In Elantra, a job well done is rewarded with a more dangerous task. So after defeating a dark evil, Kaylin Neya goes before the Barrani High Court, where a misspoken word brings sure death. Kaylin's never been known for her grace or manners, but the High Lord's heir is suspiciously ill, and Kaylin's healing magic is the only shot at saving him - if she can dodge the traps laid for her.
Spellbound? Listen to more Chronicles of Elantra.
©2008 Michelle Sagara (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges
Ignore the cover which is completely misleading. This is an intelligently written detective- fantasy novel where good and evil are not completely black and white concepts. Kaylin, the heroine, is a young police officer, called a Hawk, who has a complicated past and powers she is not fully in command of. Her associations and the use of these powers, soon bring her to the notice of the immortal Barrani a harsh race who make games out of politics.
Khristine Hvam, the narrator, does a great job acting out the different parts, she has a pleasing voice and acts both male and female, human and mythical creature well. I'm extremely picky about narrators so when if find one I rate this highly, I would argue that the Audio version is better than print alone.
This is one of those series which is hard to put down. I've found myself listening to the novels back to back and will come back to listen to them again. I would listen to the series in-order as the first book is also excellent and there are spoilers if you read them out of sequence.
If you are a fan of Anne Bishop's Written in Red, I would expect you to love this book. Although the settings are different, the sense of a world where it is normal to walk among mythical creatures and deal with the quicksand of politics and humanoid relations this creates, is present in both.
I love this book. It is my favourite book in this series so far. It has just the right mix of action mystery and poignant moments to keep you reading. I can't wait for cast in flight to be released. I have read it over and over again and realise little things that the later books refer to that I missed the first time I read them.
"I love this series!"
This is a really nice continuation of this series. When the author does a good job, the first in the series becomes my favorite in said series because it's the introduction to a brand new world. It isn't often for me that the second in the series is better than the first. This is one of those rare cases. The story was interesting though I missed Marcus since he didn't play as big of a role in this one. Hvam does a great job with voices. It's amazing how so many voices come from one woman.
"Mismarketed but good"
I really enjoy Michelle Sagara's books. I think she does a great job creating characters that you can relate to. You feel for Kaelynn, Severn, and in this book you learn and grow to understand the Berani. I would really like to give this a 3.5
I still disagree with how this series is marketed. It appears to be a romance or YA fiction. There is not romance in the first or second book although there is a deepening of the friendship and understanding of past issues between Severn and Kaelynn. They are good books. This series could be YA fiction in the sense that it is coming of age tale, there is no swearing or sexually explicit material, really any sex at all, but it is stronger in content than some other YA fiction. It's appeal I believe reaches to an adult audience.
Michelle Sagara had strong world building in her first book but she continues it while exploring the Berani Court and culture. This book deals with court and political intrigue along with a more intricate understanding of Sagara's magic system. Kaelynn continues to develop her magic out of necessity of her life and brings her in contact with characters of power.
Kristine Hvam I think does a good job of differentiating her characters and capturing the characters personality. I have not read the books, but I think Hvam does a good enough job that I look specifically to listen to these books rather than read them.
I enjoyed this book and would encourage those that liked Sagara's first book in this series to continue. Ignore book covers in this series and the fact it is published by Harlequin. Whether or not it is published by Harlequin it is not one, but it is a good fantasy.
"Great Book - Great Story"
YES. I have all of the books and this one of 5 series that I would read again.
Others are: Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Series * / Geroge RR Martin Game of Thrones / All JD Robb In Death Series / Christine Feehan Ghostwalkers (also like her Carapthian Series) / JRR Tolkien the Hobbit-Lord of the Rings Big commitments but worth the time and money to purchase and listen to them as well as purchase in print form. *I have both for many of my books.
She did an amazing job on this and on all other projects. My hope is that in making these reviews, it encourages the authors to use the talent that we feel is best as well as encourage those narrators with negative comments to work on their approach to reading the book. It is also my hope that the books we like very well will encourage the authors to write more of them knowing they have people who dearly love their work.
"Entertaining 2nd book!"
I really enjoyed this book. I'm worried about the main character and how many powerful people have an interest in her abilities. She seems to be able to do a lot with her untrained powers. I just hope that she quits fighting it and tries to learn. It seems silly to find out you have a natural talent for something and then decide you don't want to have anything to do with it. I took a point off from the story for that. Overall though, I really enjoyed the book and anticipate the next book. So far a story line without smut. I'm hoping that does not change. Hooray for Michelle Sagara! Too many authors just rely on smut for appeal and ignore the story line. Already have the next 2 on my wish list.
"I couldn't put this book down."
This is a great continuation of the story. I couldn't put it down and I can't wait to start listening to book 3.
I love this series! This story is even better than the first (and just a hint, they just keep getting better!). The reader is great and presents the characters with "doing voices". Awesome Audible purchase!
"Great story; mediocre writing."
The characters in this story are great. There is a lot of depth to a lot of characters--even characters who will likely only appear in this episode. Kaylin is pretty juvenile, but it is interesting to watch her begin to mature. She has such a pure heart, you always want to root for her! In this episode, I was really interested in the change in the Barrani characters, who have seemed very flat in the others. I'm especially interested to see where things are going with Lord Nightshade!
In my opinion, the writing in this book is pretty sophomoric. There are too many complicated, awkward, run-on sentences that are difficult to follow. It seems like the author is trying to make herself sound more intelligent than she is. On the flip side, it's a great story, and I'll definitely be listening to the rest of the series!
"Love the characters. Felt like I was getting a history lesson."
The adventures are fun, but the planet's history lessons to become tedious. More to listen to in the serious.
Always enjoy listening to Michelle Sagara's works. She makes the story come to life. You can see the city & people as if you are part of the story.
"Very Good Sequel to "Cast in Shadow""
The characters are very well done. Kaylin is a character you can relate to, plays to the beat of her own drum, can't seem to be on time or quite put together, but a great main character, one you can root for. Severn is the ultimate, quiet hero, one you can depend upon, one that doesn't judge. The story is engaging.
Hard to say if I have a favorite, but Severn is a quiet, solid support to the main character. There isn't a lot of time given to him, but the glimpses of this character leaves a good feeling.
Listening to this book left me feeling a little lost a couple of times as I tried to track where they were and where they were trying to get, but the story was very good and kept me engaged.
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