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!
Spellbound? Listen to more Chronicles of Elantra.
©2011 Michelle Sagara (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
I read this entire series back-to-back so I'm only going to comment on the first book's board.
I'm obsessed with this series. It's definitely addicting...but by the end of the last book I'm still hanging and holding out for some major relationship development of the heroine. The author basically teases you throughout the series. You keep feeling like "Okay, this book will be the one", but then I'm disappointed by the end and left hanging.
The first two books were my favorite, especially book 2. Book 1 was hard to get into at first, because the world and its many casts of people are very difficult to grasp at first. By book 2, the confusion subsides. But book 2 is definitely worth working through the complicated world development of book 1. Book 2 is AMAZING!
I'm in a love/hate relationship with this author. I love her world (Elantra) and I love the characters. I even love the struggles and challenges and the main story lines. There is so much adventure and mystery! On the other side, it's sooooooo wordy!!! You're in the middle of an intense action/climatic scene and I feel like the intensity and build up get overtaken by the wordiness. It's almost like the author starts out on the right path of being wordy to tease and build up your emotions, but then just keeps going and going until you're like, "enough already, just get on with it...I get that the 'word' is complicated" (you'll know what I refer to when you read it - - not a spoiler).
The narrator is great, though! I'm definitely a huge fan of Khristine Hvam! She does a great job with all the character voices, keeping them separate and recognizable without needing to tell us who's speaking. After soooo many books and a building mass of characters, I'm amazed she keeps pulling out new voices.
I'm a critical person, so don't let my negative comments fool you. I definitely loved this whole series and recommend it. Just brace yourself for difficulty establishing the world and its characters at first, and then dealing with climatic wordiness with each book. If you can get past those, you'll really enjoy the action and adventure. Here's hoping the next two books (I read on the author's blog that book 8 will now be split in two because she had too much to say) will focus more on the heroine's relationship/romantic development. It's about time!
I'm surprised that the Elantra books are published by a romance imprint, because there is no romantic or sexual content whatsoever. Instead, this is an immersive fantasy tale. It's a page turner, and while it's definitely guilty of some fantasy cliches, that only improves the pace of the story and the believability of the fantasy world. The races are not the usual vampires or elves, so the world and story feel fresh. The plot reads like a mystery (I think--I don't actually read mysteries), but it unfolds naturally, rather than relying on cheap plot twists.It may not be original or epic, but this is a very darn good listen--thoroughly addictive, like movie popcorn but without the calories.
The best part of this book, though, is the narrator; her voice is clear, and she easily expresses emotion without overdoing it. Hvam does an excellent job voicing the characters (so you always know who is speaking), and it never feels forced. Khristine Hvam has become my favorite reader on Audible, and this book is perfectly suited to her talents.
I downloaded this after listening to the free novella, Cast in Moonlight, that Audible had available for subscribers. I'm now working my way through the rest of this series, and all the subsequent books have been satisfying. I highly recommend The Chronicles of Elantra as a series, and this book is definitely the place to start.
This is a great introduction to a great series, and the NARRATOR CAN'T BE BEAT!
Love reading, love Audible. Love good books.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Equally well written, narrated, and fresh
Masterful rendition of character personalities shine, still conveying (i feel) what Michelle Sagara intended...filling my mind with a thoroughly fleshed out, comprehensive visual, emotional, intellectual experience. Awesome movie happening in my mind.
It was so good that I will read the rest of the series befor I move back to Lee Childs - Jack Reacher series.
So I got the free prequel to see if I would like the rest of the books. I have now listened to the "1st" book of the series and used my new credits on the other four.
Good story, nice execution, enjoying every minute of the characters and look forward to the rest of the story.
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
I really wanted to like this book but I found it way too confusing for me to enjoy it. This is supposed to be book 1 but it felt more like I walked into the middle of the story. It was very frustrating. The author never bothers to fully explain the world building or character development of at least 6 different races. It would have been nice if this book had a prologue or companion book.
I enjoyed the narration which is really the reason I kept going with the book. I definitely will not be continuing with the series.
I've never read the print version, but loved listening to this book.
The mystery, thrill and the fantasy of the story.
She brought the characters alive and did a great job bringing the personality and persona of each character out. Very interesting indeed!
The Chosen One
The story is exciting laced with unexpected twists. Khristine Hvam is the 'perfect' narrator for the lead character.
I actually liked all the characters.
I have listened to nearly a hundred books and Khristine may be the best I have ever enjoyed.
I realize I am gushing on Khristine Hvam but I am convinced many more sci-fy writers should seek her out.
Tell us about yourself!
Really - only three words. Entertaining - Vivid - Detailed
There are really so many memorable moments, but -- Kaylin was called to the Lord's office to explain her actions at the orphanage and after revisiting her troubling childhood (in great detail - this was the first glimpse into her past), how she put together a family and how they were taken away from her, the Lord wrapped her in his wings and accepted her explanation. Quite touching.
Teela the female Barani - I just love her hautiness.
This book is so detailed -- it is really difficult to choose only one of anything to talk about. But ... it was quite moving when Kaylin was called to the orphanage to 'heal' one of the children. Kaylin is quite fond of the children. This one was very close to death and proved to be difficult to heal. It turned out that in order to do so, she had to give of herself - her essence (if you will). Then finding out that healling the child put the child, herself and potentially the world in jeopardy.
I was introduced to Michelle Sagara’s work when Audible offered her novella Cast in Moonlight as a free download. I very much enjoyed learning about Kaylin as a child (if you can call her a child as she is quite street-wise).
Michelle Sagara creates very interesting characters – immortals, cat people, winged soldiers. On several occasions I found myself sitting in my car, in my driveway, listening to find out what was going to happen next or waiting to see how a problem was going to be resolved.
I plan on getting the next download in the series.
Retired executive loves biking, hiking, skiing, sailing, photography, playing tennis, listening to my eclectic music collection & my wife
Excellent story, you care about the characters. Easy to get caught up in the world of Hawks, Dragons, Barani, Humuans, fun read. None of the characters are perfect, everyone has their flaws. The reading is excellently done and she brings the characters to life.
I have 3 kids that occupy all the TV's in the house...enough said...addicted to audiobook ....shhhh don't tell my husband ;-)
More information is needed! I don't know what this fantasy world looks like, I bearly know what the characters look like. Is this world kinda futuristic or more like Game of Thrones / Lord of the Rings ? There is no pretense to what these different clans are; Hawk, Wolf, Dragon, Shadow Thief ect. what are these clans to each other, who is suppose to be the top clan? Why can you change clans? Why would you want to? This book is lacking in everything. It just starts off by talking like you should know everything about the world already, there is no introduction and explaination of anything, just characters dialogue. No character developement, so when something happens I don't care because the characters are pretty strangers anyways. I really don't know why this book got high rating I thought it was awful. I wouldn't waste a credit.
If you like fantasy read Karen Marie Moning and Kresley Cole....they are the best.
"If you like Anne Bishop you might want to try this"
There is nothing I didn't like about this audio book and found it hard to put the story down. I bought this after reading a review on Amazon where the writer said that three generations of her family enjoyed this novel, which for me is the test of a really good book.
Cast in Shadows mixes magic, humans and mythical creatures in a very strong plot line of changing politics and treacherous situations. Kaylin, the heroine, is young and naive despite a difficult past. One of the things I enjoyed about the story is that the listener gets to hear her slowly start to grow up, as the story unfolds around her, rather than simply have the fully fledged lead appear without context. As the story progressed and Katlin is forced to face her past, I found myself completely immersed.
Khristine Hvam, the narrator, does a great job acting out the different parts, she has a pleasing voice and acts both male and female, human and mythical creature well. I'm extremely picky about narrators so when if find one I rate this highly, I would argue that the Audio version is better than print alone.
If you are a fan of Anne Bishop's Written in Red, I would expect you to love this book. Although the settings are different the sense of a world where it is normal to walk among mythical creatures and deal with the quicksand of politics and humanoid relations this creates, is present in both.
Cast of Shadows is part of a trilogy, I have already purchased the next one and will come back to listen to this again.
"A Dark, Tedious Read"
Firstly, I picked this book because of the narrator, and Khristine Hvam never disappoints in bringing a book to life and getting the emotions right throughout her narration of the book. The book itself made for an interesting read, interesting enough for me to get to the end. The descriptions of the world and places in which the story was set, were elaborative and somewhat believable but, there were too many different, creepy beings with exhausting, tedious descriptions of their character/nature that added no real value to the story. The author leaves the reader in deep contemplation and continued speculation as there are so many things that "are" but "are not" - I found paying too much attention led to more confusion. The exhausting and continuous narrative of the heroine's thoughts, feelings and failure in education, left me irritable on several occasions. I think the resulting lack of real appreciation for the characters lay in the insufficient information of their past and the workings of their world...Honestly, I'm not compelled to seek out the sequels to this book.
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