Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cast in Silence (Chronicles of Elantra, Book 5) by Michelle Sagara (3/5 stars)

This is the fifth book in the Chronicles of Elantra series by Sagara. Originally Sagara was contracted for five books, but it looks like that's been extended to eight books total. This was definitely not the best book in the series. It was still a good read, but at times I was really bored.

In this book Kaylin is sent to investigate some strange goings on in the fiefs. For once her journey doesn't take her to the fief of Nightshade, but to the fief of Barren where Kaylin lived out 6 months of her life that she would rather forget and has never shared with anyone. Kaylin, Severn, and the dragon end up finding more about the dark heart of the fief than they had ever imagined.

There was a lot of good stuff in this book. You learn more about Kaylin's past and more about the fiefs. In fact the majority of the story takes place in the fiefs. I liked this a lot since the fiefs have kind of remained a mystery. You also learn more about the dark heart of the fiefs, about the dragons as a race, and about Nightshade's past. I really like Nightshade as a character so more info about him was a good thing. Overall the book was well-written, but there were quite a few things that bothered me.

So...on to the things I didn't like. Severn was mostly present as a place holder for most of the book. In fact there were many scenes where he was supposedly in the scene but he did so little I couldn't remember if he had left the scene or not. He talked rarely and mostly just stood there and let Kaylin do her thing. Kaylin spent a lot of the beginning on the book talking about how awful her past in Barren was, but when it all came down to it, most of the the people around her knew most of her past and didn't care. So, I had some trouble figuring out why Kaylin made such a big deal about all of that.

The story was going along okay until they got into the scene where they enter the Tower the first time. Then the book really starts to drag and get pretty darn boring. I had a lot of trouble enjoying the second half of the book because it just went too slow. I also get a little sick of the fact that Kaylin always seems to be exhausted and stressed out about everything. I was also a little surprised, that Kaylin doesn't even have a second of time to deal with her relationships with Severn and/or Nightshade. She kind of ignores them most of the time. I guess with Nightshade I can understand that since he has all the time in the world, but I was surprised Severn's role was so truncated.

Overall it was an okay read. I think all the things that we learn about the fiefs and the origins of the Empire outweigh the bad pacing and whiny Kaylin; but I really was bored the last half of the book. I am still interesting to see how things pan out in the next book, now that we know more about the heart of the fiefs. So, I will read the next book, but I will get it from the library.

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