Early Review: Cast in Peril (Chronicles of Elantra #8) by Michelle Sagara

September 14, 2012 Review 2 ★★★★


*This title will be released on September 18, 2012*

Cast in Peril

(Chronicles of Elantra, #8)
by Michelle Sagara

Genre: Fantasy |
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Netgalley

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Luna; September 18, 2012
  • ISBN-10: 0373803508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373803507

Rating

Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

Discussion of sex and rape.

Description

USUALLY DISASTER DIDN’T STRIKE QUITE SO CLOSE TO HOME…
It has been a busy few weeks for Private Kaylin Neva. In between angling for a promotion, sharing her room with the last living female Dragon and dealing with more refugees than anyone knew what to do with, the unusual egg she’d been given was ready to hatch. Actually, that turned out to be lucky, because it absorbed the energy from the bomb that went off in her quarters….

So now might be the perfect time to leave Elantra and journey to the West March with the Barrani. If not for the disappearances of citizens in the fief of Tiamaris-disappearances traced to the very Barrani Kaylin will be traveling with…

Review

The Chronicles of Elantra are an intricate hybrid of urban and high fantasy, with gritty streets, magical creatures, and medieval elements intwined.  Sagara has created her own “urban” environment, as the City in which Kaylin lives serves as her whole world.  Even in CAST IN PERIL, when obligations are going to take her beyond the familiar confines of her home, the landscape outside the City proper consists of danger, magic, etiquette, and inscrutable beings.  Kaylin is right at home.

So much has transpired in this series, even having read each book in order, I often have a hard time remembering details of the previous adventures (and prior events are often referenced).  If you’re new to the series, I recommend starting at the beginning, and if you’re behind, I highly recommend catching up to enjoy this book.  Bare weeks separate most of the books in this series, which means Private Kaylin Neya only has time to change clothes before the next apocalyptic event comes knocking.  I love the gruff humor and breathless chaos that swirl around Kaylin on any given day, and CAST IN PERIL offers quip after quip for most of the book.  It wouldn’t be a Chronicles of Elantra novel without deadly, mysterious magic, however, and the Barrani pilgrimage to West March offers magical waystations, political intrigue, and insidious infections of Shadow.  With both Nightshade and Severn in this story, the romantic subtext was greater than usual, to the point of actually bubbling out into conversation every once and awhile.

Of all the magical mechanisms in fantasy, Sagara’s naming and runes can be some of the most intriguing and frustrating to read.  I feel like I can see the runes and symbols floating in the air around Kaylin.  Magical theory is always at the heart of the action, and I usually understand less of the mechanisms that drive the battles than I do notice the changes in Kaylin that result.  CAST IN PERIL is no different in that regard.  I understood less about the Naming and True Stories of the Barrani than I did the relationship dynamics around Kaylin.

The Chronicles of Elantra matches Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books for the sheer number of events, revelations, and societal upheavals that simmer off the pages of each book, though Sagara uses double the amount of pages with her ornate, mythological rich prose.  CAST IN PERIL was filled with my favorite Elantra elements: glimpses of Dragons, Hawks, and Towers, Severn, Nightshade, and Teela, and the hyperbolic humor of Barrani death threats and Kaylin’s stubbornness.  Those familiar pleasures carried me through some of the thicker magic at story’s end, to a breathless pause that I cannot release until CAST IN SORROW comes out next year.

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2 Responses to “Early Review: Cast in Peril (Chronicles of Elantra #8) by Michelle Sagara”

  1. Yaara

    I can’t wait to read this — I’ve read all the Elantra books after coming across them by accident a couple years ago and do an annual re-read of the latest book in the series before the new one comes out so I can remember all the (many) details. The world building is so intricate I barely miss the lack of overt romance which I usually look for in UF.

    • Julia

      I have a tendency to save up Elantra books until I can re-read, but this time around I just had to read #6 and #7 so I could be caught up. That was pretty effective, though. Sagara references some early Severn, Barrens, and Nightshade stuff, but since those relate to romance I remembered it pretty well. PERIL is *very* readable, I just wish the plot accomplished more in this book.