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on 21 October 2008
'When a minority race of telepaths is suspected of causing a near-devastating tidal wave, Private Kaylin Neya is summoned to Court - and into a PR nightmare. To ease tensions, the emperor has commissioned a play, and the playwright has his own ideas about who should be the focus...

But Kaylin works her best magic behind the scenes, and though she tries to stay neutral, she is again drawn into a world of politics...and murder. To make matters worse, Marcus, he trusted sergeant, gets stripped of his command, leaving Kaylin vulnerable. Now she's juggling two troubling cases, and even magic's looking good by comparison. But then nobody ever said life in the theatre was easy...'

This is the fourth book in the series and takes place almost immediately after the last book, Cast in Secret. Each book seems to have a theme. The first, Cast in Shadow was about the life and struggles of the main character Kaylin Neya and her relationship with Severn, her sort-of adopted older brother. The second, Cast in Courtlight examines the Barrani race and their customs. The third, Cast in Secret examines the Tha'alani race and their history. This book examines the Leontine race, where we get to meet Marcus's pridlea (his family) and we gain more insight into Marrin's life before she founded the Foundling Hall (an orphanage).

Again this story is based around Kaylin's love of children and the fact that she will do anything to protect them but this doesn't take anything away from the story. There wasn't a lot of character growth in this one (but then we've had quite a lot in the other books) other than Kaylin finally being able to keep her mouth shut, stopping herself from getting into (most likely, more) trouble.

Through the markings on her body Kaylin seems to be tied to the Old Ones who created the races and is thereby connected to the races themselves. It looks like the author maybe looking to set Severn up as an 'appropriate' love interest for Kaylin despite the brotherly relationship she has with him, on the otherhand Nightshade seems very interested but Kaylin does her best to ignore it which is probably for the best.

Overall this was another interesting read with a lovely ending. The world, races and characters that the author has created are so detailed and intricately woven together with natural character growth and plot progression, make this series seem so realistic. I hope we get to read more about the Dragons next and maybe even meet the Dragon Emperor himself.
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on 18 March 2017
The wonderful thing about coming to a series late, is that there are more books to read, without having to wait for the next edition!
Elantra is a wonderful, complex world of ambitious imaginings revealed through the investigative enquiries of Kaylin Neya, who, with an irreverent attitude and friends in unlikely places strives to protect and preserve the Laws and children of the sentient species of Elantra. Aerian, Dragon, Tha'alaani, Barrani, Leonine and Human coexist amongst misunderstandings and the fears of themselves and each other, whilst Kaylin keeps walking a line that will solve crimes and yet not have her eaten by the Emperor.
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on 12 December 2008
I think AmyT has done a pretty accurate review and I just want to add a few thoughts.

If you like fast, action based fantasy with an unusual range of characters and some funny moments along the way then this is for you. Whilst the books are part of a connected series and we gradually see the bigger picture emerging, each book contains a completed storyline within that framework.

Compared to previous books, there is not as much elaboration on Kaylin's mysterious markings and given the impact Nightshade's mark had on her in the last book, surprisingly little reference to that in the early chapters. Reading about yet another race Kaylin has got a very special relationship with (though we knew about this one to a greater extent than the Barrani) I can't help but get excited about how all these jig saw pieces will come together in the end.

I had this book on pre-order with amazon and was very disappointed that apparently they did not have enough copies and I missed out. I am glad that amazon is affiliated with other sellers and I was able to get the book that way but I do feel that more effort should be made to get enough copies in to at least full-fill pre-orders!

My star ratings are the result of the following breakdown:
How difficult was it to put the book down: extremely difficult = five stars
Would I buy the hardcover of this one: definitely = five stars
Am I likely to read it again: definitely = five stars
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on 5 April 2012
The plot for this was was a lot clearer and easier to follow than all of the previous three thus far. It was more or less a straightforward police investigation involving Marcus, Kaylin's Leontine Sergeant and friend. And a subplot about putting on a play to help relations between the humans and the Tha'alani.

That was about it, and if you ask me, it was not enough content to justify nearly 500 pages of book.

Perhaps if, in the world of Elantra, they conducted regular police work; following clues and interviewing suspects and such, it might have worked better as a police procedural novel, but they don't. They already had most of the answers before they even started and it was just a case of playing it out. Hell, they could have just asked Marcus since he would have been able to tell them all everything he knew and saved everyone a lot of trouble, and us as readers, a lot of filler.

I'm also getting annoyed by the lack of character development. Surely we could have used a few of those 500 pages of text to do something, anything, with the two "potential" love interests in the series? I need for something to happen; a conversation, a lingering look. I will accept ANYTHING at this point that indicates Kaylin isn't 100% asexual.

Moan, moan, whinge, whinge. Hey, it wasn't all bad. I enjoyed learning about the Leontines and how Marcus lives with his wives. I enjoyed getting Marrin's back story...but I'm just really ready for something BIG to happen . And soon!

3 Stars! '''
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In book 4 of this fantasy series Kaylin is again battling for the life of a child, this time a Leontine cub who; according to the law of his species, should never have been born. She is also trying to save the life of Marcus, her mentor and friend, attempting to rise above the petty behaviour of the new Hawk Sergeant who badly wants to fire her and avoiding any potential possibility of a meeting with the Emperor; a sensible decision considering his tendency to eat anyone who annoys him.

Established characters Severn, dragons Sanabalis and Tiamaris, and Nightshade; an immortal Barrani, feature significantly in the plot, as does Marcus. Although more is learnt of his personal life and the Leontine species as a whole, this book does not centre on the Leontine race as predominantly as previous books have dealt with the Tha'alani or the Barrani. Instead this book also deals significantly with the growing racial hatred towards the Tha'alani following their misunderstood actions at the end of book 3 and Marcus' current circumstances.

The pace is almost frantic in places, and whilst the ideas introduced are clever and original, I was left feeling somewhat lost at times; fumbling a little to grasp exactly what the author meant. That said, Kaylin remains a likeable, gutsy character with plenty of empathy and a bloody-minded tenacity to solve a case or save a life. She has enough sass and humour, plus an amazing ability to ask the most inappropriate or random question at any given time, which keeps her fresh and entertaining in the fourth book of this series. MS is also a master of a spectacular ending, and "Cast in Fury" definitely has a wonderful finale.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 October 2013
This is the fourth in this series and is probably best read after the others. Michelle Sagara is building up a very complex world, including a number of different races, and also telling a complicated story about Kaylin. This installment sees our heroine trying to make things right in the Leotine world and also deal with a trying playwright who is writing to order and doesn't really like it.

As ever, Kaylin holds to her own set of values which place the innocence and lives of children at the heart of much of what she does. She rages against injustice and uses her own strange and not properly explored powers to try to rectify things which she thinks are unfair. Her dragon tutor, her friends in the Hawks, and her friend and comrade Severn try to save her from herself and to stop making big mistakes.

There isn't so much about Kaylin's strange body markings and newly acquired powers in this book as there have been in previous ones and Nightshade doesn't play such a great part. There is a little more humour though and I followed the plot better than I have in the past.

This series is set in an interesting fantasy world with some fascinating characters. I still have no idea where the relationship between Kaylin and Severn is going and nor do I have any idea what the author will reveal next about the world they inhabit or Kaylin's powers. This is an excellent book in a good series. I look forward to seeing where the author takes it next.
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on 22 January 2009
This is the fourth in the series and, like many lengthy series, is becoming rather more philosophical and refelective as it preogresses. Thus there are quite long sections where the history of Elantra, or the races, or magic are discussed.

That isn't to say there isn't some very well done action sequences.

Most pleasing was that Kaylin does seem to be growing as a character, losing some of her impulsiveness and, frankly, childishness, although anyone who has read the series will know she still has a great deal of both left.

I read the nook in three days, while also working full time, which tells you something about how good it is.
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on 21 January 2015
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