❝ You asked me why I love you...
Cast in Ruin
Chronicles of Elantra, book seven
Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: September 29th 2011 by Luna
Seven corpses are discovered in the streets of a Dragon's fief. All identical, down to their clothing.
Kaylin Neya is assigned to discover who they were, who killed them—and why. Is the evil lurking at the borders of Elantra preparing to cross over?
At least the investigation delays her meeting with the Dragon Emperor. And as the shadows grow longer over the fiefs, Kaylin must use every skill she's ever learned to save the people she's sworn to protect. Sword in hand, dragons in the sky, this time there's no retreat and no surrender…
First note I want to make is that Cast in Moonlight, the prequel to the series that was released in October 2010 by Michelle Sagara in the Harvest Moon anthology, is directly referenced in Cast in Ruin. It's not a must read, but it's the most helpful if read before starting this book.
The seventh installment kicks off with two Dragon lords, Diarmat and Sannablois, vying for Kaylin's time. Diarmat's aim is to see her properly educated in her etiquette classes while Sannabolis wishes to have her redeployed to the fiefs with the stipulation that Severn accompany her. So *of course* Sannabolis wins out and Grammayre grants his request. Smart man that Grammayre.
I read it in a few other reviews but didn't necessarily believe it to be true, and yet it was... Kaylin does actually mature in this book. The first hundred pages, as far as Severn is concerned, are by far the best and this was one of the most enjoyable reads of the series for me. Delving into the history and culture of the Dragons, there is so much knowledge and explanation to be found. Nightshade, much to my relief, gets very little page time. He does, however, make a long enough appearance to request a leave of absence for Kaylin that she might travel with him to West March.The results of which, I expect, are to be found in the next book, Cast in Peril. Ah, another year of wait.
Cast in Ruin has been promoted as the book in which Kaylin finally puts to words her feelings for Severn and Nightshade. And... she does. But it's in the lamest, most underplayed fashion one could imagine. She knows who loves her, and who does not. She admits what keeps her from being with Severn (and THANK YOU! it's not Steffi and Jade's deaths) and she recognizes the source from which her attraction to Nightshade stems. It certainly wasn't the end all of all romantic issues between the three, and Severn is still being as silent and patient as ever.
What progress was made? There's now a female dragon on the scene. Kaylin is still up for a promotion. And our girl's gained herself a roommate. 4 out of 5 stars.