Anita's Reviews > Cast in Shadow

Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
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's review
Nov 12, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy-traditional, five-star-favorites
Read in November, 2010

This book has me re-examining my prejudices against traditional fantasy writing. I'm an urban/contemporary fantasy fan through and through. I found reading the Hobbit painful and won't touch the Lord of the Rings, even for bribes. I generally dislike hero-quest stories with character names that are unpronounceable and a lack of modern dialect. Anything that hints at historical fiction annoys me. And I've generally attributed all of these traits to traditional fantasy writing. This book turned my assumptions on their head. All of the names are pronounceable, the writing style uses modern language, and the lack of modern conveniences barely entered my mind as I read this story. It felt like I was reading a good contemporary urban fantasy that forgot to include guns. I really enjoyed this book. It's 500 pages long and I blew through it in a couple days.

The premise: orphan Kaylin grew up in the slums and escaped to become a novice at the equivalent of the police academy after a string of gruesome murders of children baring the same marks she has on her skin. It's 7 years later, and the murders have started back up, and she's been partnered with an old enemy and a dangerous, scholarly dragon to solve the crime. Along the way, she learns more about the healing and other powers that come with her markings and the reader is introduced to a wonderful cast of characters you can't help but find intriguing. Kaylin's "family" of colleagues and friends grew on me so much, I can't wait to read the next in the series. There is a lot of violence in this book, but none of Kaylin's closest die, which I like in a story. The variety of fantasy creatures entertained me quite a bit. Those creatures resembled humanoid lions, angels, fae, dragon shifters, humans with psychic probes growing out of their heads, and others assorted creatures that aren't necessarily sentient.
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07/10/2016 marked as: read

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