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Cast in Fury (Chronicles of Elantra, Book 4) Paperback – September 23, 2008
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"Along with the exquisitely detailed worldbuilding, Sagara's character development is mesmerizing. She expertly breathes life into a stubborn yet evolving heroine. A true master of her craft!"
-RT Book Reviews (4 ½ stars) on Cast in Fury
"No one provides an emotional payoff like Michelle Sagara. Combine that with a fast-paced police procedural, deadly magics, five very different races and a wickedly dry sense of humor-well, it doesn't get any better than this."
-Bestselling author Tanya Huff on The Chronicles of Elantra series
"The impressively detailed setting and the book's spirited heroine are sure to charm romance readers as well as fantasy fans who like some mystery with their magic."
-Publishers Weekly on Cast in Secret --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Michelle Sagara writes as both Michelle Sagara and Michelle West; she is also published as Michelle Sagara West. She lives in Toronto with her long-suffering husband and her two children, and to her regret has no dogs.
She can be found @msagara on Twitter or http://msagarawest.wordpress.com
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Top Customer Reviews
I would definitely not recommend this as a good starting point for the series. The plot is developed, relationships explored, and the intricacies of the world Sagara has created are examined in more depth than in previous books, but I found myself thinking that I needed to reread the previous books at several points.
Kaylin is a compelling heroin because she is flawed, and fully aware of it. Everyone she encounters is aware of her flaws. Too often in recent works a characters flaws are over done as a means of making the character 'endearing' but Sagara manages to make Kaylin compelling without being obnoxious. Kaylin knows she is unreasonable, but she is young and compelled by loyalties she doesn't even fully understand, she gets in over her head and does her best with what she's got. More importantly, though, she's willing to deal with the consequences of her actions.
Bravo to Sagara for making this middle book a totally worthwhile, compelling and enjoyable read.
1) The story was very interesting and I enjoyed learning more about the culture and origins of the Leontine race. I love the world this series is set in and always enjoy learning more about it.
2) Kaylin displays more maturity than previous novels. This impression may exist only because for once her childhood was barely, if ever, mentioned. It helps a lot. The fact that she had to be polite (and was able to be) for only short periods of time also helped.
3) Most of my favorite characters had at least some part in the story. It may have been a very very small part, but at least bringing them out gave me happy feelings as I remembered back to previous books when they appeared.
1) This book doesn't have any of the internal conflict that the previous three had. I felt this was what made those books great and this one really lacked that. Kaylin was in the middle of a crisis again, but this crisis required her to fight against all external forces. She basically had to get others to go along with what she already wanted instead of having to come to terms with any of her past or own faults.
The first three books challenged the characters and this one just seemed like another save the world day. It didn't have the emotional tug as others (even though kids were once again involved). Without these internal conflicts & challenges the book just doesn't stand out as much as the others.
2) Not only did Kaylin not have any internal conflicts to resolve, but there didn't seem to be a single character who grew or developed. We learned a little bit more about some, but only easily found out facts such as their family or a little history.
It was nothing like we had with the Barrani or the Tha'alani in previous novels. In the previous novels the Castelords of both of these races were well developed and I got attached to both of them. There were also quite a few other Barrani I liked and felt were developed very well. In this latest book there wasn't anyone who stood out. The wives almost did but not nearly enough for me.
3) More Lord Nightshade please!! Ever since the first book Lord Nightshade has been my favorite character. Sadly it seems each book he gets more and more phased out. I keep expecting and hoping the mysteries and loose ends with him will be addressed at the very least. His only appearance here is a couple of lines of foreshadowing and helping out for a brief time. At the very end it almost seems like he's going to come back into importance but it didn't happen.
The only element of romance I really feel in this novel is with Lord Nightshade (Severn is too brotherly for me to feel romance). I don't need tons of romance, but I would like some. Even if it's not involving Lord Nightshade, though I'm sure he'd try to interfere, any romance would be welcome here. I think after four books Kaylin needs to reach the point where she's ready for romance.
In summary, I thought this book did a good job on building the world and culture for the series but did little for the characters. If someone skipped this book entirely I don't think it would be noticeable in the next novel. That hasn't been true in previous novels since there was so much character development before. It was still enjoyable, though, so there's no reason to skip it.
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