Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Review: Cast in Ruin by Michelle Sagara

Cast in Ruin
Author: Michelle Sagara
Publication: Luna; Original edition (September 20, 2011)

Description: Seven corpses are discovered in the streets of a Dragon's fief. All identical, down to their clothing.

Kaylin Neya is assigned to discover who they were, who killed them—and why. Is the evil lurking at the borders of Elantra preparing to cross over?

At least the investigation delays her meeting with the Dragon Emperor. And as the shadows grow longer over the fiefs, Kaylin must use every skill she's ever learned to save the people she's sworn to protect. Sword in hand, dragons in the sky, this time there's no retreat and no surrender…

My Thoughts:  Cast in Ruin was a complex fantasy that is the seventh in the series. Each one builds on the previous books. This one continued the plot thread of Kaylin learning more about herself and preparing for a meeting with the dragon emperor. Along the way she is side-tracked by an investigation into the sudden appearance of seven dead bodies in the fief of Tiamaris. Tiamaris is a dragon who is her friend. So is his tower - Tara. Lord Tiamaris took over this fief and is trying to reconstruct it. However, shadows are still fighting for it.

This episode concentrates on the dragons. Kaylin interacts with them in many ways and learns much more about them. Dragons are incredibly touchy and secretive about themselves. She has to have protocol lessons from Lord Diarmat who has a very poor opinion of humans. She is being taught magic by Lord Sanabalis who is rather tolerant for a dragon. She interacts with the Arkon who is the oldest dragon in the Empire and who is the librarian for the Empire. Tiamaris, Sanabalis, and the Arkon are all involved in the investigation in the fief of Tiamaris.

Adding to the complexity of the fief are the Norannir who are 8-foot tall aliens who have come from shadows to fight Shadow. They were invited by Tiamaris to settle in his fief but the humans in the fief are still very wary of them. We also learn about the mythology of the Norannir as it intersects with Kaylin's investigation in the fief.

I like Kaylin a lot. She is a child of the fiefs who escaped them for the Empire. All she wants to be is a Hawk and uphold the Empire's laws. But she has a sort of magic that makes her more prominent than she would like. Some of the fief lord's want to control her. The dragons are wary of her and her magic because what she is and what she can do is not known to them. And dragons do not like mysteries!

It is hard to describe this book because it is so complex and has so many plot threads woven into it. But each episode has excitement and self-discovery and further illuminates a fascinating fantasy world. I can't wait for the next episode - Cast in Peril

The mysterious appearance of seven identical female corpses unsettles all the dragons. 

Favorite Quote:
The well was never completely abandoned at this time of day. The streets around the well were about as crowded as fief streets ever got, and children were playing in the streets. Well, technically, four of them were playing and two of them were having a tug-of-war over a stick while practicing street language that would only grow more useful with time.
I bought this one because I am a fan of the series. You can get your copy here.

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