This is my first novel and review for 2016. I am very partial to fantasy novels and this series is one of my favorites. However, it is a very intellectual fantasy series and sometimes borders on needing a Philosophy or Mathmatics major to completely grasp. Cast in Honor was no different, and for the first 100 pages I wondered what direction Ms. Sagara was leading me and could we please get there quicker.
Here’s a little background. Cast in Honor is the twelfth book in The Chronicles of Elantra series which follows Kaylin Neya, a Hawk ( a sort of peace officer) for the city of Elantra. Kaylin is known as The Chosen, which everyone seems to understand the relevance of, except for her, and us, because we are reading her story from her perspective. In this, the twelfth novel, she, and we, are no closer to figuring out why she is the Chosen, although we have seen Kaylin use her unique Chosen gifts to unravel a mystery, save a species, or endanger her own self for her friends.
The following synopsis is directly from Michellesagara.com.
Elantra stands strong, but countless numbers of Hawks, the city’s staunchest protectors, were lost in the brutal attack. Humans, Barrani, Aerians, Leontines — none of the races emerged unscathed from the defense of the city. Homes were lost, families were scattered…and the outcast Barrani Lord Nightshade is missing from his castle in the fiefs.
Yet as the chaos surrounding the battle begins to wane, Private Kaylin Neya’s duties must resume, despite her grief. Called in to investigate a triple murder in a quiet part of town, Kaylin and her companions are soon embroiled in a case that is anything but routine. Evidence of the deadly Shadows that still threaten the city leads to hints of ancient, forgotten magics…and everything can be traced directly to Ravellon, the heart of the Shadows and the darkness they contain.
But it is there that Lord Nightshade will be found — if he still survives.
The thing I love the most about this series is that Kaylin has learned something about herself in each book, and overcomes fear or a self perceived fault. She has grown, not only older, but wiser. There was a caste system when the series started and she has brought different races or species together through her self exploration. However, I did find myself frustrated that she wasn’t a little further along in her self discovery.
In Cast in Honor, the story centered around the theme of loneliness. There was one paragraph in particular that really struck me.
“Yes, only idiots would create something that got lonely. But…weren’t the idiots in part created because something wild and ancient and world-devouring…had been lonely? Maybe it was part of an essential nature of anything in the universe. Nothing existed in isolation. And maybe nothing wanted to. Not if it could think, move, feel.”
Not to get religious or anything, but wasn’t that why God created Adam and Eve? He was lonely? Loneliness is not an easy theme to read about. We are all lonely at times, and in this book, we saw various characters levels of loneliness, and in the end I was very touched by one’s sacrifice to end another’s.
Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe all rights reserved.