murdered. Together with a partner who has betrayed her in the past and a dragon companion who may have his own agenda, Kaylin is charged with finding a killer whose plans may just lead to her own destruction.

Unfortunately, the choppy writing, underdeveloped world building and lack of background on the various characters and races that populate Elantra undermine an otherwise excellent plot premise.

The story revolving around Kaylin’s investigation is fascinating and the complex world building has definite potential. Nevertheless, the flow of the narrative is often disrupted by the dense language and fragmented sentence structure, which makes it necessary to re-read entire passages in order to understand what has occurred or who has been speaking. Moreover, the terminology, concepts and descriptions are lacking in detail, which leaves the reader with more questions than answers.

Despite the compelling cast of primary and secondary characters, including the strong willed and intelligent Kaylin, the enigmatic fieflord of Nightshade, Kaylin’s former friend and current partner, Severn, and Tiamaris, a member of the dragon race with shapeshifting abilities reminiscent of the Kate Daniels series, none of them is sufficiently fleshed out and the lack of background impairs the overall effect of the book.

In sum, regardless of the confusing elements and problematic writing style, Kaylin and her comrades are interesting enough to continue with the series. Hopefully the problematic issues will be resolved and listening to the audiobook narrated by the incomparable Khristine Hvam will help me with the language. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Jun 1, 2016 |
3.5 I loved the plot, really wanted to know more of several characters. I really enjoyed the parts of the book I read when I knew who was talking. That was the major problem, I did not know who was talking or what they were talking about more than a few times. I found myself just skimming through the muddle to get to an understandable section. I compare the premise and plot to one of my favorite series The Tarien Soul series-but the author lost me, for many pages and it did not seem to hurt the story ? I needed more direction on who said what, clarity of voice. I have never been so lost while reading a book, so much muddle.. I will read the next book, to see if this improves. ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
Cast in Shadow is set mainly in the City of Elantra, which is governed by an Emperor Dragon and occupied by citizens of various species (races?): humans, the winged Aerians, dragons, Leontines, and the immortal Barrani.

Kaylin Neya, the troubled, heroine is marked by mysterious symbols--sigils and curves. She fled the fiefs when she was young when a terrible event occured in the fiefs; children bearing the type of markings she bears were being slaughtered.

Years later, it is up to Kaylin, who is a member of the Hawks of the Houses of Law, who police the city, along with others, including a dragon and a man from her past, to stop the slaughter of children, which is once again occurring.

Kaylin has a power that she does not understand and cannot herself control. Will her power lead them to finding those responsible for the slaughter of innocent children, or will it destroy her and others along the way?

Cast in Shadows is Michelle Sagaras' first book in The Chronicles of Elantra series. It's a fascinating tale that keeps you guessing at every turn. It's fast paced, and everyone has their secrets, so the intrigue is well-layered throughout the text. I really appreciate books that keep the reader guessing and keep the suspense built until the end.

Sagara does an excellent job at world building. She has a good eye for including little details that make the fantasy world she has built seem complete and real. She also does a great job of creating a flawed heroine, with some annoying traits, but those annoying traits make Kaylin seem believable.

I really enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  slpwhitehead | Jan 17, 2016 |
Cast in Shadow is set mainly in the City of Elantra, which is governed by an Emperor Dragon and occupied by citizens of various species (races?): humans, the winged Aerians, dragons, Leontines, and the immortal Barrani.

Kaylin Neya, the troubled, heroine is marked by mysterious symbols--sigils and curves. She fled the fiefs when she was young when a terrible event occured in the fiefs; children bearing the type of markings she bears were being slaughtered.

Years later, it is up to Kaylin, who is a member of the Hawks of the Houses of Law, who police the city, along with others, including a dragon and a man from her past, to stop the slaughter of children, which is once again occurring.

Kaylin has a power that she does not understand and cannot herself control. Will her power lead them to finding those responsible for the slaughter of innocent children, or will it destroy her and others along the way?

Cast in Shadows is Michelle Sagaras' first book in The Chronicles of Elantra series. It's a fascinating tale that keeps you guessing at every turn. It's fast paced, and everyone has their secrets, so the intrigue is well-layered throughout the text. I really appreciate books that keep the reader guessing and keep the suspense built until the end.

Sagara does an excellent job at world building. She has a good eye for including little details that make the fantasy world she has built seem complete and real. She also does a great job of creating a flawed heroine, with some annoying traits, but those annoying traits make Kaylin seem believable.

I really enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  slpwhitehead | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michelle Sagaraprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hvam, KhristineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for Chris Szego, who read it first, and gave me exactly the encouragement I needed at exactly the right time
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Black circles under the eyes were not, Kaylin decided, a very attractive statement.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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 the 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!

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373802544, Mass Market 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 the 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!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:31 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Kaylin, a Hawk who patrols and polices the City of Elantra, must face her greatest fear when children become the prey of a serial killer, forcing her to return to Nightshade, where she must team up with a powerful Dragon lord she knows she cannot trust.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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