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Cast In Secret (Chronicles of Elantra #3)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  7,848 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
2 Parts / 14 hours and 58 minutes

Still avoiding magic whenever possible, Private Kaylin Neya relished investigating a run-of-the-mill theft. Until she found out the mysterious stolen box had been taken from Elani Street, where the mages and charlatans mingled, and it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two. And since the box was ancient, without a keyhole

Audiobook, Unabridged, 15 pages
Published November 30th 2011 by Audible, Inc. (first published August 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

Actual rating: 2.5 stars.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this is one of the richest, most interesting, original Fantasy worlds I've ever come across. And yet…

Yep, that's right. Because there is only so much boredom I can take. And Bloody Fantastic Elantra (BFE™) or not, I've had it. I've had it with the incessant, irrelevant blah-blah-blah-ing. And with the non-stop, unnecessary, uninteresting info dumping. And with the painfully slow pace. And with the ever-jumbled plot that makes
These books read like police procedurals with a smart-mouthed officer with a blinding weakness for children, but in a world overflowing with mysterious magic and cool species. So not really action-oriented, but gripping if you enjoy investigations that involve talking to witnesses and putting the pieces together. All of that builds to the end, when I find myself reading so fast I forget to blink. All without swords! (However, there are knives.)

The investigations are centered on crimes, but the m
Jan 12, 2011 Ithlilian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed the first book in this series because it was different, compelling, and interesting. I enjoyed the second one because it was similar, but some of the things that bothered me about the first book started to get to me in the second book. Now, the things that annoyed me in previous books are all that I see, and I'm about finished giving this series a chance. The worst thing about Cast in Secret is that it doesn't give any reason to continue the series. In the other books there were secret ...more
Jul 06, 2014 Choko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**** 3.75 ****

I really like this series, the world building and the legend and mythology it creates! I would have given if a higher rating, but this particular case was quite slow to start, dragged in the middle, and the end was somewhat anticlimactic... I think I didn't get enough of the lion people and Kaylin acted like a bratty child most of the time. All of the supporting characters are telling her what I want to scream at her - IGNORANCE IS NOT COOL! Nor is it helpful... So, the author is a
Jul 10, 2010 Jaime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
wishing kaylin wasn't so bewitched by Lord Nightshade and that there weren't so many secrets. Something needs to happen with severn, SOON. Give me something to hang onto Michelle!!! TOO moany secrets to make this an enjoyable read. gotta give me something soon or i might just get too frustrated...

Okay. I'm finished with the book now, and I'm really disliking the fact that the endings are always so FLIPPIN AWESOME. I'm so frustrated throughout the whole book because I don't understand ANYTHING, a
Oct 03, 2009 Coffcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
There's a couple of things I'd like to say about this book:

1. I really liked the story and all of the supporting characters. I like how new characters are being introduced and how we get more interactions with ones we already know. I felt like we got a good ways into the meat of the story. I would really like to see what happens next.

2. Big plot hole-"omg everyone is going to die!" so lets just send 2 people to investigate it. umm...I think a few more people might have been a good idea. What, w
Dec 23, 2008 Latharia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As with Cast In Courtlight, I really struggled to like this book. I read it primarily because I'd purchased it WITH Cast In Courtlight, after being so enthralled with the story of Cast In Shadow. Well, by Book #3 of the series, the heroine (Kaylin) hasn't developed an iota of common sense, which drives me absolutely batty. Supposedly in this book, the world's fate hangs on her ability to solve a mystery ... and everyone else seems to have crucial pieces of the puzzle, but they all persist in let ...more
Apr 05, 2014 Wickedshizuku rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: High Fantasy fans, Codex Alera fans, Jim Butcher fans, George R.R. Martin fans
Recommended to Wickedshizuku by: previous books
As opposed to the severe info-dumping in the last book; I was a little hesitant to undertake this installment.
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The action picked up, and I was passified for now. I'll continue with the series when the next one is in the library.
Nicole Bunge
Nov 27, 2008 Nicole Bunge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewing this is hard, mainly because I can't tell exactly what it is that I DON'T like about these books, but something nags at me.
Perhaps it's the heroine's(Kaylin Neya) near-inability to mature. She's capable of these insane leaps of instinctual emotional and magical maturity, but behaves like a stubborn 16 yr old the other 80 % of the time.
That being said, the world is well crafted with 4 main races (2 immortal - Dragons and Baranni {oh, just admit they're elves already...} and 2 mortal -
Kathy Davie
Mar 08, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Third in the Chronicles of Elantra fantasy series revolving around Kaylin, a young Hawk whom many fear should be killed.

My Take
I don't get why the Quartermaster would even imagine that Kaylin would be able to get through a day without rips, tears, and bloodshed. He must know the situations she or any of the other Hawks go into…

Eew, eeeewww, spit, wipe, rub, just eewww. That is definitely an honor I could do without….ewwwwww….

It's a case in which Kaylin learns the truth about the Tha'alani. She a
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Cast in Secret follows on a few days after the second book in the series, Cast in Courtlight. In this instalment a prophetic dream so strong that all of the Oracles even the apprentices receive the same vision, the end of life itself. One very powerful Oracle focuses on Kaylin and begins painting a picture of her on his wall. He is so powerful that he is disabled by his gift. He doesn't speak, he doesn't sleep and he doesn't react like a normal person, his only form of expression is drawing and ...more
Mary B. Grove
Oct 25, 2015 Mary B. Grove rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the ending always brings me to tears

It's a book about resentment, about fear and the suffering it causes...and it's a book about hope and forgiveness and joy, things that mark us even more deeply than the pain, if we let them. Kaylin and Severn's relationship feels more ordinary, here. It's less constrained by horror and bitter hate on Kaylin's side, and by guilt, grief and anger on Severn's. The everyday-ness of their interchanges helps balance their work in unraveling the catastrophe that thre
Jul 12, 2014 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
By this point in the series I was seriously hoping to see a change for the better in the writing. Hello, editor, where were you on this one? I did not enjoy being told the same information over and over, and over again. Especially while other parts of the story that could have been of interest were underdeveloped. Another beef I had with this one was that there was a whole lot of talking and thinking but you couldn't always be sure who it was coming from and their message was often not clearly c ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I wonder why I've stuck with this series for so long. I've never been particularly excited about it, but something about Kaylin and Elantra intrigues me. Plus, I've been reading so much urban fantasy/paranormal novels lately that something a little more high fantasy is welcome.

Cast in Secret picks up not long after the ending of Cast in Courtlight, and, just like in previous installments, Kaylin, the Hawk from Nightshade with the mysterious magical markings, must track down a missing g
Aug 18, 2009 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As my rating of two stars suggests, this book was merely okay, which is a huge letdown after the first two books in the series. However, I'd be lying if I didn't say this was wholly unexpected. The main character, Kaylin Neya, is so introspective, it drives me nuts. She has always tended toward this self indulgent pastime. In this particular novel, it felt as if half the story took place in her thoughts, asides and dysfunctional exchanges with ‘more intelligent’ characters.

I found myself gettin
May 30, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a really strong installment of the Elantra books. It starts as a crime investigation of 2 seemingly unconnected missing persons cases and then dives into the elemental magic system, the nature of the oracles, and the world of the Tha'alani, a telepathic race that socially functions as a collective. I enjoyed the plot of this one much more than the 2nd book but didn't *really* enjoy it until the final climax, which I could barely read, it was so exciting.

And ok, after this book, I think
Jun 30, 2014 Miscjoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I am still enjoying this series...the only thing that keeps this from being a 5-star is I'm not seeing much evidence that Kaylin is learning/growing from all of her experiences. In the moments where she is being magically tested, she exhibits a wisdom and intuitive sense that is encouraging. However in her everyday demeanor, she continues to be difficult. There's only so much foot-stomping petulance, naive bumbling, and willful ignorance that I can take before it gets tiresome. Although it was n ...more
Nichole Mohler
Aug 20, 2016 Nichole Mohler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kaylin is sent to investigate a routine theft, but when she gets there, she can tell that it is anything but routine. It involves one of her least favorite things. Magic. After checking into the theft, she is summoned to a place she has never been, Ybelline's. The Tha'alani need help, and she is the only one they can turn to. I love these books! Kaylin is a complete mess until it becomes a life and death situation, then she pulls herself together. I loved how this book was more about the Tha'ala ...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

The continuing story of Elantra and the races was interesting. The part in the middle of the book when Kaylin meets the 'water' was really confusing.
Glad she's finally coming to peace with the Tha'alani.
These books are not compelling to me because I find the relationships between the characters is stunted but they are still entertaining fantasy.
Apr 28, 2015 Moira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aj, fantasy
28.4.2015 - 4*
Co se mi strašně na této sérii líbí, kromě hlavní hrdinky, je svět. Je neuvěřitelně propracovaný a živý a autorka se věnuje každé rase, kterou zkoumá čím dál více. Která mě překvapuje svou originálností a historií a vším. K tomu dobrý děj, styl psaní, který mě dokáže pohltit, získalo si mě to. :)
Jan 11, 2017 Lyndi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still don't understand why I like this series when Kaylin is so FRUSTRATING!!!
Heather Faye
Jul 10, 2009 Heather Faye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This will be the written review for Cast in Shadow Chronicles of Elantra Book 1 by Michelle Sagara West and it's series partners, Cast in Courtlight Chronicles of Elantra Book 2, Cast in Secret Chronicles of Elantra Book 3, Cast in Shadow Chronicles of Fury Book 4, and Cast in Silence Chronicles of Elantra Book 5.

I read this series three times. It was engaging but had a few annoying issues. The world of Elantra was well created and very detailed. I admired the multiple species and the troublesom
Lynsey   • The Demon Librarian
Sagara's writing felt a bit wordy and self indulgent in this instalment. There were some excessively long dialogue scenes and just long scenes in general, taking a long time to change to new locations, settings and characters. I was also very confused at one point about what was going on, who was speaking, (I think she was speaking to water at one point? Or witnessing a conversation between water and the Keeper of water from a long time ago???). Anyway, I was lost, so I had little choice than to ...more
Sep 03, 2014 Lokki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kaylin is back and once again she is in over her head. This time the clock is ticking as she tries to solve the mystery of a missing magical artifact and it's connection to the Oracle's prophesy of the destruction of Elantra. Called out to what she thinks is a simple case of theft, Kaylin finds herself on the trail of not one but two missing children, a trail that leads her to the Tha'alani. Kaylin must face her prejudices towards the Tha'alani as she tries to solve the mystery before Elantra ge ...more
Aug 05, 2016 Kara-karina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As it tends to happen around Kaylin, this story is about children. Missing children. The best thing about it is that the child is Tha' alani, which is a race of alien looking psychics, whom Kaylin is very prejudiced against, and she has to fight her fears and learn the history of Tha'alani and their suffering from the hands of other races who're just as afraid and as prejudiced against them as Kaylin herlself. It's a good lesson in humanity. We also see The Oracle Hall for the first time, and it ...more
Lake Reviews
Jul 17, 2014 Lake Reviews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: michelle-sagara
Cast in Secret by Michelle Sagara

Third book in the series that tasks Kaylin with Hawk work or so she thought until she found out that it is not all that it seems.

Kaylin is advised that there is something taken from Elani Street (this we have read about a bit, it is were rich people go to get some magic done that hopefully works out). She doesn't know what is taken and isn't able to find out either. But we know that it is an end of the world kind of item. We also learn more about certain characte
I have no idea why this book is rated so high. I wanted to like this series so much. the idea of multiple races in the fantasy genre has so much potential. Its just that i cannot understand what the author is trying to say. The English is atrocious. I kept re-reading sentences to figure out what was being conveyed. There are times you have to go back and re- read entire pages because you cannot figure out who is saying what. The grammar, the punctuation, its all over the place. Is English even t ...more
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
I liked this book and I actually liked it better than Cast in Courtlight but there were a few things that were a bit confusing and no explanation was really given.

I liked the continuation of the evolving relationship between Severn and Kaylin (and we learn a few things about him) and I really enjoyed the Tha'aalni and their story and Kaylin's involvement with them however, I can live without Nightshade.

I want Kaylin and Severn to advance to the next level. Together. Minus Nightshade. Although, I
3-1/2 stars
Series is still rather chaotic and weird, but oddly compelling

Fav quotes:
“Dreams are their own knife, Kaylin. Dreams, what-ifs, desires. We all have to have hope.”
“This isn’t hope,” she replied quietly. “It’s just another way of lying to yourself.”
“Almost everything is, in the end.”

“Is this some sort of test?”
“Indeed. Everything that doesn’t kill you is.” He pushed the door open into darkness. “Mind you,” he added, “surviving doesn’t always mean you passed.”
Gillian Murrell
3.5 a vast improvement on book 2 but still a little confusing as we were introduced to the politics of yet another race. This time Kaylin was trying to find a missing girl who belonged to the Tha'alani race. I found them to be quite interesting as they were deaf but could talk to each other without speaking.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Cast in Secret (#36) 1 1 Sep 19, 2013 03:11PM  
  • The Shining Court (The Sun Sword, #3)
  • Children of the Blood (The Sundered, #2)
  • Harvest Moon (Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, #5.5; Chronicles of Elantra, #0.5)
  • The Hero Strikes Back (Hero, #2)
  • Con & Conjure (Raine Benares #5)
See also:

Michelle Sagara West
Michelle West

Michelle is an author, bookseller, and lover of literature based in Toronto. She writes fantasy novels as both Michelle Sagara and Michelle West (and sometimes as Michelle Sagara West). You can find her books at fine booksellers.

She lives in Toronto with her long-suffering husband and her two children, and to her regret has no dogs.

Reading is one of her li
More about Michelle Sagara...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Elantra (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Cast in Shadow (Chronicles of Elantra, #1)
  • Cast In Courtlight (Chronicles of Elantra #2)
  • Cast in Fury (Chronicles of Elantra #4)
  • Cast in Silence (Chronicles of Elantra, #5)
  • Cast in Chaos (Chronicles of Elantra, #6)
  • Cast in Ruin (Chronicles of Elantra, #7)
  • Cast in Peril (Chronicles of Elantra, #8)
  • Cast in Sorrow (Chronicles of Elantra, #9)
  • Cast in Flame (Chronicles of Elantra, #10)
  • Cast in Honor (Chronicles of Elantra, #11)

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“Is this some sort of test?"
"Everything that doesn't kill you is."
"Mind you," he added, "surviving doesn't always mean you passed.”
“ Generally, I like to appear smart. I don't admit being stupid when there's any hope I'm not.” 17 likes
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