Author: Michelle Sagara
Publication: Luna; Original edition (July 2010)
Description: Kaylin Neya is a Hawk, part of the elite force tasked with keeping the City of Elantra safe. Her past is dark, her magic uncontrolled and her allies unpredictable. And nothing has prepared her for what is coming, when the charlatans on Elani Street suddenly grow powerful, the Oracles are thrown into an uproar and the skies rain blood….
The powerful of Elantra believe that the mysterious markings on Kaylin's skin hold the answer, and they are not averse to using her—how ever they have to—in order to discover what it is.
Something is coming, breaking through the barriers between the worlds. But is it a threat that Kaylin needs to defend her city against—or has she been chosen for another reason entirely?
My Thoughts: This is the sixth entry in this epic fantasy series. As usual with epic fantasy, the main problem in the book requires saving the world. Kaylin is an orphan and a street kid from the wrong part of town who has been marked with magical symbols in an ancient language. Because of her marks and because she enforces the law, Kaylin interacts with a number of the powerful in her world of Elantra. The city where she lives is ruled by dragons including the Dragon Emperor. Dragons are immortal and testy. In this world are also the immortal Barrani, the Leontines, the Aerians, the Thalanni, and humans. She is a wonderful character who is smart, kind and who makes friends wherever she goes. But she is under-educated and is currently in need of both magic and etiquette lessons so that she can more safely interact with the powerful. If only there would be time between the crises.
Kaylin is just trying to do her job enforcing the law on Elanti Street where fortunes are told and cures for baldness are sold when all of the sudden the cures begin to actually work and the fortunes are distressingly real. This causes upset because the Oracles are all beginning to predict some sort of major magical disaster that will occur there on Elanti Street.
The story takes place in a rich, complex fantasy world. I recommend it for lovers of fantasy and lovers of strong female characters. It is necessary to begin this series at its beginning - Cast in Shadow - to experience the full richness of the world and the characters.
More information about the books in the series can be found at Sagara's site and at Fantastic Fiction.
It was also magic that was at the heart of etiquette lesson. The Dragon Emperor was not famed for his tolerance and sense of humor. He was, in fact, known for his lack of both. But Sanabalis, Tiamaris, and even the ancient Arkon who guarded the Imperial Library as if it was his personal hoard - largely because it was - all felt that she would soon have to come to Court and spend time in the presence of the Dragon who ruled them all. They wanted her to survive it, although Sanabalis on some days seemed less certain.Challenges: Paranormal Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge