Author: Michelle Sagara
Series: The Chronicles of Elantra (Book 12)
Publication: Mira (November 24, 2015)
Description: In the aftermath of a vicious battle between darkness and light, the city of Elantra has emerged victorious. But Shadows continue to haunt every corner of its streets…
Elantra stands strong, but countless numbers of Hawks, the city's staunchest protectors, were lost in the brutal attack. Humans, Barrani, Aerians, Leontines—none of the races emerged unscathed from the defense of the city. Homes were lost, families were scattered…and the outcast Barrani Lord Nightshade is missing from his castle in the fiefs.
Yet as the chaos surrounding the battle begins to wane, Private Kaylin Neya's duties must resume, despite her grief. Called in to investigate a triple murder in a quiet part of town, Kaylin and her companions are soon embroiled in a case that is anything but routine. Evidence of the deadly Shadows that still threaten the city leads to hints of ancient, forgotten magics…and everything can be traced directly to Ravellon, the heart of the Shadows and the darkness they contain.
But it is there that Lord Nightshade will be found—if he still survives.
My Thoughts: This twelfth adventure begins immediately after the events of the eleventh. Elantra is still picking up the pieces after the battle. Kaylin Neya is recovered enough from her injuries to go back on duty with the Hawks. Her first case is to investigate the murder of three people in a normally quiet part of town. Bellusdeo, the only known female dragon and Kaylin's friend, decides to tag along. Kaylin is chosen for the investigation because she can see magic. When she nears the scene, she is drawn to the house across the street where she meets a young girl named Kattea and her guardian Gilbert who is apparently one of the shadow creatures that the city fought against. That only begins the strangeness.
When they get to the crime scene, Kaylin can't even see the bodies unless she looks through the wings of the small dragon who has adopted her. That is only one of the problems that Kaylin has. Lord Nightshade is missing from his fief and his brother who returned very much changed from his time in the Green is both worried about him and angry with him. He is also a danger to all unless he can learn to control the powers that he brought back home with him. Luckily, Kaylin, Bellusdeo, both Nightshade's brother and a companion who came back with him are living in a house that is self-aware and who can control his out of control powers.
Kaylin wants to add one more to their household. Moran, who is a sergeant in command of the Hawk's infirmary, is an Aerin who badly damaged her wings in the recent battle. She won't allow Kaylin to heal her and doesn't want to take advantage of Kaylin's hospitality. Moran is determined to live in the infirmary until she is healed. Kaylin does everything she can to make Moran change her mind.
Between a sentient house, a shadow in human form, the Keeper losing control of his garden, mirrors spreading chaos, and spells cast for unknown reasons that are destroying the city, Kaylin has a very busy time of it. I tended to skim over much of the explanation of what Gilbert could do and the nature of reality and time that form the big problem in this book because I found it very confusing. But, still, the theme of loneliness woven into this book was compelling. Everyone was trying for a connection with others. Even Gilbert who isn't human in any sense of the world suffered from an intense loneliness. I felt most sorry for Kattea who found herself in a past that wasn't her past and ached to meet her parents despite the fact that they would not know her. Her strong connection with Gilbert was the key to him finding a way to do his job without wiping out all the lives in Elantra.
This is a very entertaining series for fans of epic fantasy. Kaylin is a human character in a world that has immortals, dragons, Leontines, and Thalanni but, as the chosen one, she is the one that events seem to pivot around. Even though she doesn't know what being the chosen one means, she has to act and make choices using her best instincts.
I can't wait to read the next adventure.
Yes, only idiots would create something that got lonely. But...weren't the idiots in part created because something wild and ancient and world-devouring...had been lonely? Maybe it was part of the essential nature of anything in the universe. Nothing existed in isolation. And maybe nothing wanted to. Not if it could think, move, feel.I got this eARC at NetGalley for review. You can buy your copy here.