Still avoiding magic whenever possible, Private Kaylin Neya relished investigating a run-of-the-mill theft. Until she found out the mysterious stolen box had been taken from Elani Street, where the mages and charlatans mingled, and it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two. And since the box was ancient, without a keyhole, and held tremendous darkness inside, Kaylin knew unknown forces were again playing with her destiny... and her life.
Spellbound? Listen to more Chronicles of Elantra.
©2008 Michelle Sagara (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
I enjoy this time and consider it well spent exercising my imagination. I now have these other worlds to tell you about. I have value.
I am only supposed to allow myself only so much time per nite. I keep breaking my personal rules .I listened to the first half twice because I wanted it to last longer. I didnt expect to enjoy these books as much as I have. The narrator is hipnotic . She has a firm grip on the characters personalities and the voices are consistant and unique per character.I hope you will enjoy this book and the series as much as I have.I can as of late, walk away from the TV to go listen to my books.Michelle Sagaras stories are imaginative and enveloping. On top of that Khristines portrayals are very consistant and enjoyable. Good job team.Thank you .
I read equal parts NF + F: (Follet + Tolstoy + Hillenbrand + Monk Kidd + Preston+Child), practical, hands on guides, + KidLit.
I discovered this series through audible's free novella by Michelle Sagara and even though this isn't my usual genre, I couldn't get enough of the characters and the world that Sagara has built for this series. I believe that Sagara is a master at world-building and character development but the writing shows many signs of being hastily written. Still, she propels the plot forward and does not disappoint the reader on the journey she takes you on. This is not for everyone (particularly those who prefer non-fiction or well-crafted prose as I normally do) but fans of fantasy who enjoy lots of action and who enjoy the free novella, which is like an introduction for the series, will enjoy it immensely. I can't put them down!
First, I just want to say that I love Khristine Hvam as a narrator. I have a hard time believing that all of those voices come from one woman. You can easily hear the difference between characters. The awesomeness of this series is the support characters. The books are written so that you want to know more about the others- the foundlings, Marcus, Nightshade and so on. The story is interesting. I enjoyed that it also kind of teaches a lesson- Kaylin starts to get over one of her prejudices.
Hard to follow the second half of the book. Describing fictitious events that seem to go on forever - forgot where or what Kayla was even doing there.
I've read a lot of fantasy novels over the years. Many with characters who have mysterious powers that no one understands, possibly because the author has no clue what those powers are either. Perhaps some of my discontent with this novel stems from the fact that I have become increasingly jaded about stories with unexplained magics. I have, on the other hand, read a number of fantasy novels where the magics have solid rules, but Cast in Secret is not one of those novels.
Nor does it have a cast of characters compelling enough for me to put aside my differences with the aforementioned shortcomings. Sagara's heroine is dull and often infuriating. Nightshade is mysterious and cryptic but, beyond that I fear there may be little depth, and our heroine's buddy lacks nearly any personality at all. Beyond these three we find a slew of well meaning busybodies giving extremely vague advice or refusing to explain anything at all based on Kaylin's apparently inability to pay attention to anything for longer than it takes a goldfish to swim around its tank. This last, to me, is most frustrating because, sometimes, a characters questions are a starting block one can use to build a world and, I am very sorry to say, that I really can't connect with the world in this book at all. It is very small and, unfortunately, like the magic doesn't seem to be rooted anywhere solid or believable.
This was the last book I bought from audible in the series. It is not my favorite, though, some sections are simply wonderful. I have all the others and most of them read as a single story. This book has breaks that make a reader jump in and out of a larger story, as if there are short stories in the longer one. I think Sagara is as much artist as she is writer. In this book both aspects of her talent are aparent just not quite cohesive. I suspect the artist creates a chase your own tail kind of read in all her work. There is a problem editing art that obstructs decisions that are more straight forward in story telling. I have a great deal of affection for all the books and characters in this series, but other than this book and the awkward split book the stories have focus. I really like the narrator.
Continued introduction of new characters and development of old ones. Seems like I know them well now. Only annoying aspect is continuing word mispronounciation by reader. Retched for wretched, one example in this book. Doesn't detract from story but arrests the flow of the prose when listening. Has occurred in each book, but not frequently. I'm continuing the series on Audible.
I love books. hate reviewing books because I hate reiterating what many other's have said. I hate spoiling a review.
We got to explore the Tha'lani people. We get to know the Keeper much better- he is such a mysterious figure that has defined and refined Kaylin. We get to see more of Sanabalis. Kaylin is in her element. Investigating.
I love them all. Kaylin is the main character but far from my only favorite in this series. I love the wild uniqueness of each supporting character. I love to hate Nightshade. I love Marcus' rough and tumble love for his adopted kitling. I love Teela (and Tain's) indulgent smugness and love for their little human mascot. I love Sanabalis' inegmatic mentorship of his stubborn student. I love the Hawklord- he is beyond words. I love Clint's love of Kaylin as a true friend and almost little sister. I love Tiamaris' youthful (for an immortal Dragon) enthusiasm and strangely open-mindedness (for an immortal Dragon). I love the crotchety Archon. I love Severn.
Marcus' accent. I never "heard" him as clearly when reading- until I listened to Her Marcus. NOW I hear that Carribean accent even when reading- I love it. I know, Lions don't live in the Carribean. But it fits!! Having lived there, I can just hear that slang-y British drawl coming out of Marcus' mouth.
When she had to take responsibility for the Dragon to enter the Garden.
Excellent read thoroughly enjoyed the story. The story shows a character faced with a puzzle based on the same theme as the other books in the series. However the author finds a way to show new growth in the character with each new situation.
"I only wish Audible had the complete series."
Private Kaylin Neya investigates the theft of a magical item, while also carrying on a more personal search for a missing child, against a background of racial tension and a looming threat predicted by the city's seers.
I literally listened to one book after the other of this series and would rate all the books as five star. I love the imagination, imagery and characterization that Michelle Sagara has brought to them. The plot's are always engaging which is helped by the police procedural element of the stories. I've even recommended them to my mother who is reading them on kindle and has also given her seal of approval but the stories are so much better in audio-book. Khristine Hvam really brings the books and characters to life and gives an amazing performance, in my opinion equivalent to that of a group of actors.
Being objective the Chronicles of Elanta isn't likely to appeal as much to male readers. The book is written by a female from the young heroines perspective and her personal use of her power is reserved for midwifery and healing. This is one of the things I loved about the series and only wish there was more fantasy novels targeted at female readers that go beyond the standard romances more readily available. The writing is not perfect and the characters, although described well and brilliantly brought to life by Khristine Hvam, are not completely original. Also the series carries on far past these three books and although you can listen to them and reach a satisfactory conclusion, I have contacted Audible and confirmed that the rest of the Chronicles of Elanta won't be available here.
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