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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another exciting read, with yet more to come...
From the back:
"Still avoiding magic whenever possible, Corporal Kaylin Neya (actually she's still a Private and stays a private...) relished investigating a regular theft case once again. Until she found out the mysterious box taken from Elani Street, where the mages and charlatans mingled, and it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two. But she...
Published on 21 Nov 2007 by DebB

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars What just happened?
Sagara's writing felt a bit wordy and self indulgent in this instalment. There were some excessively long dialogue scenes and just long scenes in general, taking a long time to change to new locations, settings and characters. I was also very confused at one point about what was going on, who was speaking, (I think she was speaking to water at one point? Or witnessing a...
Published on 30 Mar 2012 by The Demon Librarian


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another exciting read, with yet more to come..., 21 Nov 2007
By 
DebB (Oxfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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From the back:
"Still avoiding magic whenever possible, Corporal Kaylin Neya (actually she's still a Private and stays a private...) relished investigating a regular theft case once again. Until she found out the mysterious box taken from Elani Street, where the mages and charlatans mingled, and it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two. But she was hoping this might be a mundane case - when in the back room Kaylin saw a lost-looking girl in a reflective pool... who called out Kaylin's name.
Shaken, Kaylin tried to stay focussed on the case in hand. But since the stolen item was ancient, without a keyhole, and held tremendous darkness inside, Kaylin knew unknown forces were again playing with her destiny - and her life..."

This follows on from Cast in Courtlight by only a few days and is pretty relentless in pace. A hell of a lot happens, with the principle players being Kaylin, Severn, the dragon Lord (although Tiamaris from the first book reappears) and the Tha'alani (Ybelline from the first book is a key player here). Lord Nightshade continues to interfere and Kaylin is maybe gaining some wisdom, at last. We learn a tiny bit more about Severn, although he remains mostly the capable, enigmatic, strong, all-knowing character we already know. I read this too fast, and will re-read it soon. I gather from the web that there are two more books planned, and I look forward to them. These are good books, with strong characters, complex plots, and enough mystery to keep you reading and wanting more.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting..., 8 July 2008
Cast in Secret follows on a few days after the second book in the series, Cast in Courtlight. In this instalment a prophetic dream so strong that all of the Oracles even the apprentices receive the same vision, the end of life itself. One very powerful Oracle focuses on Kaylin and begins painting a picture of her on his wall. He is so powerful that he is disabled by his gift. He doesn't speak, he doesn't sleep and he doesn't react like a normal person, his only form of expression is drawing and painting so Kaylin and co. have to determine who or what could be behind this and how to stop it.

Kaylin learns more about the Tha'alani, a telepathic race who can search a person's memory which most find unnerving including Kaylin, and to a lesser extent the Dragons and the Oracles. Kaylin sees Severn in a slightly different light as a Wolf instead of as a Hawk but also how he approaches the Tha'alani - without fear and with a little envy I think. She also learns more about herself, and of the others that have had the marks she has. We are introduced to the elements earth, air, fire and water with the emphasis on water but I won't go into this as I don't want to give anything away.

In every book so far (this is the third - the first being Cast in Shadow and the second, Cast in Courtlight) Kaylin has been working through her harrowing past and has been trying to move on. We see her grow not just in her power but as a person and that for me made this an interesting read.

There is still plenty of danger surrounding Kaylin especially since it looks like she will be meeting the Dragon Emperor soon. I really enjoyed learning about the Tha'alani, and their history as a people, they are a very interesting race. This series is progressing really well and I'm looking forward to reading the next book, Cast in Fury.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the previous but still good, 29 Nov 2007
I think that Cast in Secret was a bit of a let down. It is still a really well written and an excellent read. It just doesn't have the depths that the previous two did, we don't find any more hidden depths to Kaylin and Severn's path, we find out more about her hatred of the tha'alani, but they freak me out too and it was nice that she was vulnerable to another species that she couldn't or wouldn't just pull out her daggers on.

It sounds like I'm being negative and I'm not, I really enjoyed this and would have given it an easy five, but the previous two are superior.
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4.0 out of 5 stars intelligent fantasy, 24 Sep 2013
I have greatly enjoyed all this series to date. The characters are more complex than you find in much of the genre, these days, and the story continues to be absorbing even though I have now read several of the books. I can't wait to read what happens next and feel that this could be one series that does not suffer from the typical decline that so many as you reach the later books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars What just happened?, 30 Mar 2012
By 
The Demon Librarian (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Sagara's writing felt a bit wordy and self indulgent in this instalment. There were some excessively long dialogue scenes and just long scenes in general, taking a long time to change to new locations, settings and characters. I was also very confused at one point about what was going on, who was speaking, (I think she was speaking to water at one point? Or witnessing a conversation between water and the Keeper of water from a long time ago???). Anyway, I was lost, so I had little choice than to just let the words flow over me (ha) and hope I got it in the end.

It's funny, actually, because no doubt Michele Sagara considers this a stronger instalment than the first two; that she has excelled herself in her poetic prose. And maybe she has, but I'm not necessarily looking for poetry. I want a story. You know, that story thing you were telling me? Yeah. Can we get back to that, please?

That said, there were a couple of positives. Kaylin seems to be developing a little from that compulsively tardy, impertinent girl of books one and two. A bit, anyway. Although I feel like more progress would be welcome. And there were some slight (and boy, do I mean slight) hints of possible feelings from Severn that are not of a platonic nature. A slight edge to his voice when he thought Lord Nightshade had dressed her up. But please, please, please can we expand on this angle, and soon? She needs to have some kind of inter-character relationships going on. You can't tell me she's the only 20 year old in existence that doesn't think about men! And why is she not putting Lord Nightshade straight when he calls her his consort? It doesn't appear to be what she wants, so why keep schtum?

Oh, dear. Now look what's happened. I've gone and made one of those ranty, frustrated reviews to go with the many other ranty, frustrated reviews about this series. I was really hoping not to do that, but it seems to be an easy trap to fall into. The series shows so much imagination and potential that it is frustrating to see it being executed in such a long-winded, aggravating manner.

Okay, I am going onto the next one about the Leontines and am hoping to be better impressed. Wish me luck!

3 Stars!
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4.0 out of 5 stars complicated, 29 Aug 2010
By 
Mr. Philip Robertshaw (England) - See all my reviews
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This is the third in this series I've read and they have been quite entertaining. The author has thought deeply about some of the motivations, actions and consequences of the various characters in the book.
The heroine and friends have a depth and are very 'human' with flaws and emotions.
The only minor criticism is that some of these motivations and reasonings are a bit obscure and I couldn't follow the thinking occasionally.
Another read, though, might improve understanding which makes it re-readable; not a bad thing really.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The Chronicles of Elantra" book 3, 31 May 2010
By 
Book Addict - See all my reviews
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In book 3 of this fantasy series, MS again produces a thrilling tale with plenty of magic, mystery and mayhem. Kaylin, a young mortal is heavily involved with a variety of powerful and immortal races due to the strange tattoos which mark her skin, yet it is with another mortal race that Kaylin becomes involved with. In "Cast in Secret" Kaylin is hunting for 2 missing children, one of which is a telepathic Tha'alani. Kaylin's dislike of this race is well documented following an encounter with a Tha'alani in her early teens, but an enemy has targeted her greatest weakness; her love of children and her willingness to do anything to ensure their safety.

Expect the familiar from this author. Further small details are learnt of Kaylin's tattoos, and more of their power is certainly revealed; yet the action centres around a particular race found in Elantra, whilst another cataclysmic event threatens the city that only the reckless and foolhardy Kaylin can prevent. The Tha'alani feature significantly as MS delves more deeply into their history and their telepathic ability, and they are certainly more than what Kaylin, and therefore the reader, initially perceived them to be. I'm liking the fact that MS is exploring in more depth the different cultures she so briefly introduced in book 1, expanding on histories, theologies, interaction with the other species found in Elantra and their involvement in the life of Kaylin.

This story is far more emotive than the first 2 of this series and is my most favourite so far. There's the expected action, layers of intrigue and general bewilderment as Kaylin appears unable to decipher the clues she finds, but there is more emotional depth as she begins to understand the Tha'alani and how they themselves have to adjust to life amongst those that are considered "deaf". Kaylin remains a feisty, stubborn, disrespectful but loveable heroine and I'm eager to continue to learn more about her, her friends, and the powers she wields in the next 3 books available; "Cast in Fury", "Cast in Silence" and "Cast in Chaos"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing world, 10 May 2010
I bought this series in the wrong order and then had to wait and order the others before I could start reading. This is the order in which they should be read; Cast in Shadow, Cast in Courtlight, Cast in Secret, Cast in Fury and Cast in Silence. I love this series and the world it is set in. At first glance it is your typical "poor child growing up on the wrong side of the tracks has to prove herself" but it is so much more than that. The different races are distinct and have their specific strengths and weaknesses which makes learning more about them hugely entertaining. The protagonist is a strong female character (any other kind leaves me cold and I just don't buy them!) who is not perfect and has to learn a lot along the way. I will definitely be buying each of them as they become available.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend these books, 10 July 2008
By 
Ms. K. L. Grove "Kael" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Having recently decided to give a few new authors a try & I'm glad I chose Michelle Sagara as one of these. After reading her first three offerings of Kaylin Neya, I am anxiously awaiting her next book and this can't come quickly enough!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars woo!, 7 Oct 2008
By 
Kelly "I am a busy mum of 2 under 3's, audio ... (Paulton, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I thought this series would be a trilogy, but guess what it's going to continue, more hints and revelations of Kaylin's future.

I really didn't want to put this book down. Now can't wait for Cast in Fury!
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