Ithlilian's Reviews > Cast in Shadow

Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
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Jan 12, 11

bookshelves: fantasy
Read in May, 2010

I'm really torn here. I wanted to love this book, and there is so much about it that is interesting, but I feel so underwhelmed after finishing it. I loved the different races and types of creatures and their mannerisms, but I felt that they were not really explained very well. From the opening pages certain people are labeled as a specific race, yet we don't know much about the races. Sure the Leonites resemble lions, but that's all I got. I felt from very early on that I was missing something. I didn't skip a sentence or detail yet I felt completely lost the entire time. Just like the main character. Everyone knows what is going on except for her. It makes her come off as childish, immature, and stupid, but she is not. She can't be because I understand just as little as she does. Other characters continuously call her little, child, clumsy, and assume she isn't capable of understanding anything. I must be incapable of understanding as well because I finished the novel and I'm still lost. It seems the book is about solving the mystery of the children dying with marked skin. There isn't much detective work going on, and everyone seems to already know who is behind it. It's like they are putting the main character through the motions just so they can laugh at her when she comes out more confused at the end. As a mystery I don't think this novel works. As a straight fantasy book and an entrance into an interesting world it succeeds. I wanted to know more about everything. What do the mysterious markings say, what is up with the creepy nightshade guy, what isn't everyone telling us? Sometimes I am happy when an author leaves some details behind and leaves some questions unanswered, but in this novel I was more confused than anything else. The world presented is very interesting and there is definitely room for improvement. I get a feel for society as a whole, but I want more information. I see the word caste come up often but I don't really see the system in place. If I could sum this book up in one word I would call it confusing. I will continue the series in hopes that things will make more sense the more I read. A decent novel overall, but could have been much better if presented more clearly. I also hope the main character grows and people trust her with more details in the future.
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