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Sometimes I fall in love with a character and end up following that character for as long as the author allows me to. Private Kaylin Neya is one such character. Cast in Sorrow is Sagara’s ninth installment in her Chronicles of Elantra series, and I am still enjoying my acquaintance with Kaylin. Part of that has to do with the growth of both the author and our Private. Cast in Shadow was extremely well-written and a fun young adult novel. Cast in Sorrow raises Sagara and Kaylin another level in my opinion.
Part of Sagara’s appeal for me is her prose. Patricia McKillip and Sagara share the same kind of tone to their novels. We are lured in with the beauty of their words and end up being buffeted from side to side by the winds of action.
At the start of the series Kaylin Neya is about 20 years old. She has been with the Hawks for seven years and was around 13 when she escaped the fiefs. Since that time about a year has passed. I’m not really sure about that because one has to allow for time for travel, how long her classes last and regular life between books. But according to other readers, this is about where we are.
In just one year Kaylin goes from a person who hates Severn, to one who feels great guilt about him, to one who accepts the role he has in her life. In that same amount of time Kaylin goes from a person who hates herself to one who more or less accepts that her fate in life is different to that of most humans. In accepting herself and others Kaylin also sees that her lessons have a reason and she slowly implements them.
In Cast in Sorrow Kaylin has come to the point where she is able to help Teela. She now has the tools (her role as harmonista and her latest experiences) and understanding of Barrini nature that are needed for her job.
Each novel has something to do with the runes on her body. In each novel Kaylin ends up as storyteller. Cast in Sorrow is no different from the rest of the novels in that respect. Once again her runes and nature give Kaylin a unique opportunity to heal. For that is pretty much what Kaylin is in each novel – a healer. Whether she brings female dragons back into existence, helps elementals be born, saves strange “aliens” friends, Kaylin’s mission in each novel is to heal something that has been broken. In Cast in Sorrow that is Teela and her friends.
I’ll be buying the next Chronicles of Elantra story as well. This is one person whose life I enjoy following.
The medievalist and author Harriet Jean.
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