Cast in Peril: Chronicles of Elantra #8

Cast in Peril
Michelle Sagara
Chronicles of Elantra, book eight
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Luna


It has been a busy few weeks for Private Kaylin Neva. In between angling for a promotion, sharing her room with the last living female Dragon and dealing with more refugees than anyone knew what to do with, the unusual egg she'd been given was ready to hatch. Actually, that turned out to be lucky, because it absorbed the energy from the bomb that went off in her quarters....

So now might be the perfect time to leave Elantra and journey to the West March with the Barrani. If not for the disappearances of citizens in the fief of Tiamaris- disappearances traced to the very Barrani Kaylin will be traveling with.

For eight years I've been reading this series--still can't see an end in sight as Cast in Sorrow is due out in 2013--and it continues to be the one series that tortures me tirelessly.

I know, being an Urban Fantasy, it will never give me the same satisfaction that erotica provides, or even romantic fantasy does for that matter. But, damn it, people kiss in UF and I'm holding out for that kiss between Severn and Kaylin.

And so, I read.

Nightshade is an asshole. He has information, and what does he do with it? Blackmails those necessary to get Kaylin on an extended eight week leave. Teela may join her but no other Hawk may accompany them. As I said, asshole.

Luckily, Severn, our favorite former Wolf, has a past that seems to come full circle and his former lord sends him along on an unclassified mission. My guy's on the hunt!

Not even out of chapter two yet, and Kaylin's beloved apartment goes up in smithereens. And the egg has hatched, revealing a familiar inside that to all but Bellusdeo, resembles a glass dragon. One that eats one of Kaylin's marks. Whatever he is, he's got a great judge of character. Despite his miniscule size, he's got no qualms about attacking Nightshade and he's just as content lounging on Severn's shoulder as he is with Kaylin's. Yeah, the winged lizard is kind of awesome.

The journey to West March doesn't get started till about 200 pages in. Soon enough, hot damn, there's a six page scene that sets my heart to racing. Kaylin and Severn somehow get set up to share a room, and a bed. Sagara, you are such a tease!

When she rose, she sat heavily on the left side of the bed. “Ten years ago, this wouldn’t have been a problem,” she told the dragon.
“It isn’t a problem now,” Severn said.
She froze and then swiveled slowly to look at him; he was wearing a bathrobe. His hair was wet in the messy, toweled-dry way, in the room’s light, his eyes looked darker.
“I am not Barren.”
She flinched.
“I’m not Nightshade,” he continued. “I’m not a bored, self-indulgent noble. And I’m not a young Hawk whose jaw you could easily break.” He walked over to the right side of the bed and sat. He looked a lot more comfortable than she felt. “Nothing will happen tonight-nothing that you don’t start.”
Pulse-raising, right? A short, minor change of topic, and then…
She fell silent for a long moment. “I’m not good at starting things.”
“I know. And I’m not good at waiting.”
“You waited for seven years.”
“Yes. I don’t really want to wait out another seven, but I can. It’s not the waiting that’s hard.”
“It’s the not doing. It’s knowing that you’re here and I can’t safely touch you if I ever want to touch you again. It’s knowing that Barren’s dead, and I can’t kill him.”
“Morse needed to kill him.”
“And you didn’t?”
She closed her eyes. “Not as badly as Morse did. I saw him die. That was almost enough.”
“But he’s there, between us.”
“Yes.” She swallowed. “It’s not just Barren.”
“No. If I can ask one thing of you tonight, please don’t mention their names.”
She nodded and then said, “Yes. I mean, you can ask, and I won’t.”
Night continued to fall in the room, the shadow’s shifting from gray to indigo. Kaylin listened to Severn’s breathing and forced hers to match his, until they sounded like one person. One person and small dragon who curled up against the top of her head. “Don’t you ever get tired of it? The waiting?”
“Not yet.”
“Will you?”
“What do you think?” He shifted position in the bed; she felt the tug of the covers as he slid beneath them. “Is that what you want?”
“Then don’t ask again. I didn’t waiver when you tried to kill me the first time, in the Hawklord’s Tower. I didn’t give up when you tried to kill me in the Foundling Hall. But enough time has passed, Kaylin.” He shifted again and whispered a different name. “Elianne.”
“You almost never call me by my name.”
“I call you by the name you chose. What you’re called doesn’t change what you mean to me. I don’t know if we’ll ever get past what I did. I want to try. If you know it’s impossible, tell me. I’ll deal with it.”
She wanted to say something, but all the words were messed-up, wrong words.
And then…
She could feel his breath in the space between them-and there was space between them. And she thought she wouldn’t mind if there was less of it, because it was dark and she couldn’t see his expression. She could hear his voice, and she thought there was nothing in his voice, ever, that could remind her of Barren and her self-loathing.
But she couldn’t quite bring herself to bridge the gap, and she knew if she didn’t, it wouldn’t be bridged. She even thought she understood why. If something happened, it had to be because she was certain; something as feeble as “not minding”-tonight-wouldn’t cut it. “I’m afraid of change,” she whispered.
He didn’t answer. He lifted a hand and then, in silence, lowered it. She thought it trembled.

One thing that’s odd to me about Sagara is that she doesn’t recap. If you don’t know this series, don’t pick up a book until you start from the beginning. To the unfamiliar reader, one that knows nothing of the murders of Steffi and Jade, it sort of sounded right there like Severn cheated on Kaylin, multiple times at that. But my guy doesn’t cheat…. He butchers.

She doesn't clear it up until much later and it's glossed over at that. It's then you know what he did, just not why he did it.

The journey to the West March is this book. Stay after stay at way-stations. They eat. They talk. The sleep. They eat again. And they move on.

Every new Hallionne they meet seems to notice the same things. Kaylin fears losing Severn-she doesn't want him hunting. And Severn isn't getting enough sleep. Kaylin's far too distracting in his bed. XD

The purpose of the journey, the revelation of a story, falls to the next book. Any wonder why after eight books, it hasn't even been a year since the beginning of it all?

3 out of 5 stars.


Redd said...

Out of everything you gave it 3 out of 5.... for some wacky this tickles me. lol. Iono why but it does, and for some reason I kinda disagree with the fact that it's an urban fantasy... Or maybe I'm just being uber picky but yeah..

Ragan said...

I always considered it just plain fantasy, but I'm always finding it in the UF category so... idk.

Like I said, it's one big book about the journey. And I felt the 'missing persons' theme was already done a while ago. For different reasons though. Dude was trying to make an alphabet..err, dictionary? *shrugs*

Still can't understand why the fact that Nightshade was selling his people didn't piss Kaylin off more. But at least he was a minor player this time around.