[ Free Best ] Cast in ShadowAuthor Michelle Sagara – Papercuts.co

Seven Years Ago Kaylin Fled The Crime Riddled Streets Of Nightshade, Knowing That Something Was After Her Children Were Being Murdered And All Had The Same Odd Markings That Mysteriously Appeared On Her Own SkinSince Then, She S Learned To Read, She S Learned To Fight And She S Become One Of The Vaunted Hawks Who Patrol And Police The City Of Elantra Alongside The Winged Aerians And Immortal Barrani, She S Made A Place For Herself, Far From The Mean Streets Of Her BirthBut Children Are Once Again Dying, And A Dark And Familiar Pattern Is Emerging, Kaylin Is Ordered Back Into Nightshade With A Partner She Knows She Can T Trust, A Dragon Lord For A Companion And A Device To Contain Her Powers Powers That No Other Human Has Her Task Is Simple Find The Killer, Stop The Murders And Survive The Attentions Of Those Who Claim To Be Her Allies


10 thoughts on “Cast in Shadow

  1. says:

    Elianne was an orphaned child of the fiefs, scraping out a living in the fiefdom of Nightshade with an older boy, Severn, and two other little girls Then one day strange markings appeared on her arms and legs, and the killings began Thirty eight children are found murdered with markings like hers carved into their skin and she knew all of them until they suddenly stopped the same day she ran away from the fiefs, from Severn, from the horror of what she d seen.Now, seven years later, her name has changed to Kaylin and she s a member of the Hawks, one of the three Lords of Law of the city of Elantra She practices her healing magic in secret and under the protection of the Hawklord, a rare magic that would see her sent to the Emperor if it were discovered But the killings have started again, closer together this time, and the Hawklord has put her on the case He s teamed her with a Dragon, Tiamaris, and Severn, who s transferred from the Wolves.It s an uneasy alliance between Kaylin and Severn To complicate matters, the Lord of Nightshade has marked her, and the marks on her body are changing again To find the source of the kidnappings and ritualistic killings, Kaylin must understand what is happening to her and what the connection is, before children she personally knows are taken.This is a book I wanted to throw at the wall every second sentence And rip into bits I started reading it late last year and only now decided I should finish it all the time with a frown on my face The only reason it gets two stars is because the plot is actually very intriguing.There are seven races in Elantra the immortal Dragons, including the Emperor, and the austere, magical Barrani the winged Aerians, the snarling Leontines, the telepathic Tha alani, humans and one other that s not revealed apart from a brief aside about their agoraphobia It s quite the busy patchwork, and a world that you re launched into suddenly This has always been something I ve appreciated in fantasy, because it makes the world feel real and accepted, like it s always been there and you re just late to the party but, as with everything in this book, the writing style is so atrociously bad that it spoils everything.Written in the third person but almost always from Kaylin s point of view, it has a modern, sassy voice and tries to be smart Even though it s not technically Kaylin s voice, it is her voice, and it gets very annoying very quickly The book is littered with those climactic stand alone sentences that always lose their impact by being constantly used something that made me put down the third Kushiel book before finishing it, though Jacqueline Carey wasn t half as bad as Sagara Not only that as if that weren t enough very little actually makes sense It is full of these little quippy sentences that are supposed to be meaningful are written with meaning and intent, it s obvious but mean nothing because they just don t make sense Which means a great deal of the plot and motivations and characters don t make sense either There are so many little mysteries, things alluded to but kept secret in some kind of attempt to keep tension and the reader s interest it was complete overkill and drove me mental Sometimes you can t even tell who s speaking, or who s present in a scene, because Sagara doesn t tell us and it s impossible to guess when their name suddenly appears, you have to backtrack and correct your mental image of what s just been happening in order to include them The style is very obtuse, deliberately mysterious in the worst possible way, vague at the best of times and confusing at others Sentences often lack connections to the sentences before and after them these ones are written to sound profound but if they lack context or relevance they re just dead space Conversations are just as obtuse, the dialogue meant to be realistic but instead creating bigger and bigger gaps and and confusion And it makes me want to scream, how many times the characters around Kaylin act all mysterious and won t answer questions, or give answers that make no sense.I know I should highlight the positives after ranting on about the bad, bad writing but I ve already mentioned the positive the overall storyline Oh, and the Lord of Nightshade, I liked him He had an excuse to be enigmatic For the sake of those two elements, I ve given it two stars Otherwise, I nearly hated it.I haven t read any of her other books she publishes under this name, under Michelle West and Michelle Sagara West as well , but if the writing s anything like this, I m not inclined to The thing is, I bought the next book, Cast in Courtlight, first without realising it wasn t the first book, so I suppose I should read it since I have it Seriously, though, this book came so close to being shredded to bits, which is saying something from someone who doesn t even like to dogear the pages.


  2. says:

    Welcome, ladies gentlemen, to the lamest review ever Since this is a 5 star book I figured I might as well write a 1 star review for it Because, frankly, I have nothing to say about this book This book is too awesome for words There s no way I can review this book Or tell you how much I love the world building Or write about Kaylin OMG she s so amazing I m in love Or say anything about the incredible cast of characters Or fangirl about dragons oh yeah dragons OMG this is so cool Or go on and on and on about how gripping the plot is I m speechless All my friends have been waiting for this not so small miracle to happen for months Michelle Sagara did it I have nothing to say Time to celebrate everyone Time to get the maracas out of storage Okay, so I might be speechless but it doesn t mean I can t unleash a few gifs on you, does it now Ha You didn t think you d get out of this one so easily did you Hahahaha, you re so na ve sometimes Cast in Shadow is about One very cool badass heroine with weird tattoos and strange marks Expected a gif of a cool, tattooed, kick ass chick didn t you Too bad. Being late Incurably late Think I m going to explain why I m mentioning this Think again. Furry people with paws that s not exactly the kind of furry people I had in mind but you get the idea Then again maybe you don t Oh please stop being so difficult will you I m doing my best here Which isn t much, I know But I try That should count for something right The importance of being earnest view spoiler sorry, couldn t resist it, I m an Oscar W fangirl hide spoiler


  3. says:

    98 pages in, I was wondering how I had convinced myself to read as far as I did At least 3 times during the course of reading this, I checked to make sure that this was the first book in the series Something just felt really incomplete about it, as if I were starting the story in the middle and didn t have all the information I needed for everything to make sense If I were an editor, I would have required the author to have a prologue which shows us what happened to Kaylin 7 years ago and gives us a definition of the relationship between Kaylin and Severn The first chapters are a total information overload without providing enough detail to really get to know the different races, social structure, or setting When it came to picturing the characters in my mind, it was a total blank to me Some kind of glossary index would have been really useful when trying to figure out the definitions and identities of some of the characters Lastly, I didn t agree with the punctuation placements of commas and semi colons in this novel Their placement really interrupted the flow of how someone would really say that statement, and I found it highly distracting I hope she improves on this in later books, but I won t be reading to find out This book was really frustrating to try to read, but as much as I love writing reviews, I don t always rely on the reviews of others when making a decision to read a book or pass on it If I d seen some of the reviews first, I probably would still have picked up the book The one thing this series has going for it is the really amazing covers This book is a great example of why you shouldn t judge a book by its cover.


  4. says:

    From the other reviews here on Goodreads, I am relieved to see that I am not the only one whose dominant feeling while reading Cast in Shadow was one of confusion Michelle Sagara has clearly come up with a creative, perhaps even compelling world It s populated by all sorts of fascinating species the immortal Barrani and Dragons and Tha lani, the mortal humans and Leontine and Aerians Elantra is a city like many others in fantasy, poised on that brink of industrialization, the throbbing heart of an empire riddled with corruption, magical or otherwise Amidst all this, Sagara gives us a female protagonist who has clawed her way up from poverty and destitution to be the youngest member of the Hawks, the crime solving unit of Elantra s judiciary And Kaylin s stake in this case is personal, with all the attendant baggage and issues one would expect With all of these components, Cast in Shadow should be an awesome urban fantasy thriller But it s not.As others have singled out, the problem is one of context Sagara is inconsistent in how and when she chooses to deliver her exposition The first few chapters are an almost overwhelming soup of names and information then the flow diminishes to a mere trickle for the rest of the novel Time and again, characters will be poised on the brink of a big revelation, only for them to stop up their mouths and say, No, you aren t ready for that Half of this book consists of various people from different species alluding to aspects of their culture that never gets explained Sometimes, when an author does this, it s to build tension and make the audience yearn to know Indeed I did except I never felt like I got a payoff at the end I just felt confused.The plot itself is simple enough to understand Kaylin used to be an impoverished child, orphaned after the death of her mother, living in the fiefdom of Nightshade Think urban gang warfare in a pre industrial city Eventually we re never quite told how she escapes this area of Elantra and manages to enrol in the Hawks, where she becomes an up and coming investigator She has intense, personal relationships with high ranking members, such as Sergeant Marcus Kassan, a Leontine every bit as lion like as the name implies and the Hawklord himself, an Aerian Kaylin is special in every sense of the word, for she has magical powers she can t trust herself to control These make her a danger, one that the Hawklord has perhaps unwisely vouchsafed for And when it turns out that the murders are death magic sacrifices designed to turn Kaylin into a superpowered killing machine well, that spoils everyone s day.Cast in Shadow is not a complicated book, so there is no reason it should be so hard to follow Yet I repeatedly found myself wonder who was present when characters were conversing, or indeed just what was happening during a particular scene Sagara description, like her exposition, is inconsistent in its ebb and flow At times she belabours the nature of Kaylin s wardrobe, the arrangement of a courtyard or a tower and then suddenly, the verbiage gives way to conversations about magic or history, and just as suddenly I have no idea where these people are or what they re doing.It s disheartening, because I would like to love this book Kaylin is competent but flawed, wounded from her childhood in Nightshade and mistrustful of the people working with her on this case Sagara does a good job portraying Kaylin s growth throughout the novel, as she struggles with working with Severn, whom she blames for an unforgivable act while they were both in Nightshade I really enjoyed watching Kaylin grapple with the various forces that seemed to be subtly or not so subtly manipulating and using her for their own ends In this respect, I was fully willing to immerse myself into the politics of Elantra if only Sagara had managed to make that possible.And as I said above, the world of Elantra itself is rich with possibility The city is cosmopolitan in nature, with the high court dominated by the immortal races while the mortals go about their lives in the mercantile areas It appears that the Emperor is a Dragon, a species whose members are humanoid for the most part but can transform into a conventional serpentine form and wreak devastation In many ways, Sagara s species don t seem all that original or creative the Aerians have wings the Leontines are lions But, even if she doesn t always communicate it as clearly as I would have liked, there are definitely hints of complicated cultures underlying all these species That s something I would love to see often in urban fantasy, which usually constrains its non human ventures to stereotypical conceptions of elves and dwarfs and ghouls.Cast in Shadow is a book burdened by flawed writing At its centre lies a good, old fashioned mystery multiple homicides with a clear intent in mind that means nothing good for Kaylin or for the Empire From the ending, it is clear that Sagara has an entire series conceived in her mind but I m not sure I m willing to read the next book In the tenuous balance between storytelling and style, Sagara excels at the former but flounders at the latter.


  5. says:

    Update I just bought the audiobook and the narrator pronounces it differently my life is a river of disappointment Like 75% of the reason I added this to my TBR is because the MC s name is Kaylin.


  6. says:

    A unique police procedural in which the cops are divided into three branches Wolves, Hawks, Swords and the people are divided into multiple races, including lion like Leontines, flying Arielites, humans, and immortal Dragons and Barrantines Someone is ritualistically killing children in this book, raising tattoo like marks in their skin in pattern like murders, but what are they trying to achieve, and can they be stopped


  7. says:

    I feel like I would have LOVED this book when I was 13 As a fair warning, not a lot ie nothing is explained or described The author expects you to implicitly understand the layouts of buildings and magic dealings without any explanation The main character is imperfect, and that is likable, but that is pretty much the only likable aspect of her personality She is rude, impatient, whiny, and ignorant of everything around her Every other character treats her with kindness and respect OK, maybe not EVERYONE, but most and she is frustratingly stupid back at them over and over again.The world also relies on nonhuman creatures, and expects you to just happily stay in ignorance like the protagonist of what their abilities are and what they look like It wasn t until the END of the book that I figured out that the Aeriens or however you spell it weren t gryphons, but angels Huh Okay So you have cat people, lizard people, elves, and angels Right The author barely gives you ANY tidbits about what should be FASCINATING races and again, expects you to fill in the blanks or not care.This book really vaguebooks the entire story through I M VERY UPSET the book shouts You say, oh no What is wrong and it responds I DON T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT Even the author s EXPLANATIONS of the story don t make sense They consist of basically saying, She now understood She knew what she had to do Gee, thanks for keeping your reader in the loop The IDEA of the plot supernatural murders with nonhuman characters oh YES and the races and the world are interesting But it s written like terrible fanfic The author expects you to already know the characters, world and races, so she doesn t bother describing it Unfortunately, it s not fanfic It s a published novel Not planning on pursuing the rest of this YA series.


  8. says:

    I really, really liked this book I know that it didn t really work for a couple of my Goodreads friends whose opinion I trust, but for me, it was a fabulous start to a series.Sagara has an economical style to her writing, which worked very well with the way the story was layered World building and character histories are revealed through the current events of the story, which gave it a feeling of happening in the moment.Based on this first book I am expecting this to be a very strong series overall, and I m really looking forward to reading the rest of it


  9. says:

    Full disclosure I only made it through 48% of this book.ETA Anyone that wants to spoil me on all things Lord Nightshade, please do I m so incredibly curious about him, but I just can t force myself through any of the book in order to get such small moments knowledge of him ETA2 Or if there s a book that I should pick up later in the series where things start to become smoothly written and I can skip the first several book s syndrome.I ve been looking forward to diving into this series for years, years, and when I finally did I am left with nothing but disappointment You may ask why it s taken me so long to read it if I d been so looking forward to it.Fair enough As excited as I get about books, I sometimes am too scared to start, too Especially when they re a part of a series, a long series, and a much beloved series, at that So it took a group buddy read planned for October to get me to start this But I was excited Here was the push I needed to start my dive into this apparently amazing world.Unfortunately, I hit a brick wall Maybe it s just me, I don t know But I crashed up against bad storytelling, bad characterization, and bad writing Honestly, that I managed to make it nearly half way through is a bit of a miracle considering how frustrated I was the entire time I was reading and it did take me nearly a whole month to make it this far In the time I took me to read half of this book, I ve started and finished twelve other books.Apparently, pure stubbornness kept me reading long past the time for me to quit Most of that obstinance came from the fact that I was sure, absolutely sure, that if I could just make it past the first book syndrome thing Cast in Shadow had going on, I d be rewarded beyond measure There s a good story, a good world, in here somewhere, dying to get out I can sense it just beyond all the not telling, flat characters, and confusing or non existant descriptions.But that s the problem It s too far out of reach I spent the entirety of my time reading this novel screaming for someone to just tell Kaylin something as it related to her And everything in this book relates to her somehow, but guess who doesn t know anything Kaylin Yup Exactly Everyone else knows these important things that will apparently affect her life greatly, but no one thinks Kaylin needs to know And what s worse Kaylin doesn t EVER demand to know I mean, why should she It s just her life deep breath If that weren t bad enough, I still don t get this world I don t even understand enough to give a confusing idea of what it s about Seriously I ve been trying to get it I ve read and re read passages in an attempt to understand I don t get the heirarchy, I don t get the structure, I don t get the rules, I don t understand any of it And I ve got nothing to say about the characters because they re all about as flat as a piece of cardboard Kaylin s alternatively kick ass, healer, and damsel Whatever the moment calls for Everyone else, except perhaps Nightshade, I just don t care about I don t even really care about Kaylin if she can t be bothered to care about herself either.So, maybe it s me I don t know Honestly, I don t care I can t go any further.Review also available at The Book Eaters7 November 2015 0.99 on Kindle17 March 2015 Still 1.9915 December 2014 2.99 on Kindle10 1 2012 Just 2.99 on Kindle


  10. says:

    And today we have the first in yet another series I had heard much good about but avoided picking up for a variety of no good reasons I think my reluctance stemmed somewhat from an uncertainty as to just what kind of series Michelle Sagara s Cast series was I think at first I had the impression it was a paranormal romance, possibly an urban fantasy the covers influenced me this way A few chapters in I was surprised to find CAST IN SHADOW much a mix of dark and high fantasy, peopled with a smattering of solid gold, humorous, and truly sinister characters living in a fully developed, layered, and fascinating world.Kaylin Neya is a Hawk The youngest of that number, in fact In the city of Elantra, the Hawks are charged with policing the streets and guarding the citizens They share that responsibility with their sibling organizations the Wolves and the Swords Together the three forces are headquartered in the Halls of Law Elantra s citizens are made up of a mix of humans like Kaylin, winged Aerians, furred Leontines, and the immortal Barrani Seven years ago Kaylin left a life of squalor on the streets of the fief of Nightshade, gave herself a new name, and made her way to Elantra in search of a fresh start Now her past has caught up with her as a series of murders takes place in Nightshade Disturbing in their own right, they also bear an eerie resemblance to events in Kaylin s past she thought for sure she d left behind.CAST IN SHADOW starts at a good clip and doesn t slow down once The writing is uncluttered and engaging and Kaylin is an extremely likeable heroine She runs from a past so dark she has avoided revealing it to her closest friends She has a gift for healing and will drop everything at a moment s notice to deliver a baby or rescue an orphan in trouble It was actually kind of refreshing to read about a kick a heroine with a soft spot for children So often they have an allergy to kids or have issues with some of the softer emotions and I loved Kaylin because she was both fierce and compassionate I cheered her on when she was fighting and I wanted to help guard her secrets Of which she has many She has friends, enemies, comrades, and those who would use her for her unusual abilities, yet Kaylin remains a little aloof from them all, determined to make her own way She s my kind of girl Only a handful of pages into the book and I was completely invested from that point on I loved this story and can t wait to move on to the next installment Cast in Courtlight.