Friday, November 23, 2012

Cast in shadow by Michelle Sagara

Riveting and detailed world-building are what makes this so appealing, at least to me. The characters have believable personalities and foibles.

The main character, Kaylin, has a history - a background that begins to be revealed as the story progresses, but with much a mystery.

As the first in a series (currently still being published) Cast in shadow leaves so much unanswered that you really do need to keep on with the series.

Quick precis: Kaylin is a Hawk, a law officer, in a city in a fantastical world. The Hawks contain members of many races: Aerin (winged-people); Barrani (elf-like); humans; one Leontine (lion-people) and one dragon. There is also the Tha'alani (mind-readers, for want of a short description). In other words, a complete otherworldly cast.

There is also crime. And murder. Most particularly, a series of murdered young children - in a case similar to one six years previously, when Kaylin was herself a child. The similarities are so strong, that Kaylin is brought into the case, along with Severn (from her past) and Tiamaris (the dragon in the Hawks). The trio are sent into Lord Nightshade's Fief (basically a gangland, ruled by a Fieflord, rather than the rule of Imperial Law).

Kaylin is a very human hero - her reaction to meeting Severn is telling. But is only after many pages you discover why. Her trigger-point is children, a fact which never alters through the series. Sometimes you want to climb into the book and shake her. Which goes to show, just how emotionally involved you become in the story, and the characters. For me, that's a sign of a very well-written book. Another? In less than a week, I've read the next two in the series. Which isn't bad, considering I don't have much time for reading...

If you like this, then you could try:
Reviewed by Thalia.

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