the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Michelle Sagara’ Category

Cast in Shadow, by Michelle Sagara

Published in 2006

Where I got it: purchased used

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A little bit Steven Brust, a little bit Ben Aaronovitch,  Cast in Shadow is a dark fantasy mystery with police procedural scenery. Even magical realms require law and police, and the city of Elantra is no different.  The three branches of law are the Hawks, the Wolves and the Swords, and young Kaylin is so very proud of having grown up to be a Hawk. She is proof that one can come from a very dark place to grow up and lead a life of light.

Kaylin isn’t young per se, but as humans are the most short lived race on this world, all the non-humans around her see her as a child, and treat her as one. Exposed to magic as a young child, Kaylin will go to great lengths to hide the strange tattoos on her arms and legs.

The magic of the world isn’t fully explained, but we know Kaylin is a healer, and that healing magic is very rare.  She’s late to work because she spends her nights healing in the orphanages and birthing caves. Once upon a time there was someone she couldn’t save, and she can’t bear to see that happen again.

When the killings start again, and the children’s tiny mutilated bodies are found with tattoos that nearly match Kaylin’s, all eyes are on her. She’s marked, but no one knows by who, and what for. Partnered up with a man from her past and a mysterious Dragon Lord, Kaylin is went back to the fief that defined her childhood to investigate. She’ll have to face every fear and every truth she’s been spending her entire adulthood avoiding.

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something old and something new,

something borrowed and something, umm, not blue.

Here are some recent goodies purchased, borrowed, and otherwise acquired:

oh wait, look! There is something blue!

All blurbs are yanked from Amazon. We’ve got:

The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman – a not quite sequel to Kushner’s Swordspoint (which I adored), The Fall of the Kings takes place in the same world but follows different characters. It promises sword fights, intrigue, strumpets, witty repartee, and probably some damn good drama.:

This stunning follow-up to Ellen Kushner’s cult-classic novel, Swordspoint, is set in the same world of labyrinthine intrigue, where sharp swords and even sharper wits rule. Against a rich tapestry of artists and aristocrats, students, strumpets, and spies, a gentleman and a scholar will find themselves playing out an ancient drama destined to explode their society’s smug view of itself–and reveal that sometimes the best price of uncovering history is being forced to repeat it….

Servant of a Dark God, by John Brown – It’s super shiny cuz it’s a library book.   I’m about half way through, and so far the plot feels like a traditional fantasy, but with some added complications of racism, religious propaganda and secret societies.  There’s some neat magic here, so I’m curious to see how the author wraps it all up:

Young Talen lives in a world where the days of a person’s life can be harvested, bought, and stolen. Only the great Divines, who rule every land, and the human soul-eaters, dark ones who steal days from man and beast, know the secrets of this power.

Now a being of awesome power, whose Mothers once ranched human subjects like cattle, feeding on their souls, has arisen in secret. And her monstrous, murderous pawn, a soul-bound creature created of wood and grass and rock roams the land. A massive and mis-directed hunt for soul-eaters is launched and Talen finds himself a target.  Trapped in a web of lies and secrets, Talen must identify his true enemy before the new Mother takes back what is rightfully hers.

Cast in Shadow, by Michelle Sagara – After meeting Ms. Sagara at ConFusion in January,  I knew I needed to start her Elantra series, so when I saw this copy at the used bookstore, I grabbed it! Like, I didn’t want to let go of it long enough for the lady at the counter to ring it up!  It looks to be some nice and edgy urban fantasy thriller/mystery:

Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowingthat 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!

Also:

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.