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Cast in Silence

Cast in Silence (Chronicles of Elantra, #5)
by Michelle Sagara

Funny thing about this book. I hated it and my husband loved it. I thought it was the worst book in the series and my husband thought it was the best. Go figure.

It took  me forever to read this book. I bought it in the summer and stopped reading about 100 pages in because I was bored out of my mind. My husband picked it up when I stopped and read it in two nights. Huh. I finally thought I would pick it up again while I am on holiday this week and it was still a struggle to get through.

I don’t think I even know what the heck went on in this story. Something about a tower that has a living avatar and it was unhappy or something and was destroying the fief it was in. There was a  lot of vague description of things happening that I just couldn’t wrap my brain around and I spent most of the time asking my husband “What the hell is going on? Did you understand any of this?”

I also spent a lot of time flipping pages going “Blah, blah, blah, unhappy childhood, things I regret, whine, blah, blah” for a lot of Kaylin’s inner thoughts and struggles as she navigated through the tower. I loved Kaylin. I did. But something about her in this book just made me lose any patience I had with her. Yes, she did things she feels guilty about now to survive, get over it. Really. Yes, she is an abysmal student and fails everything and doesn’t get to work on time, but for the love of all that is holy – she’s the only one who ever figures anything out. She’s like this idiot savant or something.

The whole business with the words forming into solid sigils and no one can see them but her and the words taking shape but she can’t really see them to see the shape? I am tired of it. I am because it is all so vague it’s frustrating. You’d think by the 5th book we’d be able to get a better description or something?

I will of course read the next book because every series is bound to have one book that you just don’t connect with and I believe this one was mine. I found this book long and confusing and I was so happy when it was over. I contemplated giving up and just leaving the last 100 pages and starting something else, but I pushed through and made it to the end. The end was slightly more understandable, only I am not entirely sure what happened with Tiamaris and the Tower. The bright side is, I love that Dragon character so I was happy he was in the story!

Totally not sure why this book is called Cast in SILENCE there wasn’t anything silent in the book. No lack of noise, no robbing of voices. I would have called it Cast in SHADOW. That would have made more sense to me.

The Chronicles of Elantra

  1. Cast in Shadow
  2. Cast in Courtlight
  3. Cast in Secret
  4. Cast in Fury
  5. Cast in Silence
  6. Cast in Chaos (August 2010)

Cast in Fury

Cast in Fury (Chronicles of Elantra, #4)
by Michelle Sagara

When a minority race of telepaths is suspected of causing a near-devastating tidal wave, Private Kaylin Neya is summoned to Court—and into a PR nightmare. To ease racial tensions, the emperor has commissioned a play, and the playwright has his own ideas about who should be the focus.…

But Kaylin works her best magic behind the scenes, and though she tries to stay neutral, she is again drawn into a world of politics—and murder. To make matters worse, Marcus, her trusted sergeant, gets stripped of his command, leaving Kaylin vulnerable. Now she’s juggling two troubling cases, and even magic’s looking good by comparison. But then nobody ever said life in the theater was easy.… (goodreads.com)

Two things:

One – It seems that with every book in this series that I have read I do not understand a good chunk of what the hell is going on. And yet, I continue to adore the series and characters.

Two – I thought the book was going to be about Kaylin and the playwright. The story starts off that way and then goes completely in a different direction as it tells Marcus’ story. The summary is rather misleading.

I kid you not about the being confused for every book. I don’t know if it’s me or if it’s just the way things are written. Any action/fight scene in this series boggles my mind and I have started skimming over them until the end when I feel like the book is written in my own language again. Luckily I feel a little less alone because my husband has also been reading these books (recently) and he came to me to ask what the hell was going on in such-and-such scene and I was all, “Guuuh??” because I didn’t know. I was relying on HIM to TELL ME what happened. It normally works that way. My poor dyslexic brain sometimes can’t figure things out very well and I have my husband read what I just did and explain it to me. heh. Also I have read a couple of reviews recently of this series where the blogger has also been confused for the same parts I have been. So maybe it’s not me.

I thought we were going to spend the entire book trailing after this moody playwright whom I grew to enjoy just as that part of the story was pushed aside for 2/3 of the book only to be taken up again in the EPILOGUE! Good heavens. The main focus of the story is Kaylin’s unofficial investigation into Marcus’ troubles. He’s been arrested for murder which seems to have come out of the blue and of course the acting Sergeant hates Kaylin and is ready to kick her out of the Hawks for good.

That was another thing that I thought would be addressed more – the trouble that Kaylin always gets into and then having to deal with it with this acting Sergeant guy who hates her. But it was tossed to the background as well. Rather disappointing.

I had a hard time following the Caste rules of the Leontines what with the laws that kept Marcus in jail and why he wasn’t being given a trial and how his Pridlea was set up. All of that went over my head. I am hoping my husband can break it down for me once he’s finished the book. 😉

And again there was a fight scene near the end that completely baffled me and so I just raced through it hoping it would be summed up at the end of the fight and it was. I have no idea what goes on with “old language” and “words” and power and stuff. Things are left very vague and almost too vague for me to even have an idea of what’s going on in my imagination. When something like “Kaylin didn’t know what she was speaking but she said it, the word, the one word that held all the power it got better” (that is NOT an actual quote I’d like to point out, but it’s close to what is written often in these books). So Kaylin doesn’t know what language she’s speaking or even how to pronounce the words she saying and yet she DOES and these words hold POWER and somehow she is MAGIC. And I am left going WHAT THE F—?

There is vague in storytelling and there is way too vague. I think this series falls a little too deep into the way too vague category at times.

And yet I love the series. I need more when I am done with a book. I love Kaylin and Marcus and Ybelline. I love the dialogue, it’s the description I have trouble with.

I want to read the next one right away but I just realized I have one more library book to read before Tuesday. So I shall get to that one next. With the crappy English section my library had it’s hard to renew books since they are in such high demand.

The Chronicles of Elantra

  1. Cast in Shadow
  2. Cast in Courtlight
  3. Cast in Secret
  4. Cast in Fury
  5. Cast in Silence
  6. Cast in Chaos (August 2010)

Cast in Secret

Cast in Secret (Chronicles of Elantra, Book 3)
by Michelle Sagara

Well, this third book in the Chronicles of Elantra took me a while to get through. I found it very slow and dull for the first half of the book. I kept on reading though because I had a feeling that it would pick up, but I didn’t realize until once it did that I was over half done!

I love Kaylin, I really do and I know she’s a softy when it comes to children, but what I don’t like is how she can get away with her inappropriate behaviour all the time. Book 3 delves deeper into the lives of the Tha’alani, whom Kaylin is known to loathe. But upon her first visit to their, um, enclave (is that the right word?) she is greeted by a small Tha’alani child who runs over to her in glee. Rather than recoil as she would have done with an adult Tha’alani she picks up the child and then spends the next however long romping around in a fountain with him and other children. And the people escorting her just stand there and wait for her to rejoin them! I get that Kaylin loves children and sort of loses herself with them, but I found that scene in the story so aggravating. It seemed out of character for Sevren and the guard to just let her play in a fountain for a half hour or more. And for Kaylin to not see a difference between the Tha’alani child and human children when she makes such a big deal about that race – she even let the children touch her with their little antennae thingies and it was FINE.

That wasn’t the only scene that bothered me in this story, there are a couple of other Kaylin/children scenes that I found set my teeth on edge. The fact that they live in a society so focused on protocol and respect, it seems odd that anyone would accept this behaviour from her. Yes, she gets away with many things because she “failed that course” in school, but after a while I think people should stop accepting her ignorance and maybe start teaching her the hard way. She’s supposed to be in her mid-20s I think based on information provided about her past, and I don’t think people should let her get away with acting as much like a child as she does.

Most the time I love her sarcasm and ability to speak what’s on her mind without thinking (makes me feel like she’s a kindred spirit) but there are just some instances in this story where I felt that the reactions or consequences were out of character for the other characters in the book. Argh!

Ok, so other than my frustrations with Kaylin in this book, I found it pretty enjoyable for the last half of it. There was much more action and less frolicking with children. The plot focuses on the kidnapping of two children, which of course Kaylin must save. As I mentioned, we learn more about the Tha’alani in this story as well as learning more about the Oracles, whom Kaylin also has no love for – until she meets a child oracle that is!

We also learn more about Kaylin’s power in this story and what the words on her body mean. I had trouble following some of the elemental magic storyline, but over all I liked what was discovered.

I find these books difficult to follow for me since there is so much information and it is at times technical. This is ME personally, and my difficulties with reading, not that the books are hard to follow. I find the information provided so thick and rich, making it similar to a textbook in my mind and my mind doesn’t like to understand textbooks all that well. 😉 I feel my little dyslexic brain stretching and working hard when I read the Elantra books, which is a good thing, but sadly I tend to miss some important revelations and have to reread parts.

This is one of them “smart book” type series, a-yup! I have to really focus when I read in order to follow the plot. Normally I stay away from books like this because it hurts my head (ha) but I enjoy the world and story lines so much I have to keep reading.

My biggest problem right now? The next two books are in TRADE format and not mass market and I don’t know if they will ever be out in MM! Gah! I can’t buy two books that don’t match the rest of my series! Luna Books! *waves* Please publish Cast in Fury and Cast in Silence in mass market format as soon as possible!! *begs*

The Chronicles of Elantra

  1. Cast in Shadow
  2. Cast in Courtlight
  3. Cast in Secret
  4. Cast in Fury
  5. Cast in Silence
  6. Cast in Chaos (August 2010)

Cast in Courtlight

Cast in Courtlight (Chronicles of Elantra, Book 2)
by Michelle Sagara

Ok, so. I was reading this book pretty well and I was enjoying it and I was curious as to what the big ol’ deal was with the Barrani High Court and I was enjoying Kaylin’s cheek and magic lessons and bluntness and all was good. And then I got about 320 pages in and I was lost completely.

I just did not get the whole “Name” thing. I didn’t quite get the test that Kaylin took with Sevren at  her side. I don’t get who was holding the Lord of the Green’s name. I was just so bloody lost. At the same time, Kaylin’s dialogue still made me chuckle and I just adore how uncouth she is (reminds me of me!).

I liked the beginning of the book, I liked most of the middle, then I got lost and confused and suddenly things were ok again and the ending was fine. I didn’t not like this book at all, in fact I did enjoy it even if that whole Name process thing was a little over my head. These are some intricately written stories. Wow. The fact that there are so many and they are 500 pages or so long is impressive. I am in awe of the author’s imagination and ability to detail things so well. Even if I have trouble following. I tell you right now that is a problem I have with epic things. I have trouble understanding things properly if they aren’t reeeeeeally simple. I am sort of like Kaylin in that sense too – I sucked at school. Not so good at understanding and not caring about things that we’re practical to my life and goals.

I guess I relate to Kaylin more than I thought. Perhaps that is why I love her so much.

It was interesting to get a glimpse into the lives of the Barrani. I am still not entirely sure what they look like or what they are. They are not mortal or human, they have magic and weird rules. I think they are blue? (Why do I think that? Was it mentioned in the first book? Hmm I don’t know.) Apparently to many humans they all look exactly alike.

Why am I enjoying this series if each book has managed to confuse me so much? I have no idea. I guess because the writing is great and I adore the characters. I might not get everything that is going on, but I get the gist of it. Sort of how I coasted through high school. 😉

I am glad I also bought the next book in the series, because like book 1, this one left me wanting more of Kaylin and her antics! (Even though I didn’t like it as much at the first book.)

The Chronicles of Elantra

  1. Cast in Shadow
  2. Cast in Courtlight
  3. Cast in Secret
  4. Cast in Fury
  5. Cast in Silence
  6. Cast in Chaos (August 2010)

Out of My Pocket #22

Due to my book buying addiction I started this  feature on my blog where I post about the book(s) I bought that week. Not something I plan on having every week – though it seems to be turning out that way.  So here’s what I bought this week!

Previous OoMP posts can be found here!

In the last 2 weeks I have not only bought books for myself (gasp! shock!) but for others as Christmas gifts. I would love to list what I got for those others, however some might peruse my blog on occasion, so to be safe it’s all still hush-hush! Though I have managed to collect some books for myself along the way. I only did so so that I would be able to use the various discount coupons I have which need a minimum dollar amount for them to work. I took one (or two, or three) for the team, because I am THAT nice. I was saving money you see. It’s all good. And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Cast in Courtlight
by Michelle Sagara

In Elantra, a job well done is rewarded with a more dangerous task. And so, after defeating a dark evil, Kaylin must enter a place of deceit and treachery. A world where silk and jewels hide deadly secrets….

Kaylin goes before the Barrani High Court, where a misspoken word brings sure death. And Kaylin’s never been known for her grace or manners. But the High Lord’s heir is suspiciously ill and Kaylin’s healing magic is the only shot at saving him—if she manages to dodge the traps laid for her.

Only to discover that the healing might turn out to be the simplest of the tasks before her. (goodreads.com)

Broke down and bought the next two in the series while out Christmas shopping last weekend. I am bad. I have no control in a bookstore!

Cast in Secret
by Michelle Sagara

Still avoiding magic whenever possible, Corporal Kaylin Neya relished investigating a regular theft once again. Until she found out the mysterious box was taken from Elani Street, where the mages and charlatans mingled, and it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two. But she was hoping this might be a mundane case—when in a back room Kaylin saw a lost-looking girl in a reflective pool…who called out Kaylin’s name.

Shaken, Kaylin tried to stay focused on the case at hand. But since the stolen item was ancient, without a keyhole, and held tremendous darkness inside, Kaylin knew unknown forces were again playing with her destiny—and her life…. (goodreads.com)

But I really like the series! So I had to get what they had left on the shelf, right? I mean they only had ONE of each.

What I Wore to Save the World
by Maryrose Wood

Senior year’s coming up fast and Morgan still has no clue about college, or a career-the whole rest of-her-life thing is basically a blank. Maybe it’s because she spent her junior year obsessing about Colin, the hot Irish guy she fell for last summer (that was right around the same time she discovered she’s a half- goddess from the days of Irish lore… you had to be there). She even saved Colin from a nasty enchantment, but he doesn’t know that. Colin doesn’t believe in magic, not even a little.

But then a mysterious message reunites her with Colin, who turns out to be caught up in the biggest faery-made disaster ever. We’re talking the end of reality-not just reality TV. To save the world, she’s going to have to tell Colin the truth about her half-goddess mojo. But if he doesn’t believe in magic, how will he ever believe in her? (goodreads.com)

Since I wasn’t able to find the 2 copies they were supposed to have in the store last Friday, a friend of mine who worked at that store helped me out by picking up a copy at another branch and bringing it to me this week. It was so very, very wonderful of her. And she found another book that I had been wondering about for my niece – score!

Shameless plug: I hope you’re all popping over to my personal blog to watch my 12 Days of Christmas videos! 😉 They are quite silly and fun and I am having so much fun making them. Today is Day 7… so be sure to scroll down and watch them in order!