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Cast in Secret

(Chronicles of Elantra #3)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  9,016 ratings  ·  263 reviews
Still avoiding magic whenever possible, Corporal Kaylin Neya relished investigating a regular theft once again. Until she found out the mysterious box was taken from Elani Street, where the mages and charlatans mingled, and it was sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two. But she was hoping this might be a mundane case-- --when in a back room Kaylin saw a lost ...more
Paperback, 521 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Luna
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,016 ratings  ·  263 reviews

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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
Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠
Welp, Kaylin is still a stumbling, bumbling idiot who refuses to learn jack and somehow is still alive, despite her nonstop nonsense talking. She doesn't annoy me enough to hate these books, but she definitely brings them down.

This time around is about the Thal'anni, the mind reader people with tentacles on their head. One of their kids goes missing and Kaylin has to find the child. Right up her usual alley.

Highlights: more dragons, Severn, Evanton, the Oracles, Everly, and all the very intere
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
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't know exactly what it is about these books, but I really find them enjoyable to read. The fantasy world created by Sagara is incredibly rich and original, and I like the way she adds to the world with each installment. I also appreciate how each book works as a complete story by itself, but also adds pieces to the larger story arc that is developing in the series.

This time we got to learn a lot more about the Tha'alani, a mortal race of telepaths that Kaylin has previously been fearful of
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 rated it really liked it
**** 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
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I really like each, episodic story, all the while exploring the world of Elantra and Kaylin.

One complaint. When are we going to see the romance that is just bubbling away under the surface?? I'm going to be sad if it never materialises.
Maria Dimitrova
It seems that there's a pattern to these book. With each new instalment we get to know one of the races better. I wonder what will happen once we're out of races.

I really liked the Thaalani. I also understand why Kaylin and most of the other people in the Empire fear them. I value my privacy way too much appreciated someone who can randomly get in my head. At the same time I'm pretty sure that had I had a similar power I would turn hermit. Just seeing the utter stupidity people do and put on the
Jul 10, 2010 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: High Fantasy fans, Codex Alera fans, Jim Butcher fans, George R.R. Martin fans
Recommended to Samantha wickedshizuku by: previous books
As opposed to the severe info-dumping in the last book; I was a little hesitant to undertake this installment. Where the hell is this plot going?
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The action picked up, and I was mollified for now. I'll continue with the series when the next one is in the library.
Dec 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Kathy Davie
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mary B. Grove
Oct 25, 2015 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
Nicole Bunge
Nov 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 -
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Corporal Kaylin Neya is my kind of character. With apologies to my niece for reading the last book in the series first though. It's likely that books # 1 and # 2 would have driven me bonkers because of her though so starting at the end worked in an odd sort of way. Sagara's writing style kept the story engrossing once I figured out who was who, what they were doing and why. Happy last day of June everyone!
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
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Ah, Water!

It's official, this series makes me damn emotional.

It was just as good as the previous one, I think I'm no longer falling in love with this series, I'm already there. I need 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.
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This series has it's faults but overall it totally sucks me in from the beginning and is totally addicting.
Heather Faye
Jul 10, 2009 rated it liked it
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   (A Bookish Life)
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
12/ /18 Re-read end.
Awesome as usual. Next...!
I give this book 5 stars. What an amazing story. I can't tell you how much I love the world building! this is a very creative, compelling world. i can't say anything about the incredible cast of characters! I have no words. Dang! The world is populated by all sorts of fascinating species: the immortal Barrani, Dragons and Tha'lani, the mortal humans and Leontine and Aerians
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the third book in the Chronicles of Elantra series by Michelle Sagara. It has been getting mixed reviews but I have to say I really enjoyed it. I mean you couldn't barely pry me away from the book, so that should say something about it.

In this book Kaylin and Severn are trying to track down a couple young girls that have been kidnapped. There is some nice character development between Kaylin and Lord Nightshade. You learn a lot more about the race of the Tha'alani, which is pretty intere
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Cast in Secret (#36) 1 1 Sep 19, 2013 03:11PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Chronicles of Elantra (1 - 10 of 15 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)
“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.” 18 likes
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