I am a huge Chronicles of Elantra fan. These books have a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf. So be warned, I'm not an unbiased reviewer and I simply adore Kaylin and the rich and detailed Chronicles of Elantra series.
Cast in Peril is the eight entry in the Chronicles of Elantra series. Michelle Sagara has stated on her blog that she views the Cast books as almost episodic in nature, similar to a TV series, each Cast book is an episode. Well Cast in Peril is part one of a two parter.
It's impossible to review Cast in Peril without mentioning events from previous books, I will not spoil Cast in Peril but there will be spoilers from the earlier books. If you haven't read any of the other Cast books, I wouldn't recommend starting here. Read the first book, Cast in Shadow. I think it's still my favourite.
The Cast novels chronicle the adventures of Kaylin Neya. Kaylin is a police investigator, known as a Hawk in the city of Elantra. Elantra is a magical city, populated by several vastly different species, ranging from the arrogant immortal dragons and barrani to the regular and mortal humans. Kaylin is a unique inhabitant of this city, gifted with magical powers she doesn't really understand or particularly care for. In a world where many seek power, Kaylin hides hers, simply seeking to be a Hawk.
The events in Cast in Peril hinge on developments in the earlier novels. The story literally starts off with a bang. The fascinating egg which first appeared in Cast in Chaos finally hatches. And of course, the journey to the West March that Nightshade orchestrated comes to pass.
I really enjoyed Cast in Peril. This book is slightly different in tone to the previous novels, where Kaylin was often in a frantic race to prevent the destruction of Elantra. This is a slower novel, it's a barrani book like Cast in Court. We learn a great deal more about this haughty race and I for one loved it. Teela's story is unexpected and I loved the tantalising glimpses into Nightshade and Severn's pasts. I have enjoyed the slow development and reveal of Kaylin herself and the diverse complex secondary characters that surround her. At times during Cast in Peril, I wanted to slap some of those contrary characters. Poor Kaylin has a rough road, although she does gain some rather unusual champions. Her life just keeps on becoming more complicated. As usual with the Cast books, we only know what Kaylin knows, so there is much mystery. I don't always understand exactly what is going on but that has been the case with all the Cast books. If you enjoyed the previous novels, you will enjoy Cast in Peril. It's a great read and I'm already looking forward to the ninth Cast book, Cast in Sorrow.