Hey everyone, Yaz here again - ready as always - to talk books. This week I decided to review something a little different. Cast in Shadow by Michele Sagara is a mix of dark and high fantasy with a contemporary voice, and the first book in the Chronicles of Elantra series.
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!
The Cast world is filled with strange races, and a rich history. There are the millennia old Dragons, who can take human shape, are extremely powerful and possessive, but prefer to stay near their hoards - The Barrani, who are not only immortal, they are stunningly beautiful and also tricky and devious. The Leontine are a feral race - they are very private, and quick tempered and the Aerians have the gift of flight and magnificent wings - all living side by side with humans.
Though Kaylin has been through a lot in her short life, she's finally found a home with the Hawks. Kaylin is independent, yet also caring - she has a gift for healing and helps at the hospital when she can. She is also practical, picking her battles and doesn't shy away from making difficult decisions.
Severn is a face from Kaylin's past, one who she had pushed to the back of her mind and who knows her secrets. Severn is very protective of Kaylin and tries hard not to push but he's no longer the boy she once knew and he fears rejection when she learns what he's become. Lord Nightside is a Barrani High Lord and a very mysterious character, for some unknown reason he seems to have a vested interest in Kaylin and helps her when needed despite a penchant for keeping secrets.
I really enjoyed Cast in Shadow, the world building is intricate and evocative - you can almost visualise the land the author describes. The characters are well written and easy to relate to. If your looking for romance, you won't find any here, which is a good thing it makes it easier to enjoy where the story is taking you. So far there are 7 books in the series and each of them focus on a different aspect of Michelle Sagara's world.