Friday, October 10, 2008

Cast in Fury

One of my favorite genres is fantasy, but I feel that it is also the genre that is the hardest to find good authors in. Many times with this genre, the reader finds themselves reading about a world that is heavily rooted in a fake science complete with weird terms that make it hard to relate to the characters and events taking place. One author that I feel does a great job creating characters while still creating a world that is rich and enchanting is Michelle Sagara.

The latest book in her Elantra series, Cast in Fury, further follows the adventures of Kaylin, a private in the Hawks whose job it is to uphold the law. In the latest installment Kaylin is tasked with the duty of babysitting a playwright. After the events of the last book, the humans of the city have come to fear and blame the Thalani, a race of telepaths, for a potentially devastating tidal wave that almost hit the city. It is the playwright's job to compose a play that will cast the Thalani in a human light and ease racial tensions. As one of the few who understand the Thalani and as one who previously hated them, Kaylin is in the unique position of counseling the playwright Rennick on Thalani culture.

Of course Kaylin's job takes an unexpected turn when her sergeant Marcus is arrested for murder. Now Kaylin must find the real killers and protect the life of a child in the process. Her job is made difficult when a new sergeant is appointed, one that hates her and is looking for a reason to fire her. 

Sagara creates memorable characters that drive the plot of the story. Kaylin for all her flaws comes across as a compassionate person willing to sacrifice it all for her friends. Severin makes a good partner and contrasts well with Kaylin's reckless personality. I did hope that Nightshade would have more screen time in the book and that their bond would be explored further.

One complaint I have with the book is that at times Kaylin became a little preachy to Rennick about understanding the Thalani. Many of her arguments on the Thalani's behalf became redundant after the 3rd time she used them.

The action in the book is non stop and the mysteries keep the reader going. Sagara blends Kaylin's two cases beautifully so that the reader is not left with a feeling of confusion or dissatisfaction. Once again it is hinted that the time where Kaylin must meet the emperor is drawing near and leaves the reader with a sense of anticipation for the next book.

This book was a very enjoyable read. It makes one wait eagerly for the next installment in the series.