Saturday, March 2, 2019

Book Review: Cast in Oblivion by Michelle Sagara

Cast in Oblivion
Author: Michelle Sagara
Series: Chronicles of Elantra
Publication: MIRA; Original edition (January 29, 2019)


Kaylin wasn’t sent to the West March to start a war. Her mission to bring back nine Barrani might do just that, though. She traveled with a Dragon, and her presence is perceived as an act of aggression in the extremely hostile world of Barrani-Dragon politics. Internal Barrani politics are no less deadly, and Kaylin has managed—barely—to help the rescued Barrani evade both death and captivity at the hands of the Consort.

Before the unplanned “visit” to the West March, Kaylin invited the Consort to dinner. For obvious reasons, Kaylin wants to cancel dinner—forever. But the Consort is going to show up at the front door at the agreed-upon time. The fact that she tried to imprison Kaylin’s guests doesn’t matter at all…to her.

A private Barrani Hell, built of Shadow and malice, exists beneath the High Halls. It is the High Court’s duty to jail the creature at its heart—even if it means that Barrani victims are locked in the cage with it. The Consort is willing to do almost anything to free the trapped and end their eternal torment. And she needs the help of Kaylin’s houseguests—and Kaylin herself. Failure won’t be death—it will be Hell. And that’s where Kaylin is going.

My Thoughts: This fourteenth in the Chronicles of Elantra dives deeply into Barrani politics. Since Kaylin's return from the West March with nine Barrani who had been chosen to take part in a ceremony centuries earlier and kept as prisoners in one of the March's sentient buildings, politics has been even more at the forefront of Kaylin's life.

Barrani life moved on while the children were gone. But, now adults, those nine want what they should have had had they never been lost or forsaken. Their first step is to pass the Test of Names but they are facing lots of opposition. The Consort who is the one who gives names to new-born Barrani that she gathers from a magical lake has very mixed feelings about their quest.

The feelings become even more mixed when it is learned that the Barrani High Halls are actually a broken tower that now imprisons a part of Shadow. Worse yet, some Barrani are trying to negotiate with that piece of Shadow for more power. One of the main negotiators is the brother of Sedarias who is the leader of Kaylin's Barrani. He attempted to kill her before she left and is more than willing to kill her now that she has returned. Sedarias completely returns his feelings.

When the Cohort begins the Test of Names, Kaylin, the Consort, Nightshade, Severin, and some others go along to try to get rid of the Barrani who are trying to corrupt the test and free the Shadow. This was a complex and fascinating journey for all of them. Kaylin has special powers because of being the Chosen and having marks on her body. She doesn't really understand them or know how to use them. However, use them she must if her friends are going to survive this peril.

Because this episode continues plot threads begun in earlier books, I don't think it would be a good place for someone to jump into this series. For those who are up to date, it was an entertaining and exciting episode.

Favorite Quote:
"What are your plans, then? You just intend to charge in and start killing High Lords?"

"As a matter of fact, yes."

"That's not a plan!"
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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