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Cast in Shadow [Paperback]

Michelle Sagara West
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Luna Books (1 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373802366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373802364
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 748,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Black circles under the eyes were not, Kaylin decided, a very attractive statement. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, Good Plot and good reading 23 Sep 2005
By shaz17 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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 skin....
Since 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 the immortal Barrani, she's made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.
But 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!
First I have read by this Author and wont be the last. Its well written, witty and also has danger and tragedy. But cant wait for the next one.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had potential... 14 Oct 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I won't rehash the plot, as the reviwers who have gone before me have already done that. To summerise briefly, CAST IN SHADOW is the first book in a series about a woman who lives in a world where 4 different races live side by side. There are the 'normal' humans, the 'dragons' (not real dragons, more like humans with extra powers), lion-like people and flying people. She has a mysterious past that always comes back to haunt her. Basically, it's a fantasy story with intrigue and action, and slight hints at romance.

What really annoys me about this book is it's wasted potential: the storyline is pretty original and does get you flipping the pages to find out what happens next. Also, the heroine is the usual plucky type who can stand on her own two feet and has an answer for everything, and yet underneath that confident exterior are a few secrets...there's magic and mystery, fighting and strange happenings and new and unusual put it simply, it's everything I look for in a fantasy novel!
So all in all the basics are there for a good read, and I think this is what all the other reviewers are responding to when they give it so many stars. And I'm going to admit, although I bought the first two books in the series because of the glowing reviews on Amazon, after I had finished CAST IN SHADOW I wasn't particularly bothered about CAST IN COURTLIGHT (number 2). However, I had paid for it and I soon ran out of things to read, so I picked it up and enjoyed it a lot more. I think it's because I had more knowledge of the characters and the world they live in.

Because ultimately, that is what's wrong with this book: it opens, and straight away doesn't give the reader enough knowledge of the world of the characters.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary 25 Sep 2007
By OliverD
I have been buying quite a lot of authors that are new to me recently, and this is the pick of the bunch. A world as vividly imagined as Tolkien's, but the facts appear slowly; a desperately serious plot; an appealingly drawn and only too human heroine with a mystery in her past; supernatural evil that has been checked but not wholly eradicated by the end of this, the first of a series. I would recommend it to anyone interested in serious fantasy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend it... 14 Dec 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Seven years ago, Kaylin fled from the city of Nightshade to escape the mysterious and brutal deaths of children who just happen to know Kaylin in some way or another...they also bear the same unusual marks that Kaylin happens to possess.

Seven years later and Kaylin is a Hawk serving under the watchful eye of the Lord of the Hawks and in turn the Emperor.

But when the killings begin again and secrets are revealed to Kaylin, she is forced to return to a place of horror and nightmares to try and find answers to a mystery that could destroy Kaylin and people she has grown to love.

This book had one of the most intriguing plots I have read in a long, long time. It was original to say the least. It started off as what seemed like so many different things going on at once - which kind of made me scratch my head in confusion multiple times - but then, towards the end of the book, it all connected and was suddenly relevant like putting together a jigsaw piece by piece (I know lame analogy right?).

An example is Kaylin's past with Severn; at the beginning of the book we learn that Kaylin hates Severn with a passion and longs to kill him...but we don't know why. It was constantly mentioned throughout the book which made me want to throw the book across the room at times because this past was refusing to be revealed (God Severn, what did you DO?!). It was only towards the end when Kaylin brings to light this past which was so much more than I was expecting. It was like a light went off in my head. It was a flawless point in the story that made me say 'oh, so that's why!'. A marvellous turning point that enables you to connect the dots, if you will.

What I also loved about this book was the writing style at times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not finish 31 Oct 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The cover is very dark and dominated greatly by blue shades, furthermore it shows off the warrior side of this story.

I began reading this book and my thoughts after a while were, okay... I'm sure it will begin to make sense some when.

But, I'm sorry to say, it did not. When I was reading this book I lost interest very quickly, there was just too much going on. A lot of the characters were introduced together meaning it became very difficult to understand who was who and why they were there. Additionally, I found some of the explanations very long winded, which sadly made my interest lapse at times.

However, I enjoyed the character of Marcus. He was a very dominant character but he did have a soft-ish side creeping through at odd occasions, allowing you to also see his comedic side. But the rest of the characters... They regrettably made no sense to me, I just did not feel as if I could connect with them in any way.

The initial idea and plot of this story was brilliant, with all the different (breeds?) intertwined together and the way they worked... Or in some areas didn't work well together. The numerous city's and towns were written beautifully, allowing myself to picture them with great detail.

However, I am sorry to say, this book truly wasn't really for me meaning I was unable to complete it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I was expecting really good things from this book, but it didn't deliver that much for me. The ideas were almost completely original, which for this genre was really refreshing but... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
Brilliant start to an awesome series, well rounded characters, fascinating setting. I truly enjoy reading this series again and again. Thank you Michelle.
Published 13 months ago by C. Rhodes
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to this high fantasy, police procedural, science fiction,...
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Having done a bit of homework before I started I'd noticed all sorts of contrasting reviews- lots of 1 or 2 star ratings and... Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2012 by The Demon Librarian
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing new fantasy series
Michelle Sagara has an engaging style and I have to admit that even from the first page, I was hooked. Read more
Published on 30 July 2011 by Mikaela
4.0 out of 5 stars Tad confusing but enjoyable
Brought this book on a whim and, though I was thrown a little by the start almost believing that I'd gotten the second book in the series by mistake, once I got a few chapters into... Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Chronicles of Elantra" book 1
Kaylin Neya has done well for herself. By the age of 20 she has dragged herself up from the dirty streets of the fiefdom of Nightshade and now works as a Hawk; the crime solving... Read more
Published on 23 May 2010 by Book Addict
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
This was one of Amazon's recommendations for me. I've been looking for another author to read for ages, and so I thought this sounded good, based on other people's reviews (whoever... Read more
Published on 6 Feb 2009 by S. Teoh
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire
I must confess that Fantasy Fiction is not my preferred genre, though I have read with pleasure books by Ursula Le Guin, John Crowley and Terry Pratchett. Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2009 by Roger Cawkwell
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst writing ive come across in a long time
I dont even know how this author managed to get published. Characters are weak, storylines are nonexistent and descriptions do not exist. Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2008 by Tory Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars great!
I have had this book on my tbr shelf for over 18 months, I thought it was about time it got read. I don't know why I hadn't picked it up sooner, what a great book. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2008 by Kelly
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