walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Cast in Secret_, Michelle Sagara (kindle bundle)

The basic structure of a Chronicles of Elantra novel is preserved: world about to end, Kaylin doesn't get enough sleep, Kaylin is broke and not eating regularly, a big chunk of the book is spent pursuing seemingly unrelated threads that Kaylin persists in pursuing simultaneously even when other people are trying to get her to "focus", there are periodic interruptions for Kaylin to be lectured by the Hawklord, Sanabalis (her Dragon magic instructor) and/or others. Partway through, Kaylin does some Major Working, and while it helps, it also accelerates the timeline and Kaylin et al frenetically march towards some Really Big Thing that could be the end of Elantra, except we know it won't. The major driving force in the book, however, is how Kaylin _hates hates hates_ something, winds up becoming deeply involved with it, and learns how to (sort of) live with that thing.

In the first book, she gets to learn how to live with murdering children. Hmmm. In the second book, she gets to learn how to live with the Barrani. In the third book, she gets to learn how to live with the Thaa-alani (spelling probably wrong, because there's also the Thaa-alan, and the Thaa-alanari, and probably something else I've forgotten). In book one, she learned that her oldest friend and protector, Severn, murdered their younger compatriots in the fiefs, Steffi and Jade, preemptively to prevent them being murdered by the undead Barrani and the outcaste Dragon in an effort to convert the nascent Kaylin Neya (then known as Elianne, and now with a true name that the author or possibly copy editor is having some trouble keeping straight) to Teh Darkness of Total Destruction. In book two, she becomes a Lord of the Barrani through a series of ridiculousness that I really cannot bring myself to describe, but which introduces us to Kaylin on a height she is attempting to climb down deciding abruptly to Just Let Go and then being rewarded with titles, power, a cool dress, whatever. In book three, the Thaa-alani (look like humans, but with tentacles growing out of their foreheads, telepathic with a group mind, able to use tentacles to grope around in non-Thaa-alani heads) need her help finding a missing girl and she winds up doing water-elemental magic in a dress she acquires after deciding to let go while climbing down a ladder in a well out back of Lord Nightshade (remember the blue flower on her cheek)'s castle in the fiefs.

There's a great magic shop that isn't, and a lovely garden as well. Will I buy more Chronicles of Elantra novels separately from the bundle? Only time will tell. They are somewhat involving, but for something published by Harlequin, like the Study novels of Maria Snyder, they are disappointing short on sex. Altho the naked Thaa-alani doing it in the fountain was kinda cool.
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