Tag Archives: #Barrani

Sagara, Michelle: Cast in Courtlight (Chronicles of Elantra II) (2006)

My son and I just finished reading Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara.

Sometimes reading out loud is made difficult by the author. Certain bits  of Cast in Courtlight brought a “crying pain” to my chest and throat. Thankfully, I had reread Cast in Courtlight to myself ahead of getting to that part with my son, so I made it through. He did not.

Growing up hurts. Much of that pain comes from needing to change your point of view. Letting go of what you thought was truth takes courage. Courage to change often takes time and insight. Some of our memories are of the kind we would like to forget. If we were given the choice,  would we actually choose to forget? I used to think I would have dumped some of my memories if asked. Kaylin and Severn are apparently offered that option at one point of the story. What they see, experience and choose there, changes both of them.

Kaylin and Severn are two characters that have snuck into my heart. Their friendship has survived pain of the kind that few friendships can survive. At first it was the pain childhood in the fiefs brings. Later that changed into something darker. At this point of their lives their pain, once again, becomes shared and therefore somehow more bearable.

Living in the High Halls of the Barrani is not something I would like to do. Except in their bath/swim room. I wouldn’t mind living in that. Kaylin seemed to enjoy that part of the Halls as well. Other parts of the High Halls she found rather nerve-wracking. Some of the Barrani also got on her nerves. Lord Evarrim was one of them. She and Evarrim met in Cast in Shadow and their meeting was memorable. Kaylin managed to shock him then and she shocks Lord Evarrim now. Good for Kaylin.

I like Kaylin’s resilience. Severn’s is of a kind that I respect as well. But it is Kaylin’s head we get inside of. Well, actually it is Sagara’s imagination we get inside of, and I am having great fun with that imagination. Being able to share her fantasies with my son is an awesome gift Sagara has given me.


Reviews:


Cast in Courtlight available on Amazon •  ChaptersBorders •  IndieboundBooks A Million •  B & N •  Powell’s • Book Depository • Vroman’s


My reviews of:

Sagara, Michelle: Cast in Shadow (Chronicles of Elantra I) (2005)

 

My son and I just finished reading Michelle Sagara‘s Cast in Shadow. Reading Michelle Sagara’s writing out loud is a completely different experience to the one we have had reading together lately. She has a lot more dialogue and Cast in Shadow reads more like a play than a novel. Realizing this has made me even more aware of the importance of reading my own posts before I put them on my blog.

… she added softly, remembering. The way they had huddled together in a room that was warm because it was small and it held so many of them. The way Jade had come to her side, had put a skeletal arm around her, …

Poverty stinks. There is the physical stink that comes from not being able to afford all of the things a lot of people (myself included) take for granted. Even stinkier is the unfairness of it all.

When Kaylin at the age of 13 moves out of the fiefs and becomes a hawk, one of the first things she notices is how different the two sides of the river are. Yes, there is poverty. Yes, there is crime (hence the Hawks, Swords and Wolves). Yes, there is inequality. But in the fiefs life was worse to such a degree that we might compare the fiefs with the slums anywhere in the world. The other side of the Ablyn would be more like Norway.

Moving from the fiefs (in her case Nightshade’s) to the Emperor’s side of the Ablyn is no simple matter. In Kaylin’s case she was helped/hindered by the magical marks that appeared on her arms at a younger age. The decision was to either kill her or to let her be under control of the Hawks. The Hawklord felt she deserved a chance to prove herself, now that the danger seemed to be over. Kaylin’s marks represent a danger to both Elantra and the fiefs if the process that was once begun is completed. (Hah, hah not going to tell you more about that).

Because I am practically 50 and perhaps because I happen to be autistical I understand the choice Severn made seven years ago. Kaylin’s rage/sorrow/hatred against him is also something I understand. Now that she is 20 rather than 13 she slowly begins to see Severn’s role in another light.

I also get why Kaylin was so pampered by the Hawks. She was 13 when she was allowed life and given the position of maskot and private. With the immortal Barrani she will always be a child age-wise although her knowledge and understanding has increased. Marcus, the Leontine, loves her dearly because of what she did for one of his wives. The same goes for the Aerians. You see, Kaylin has decided that she needs to use her magic for certain things.

Even though reading out loud was more difficult this time, Kaylin, Severn and Nightshade all captured my heart. My son must have felt the same way for he has stated that he wants to hear book number two of the series: Caught in Courtlight.


Reviews:


Cast in Shadow on Amazon •  ChaptersBorders •  Indiebound
Books A Million •  B & N •  Powell’s • Book Depository • Vroman’s

Ebook on Amazon • B&N  • Kobo • iTunes US/CA/UK / AUSony • OmniLit • GoogleDiesel

Audiobook on Audible US • iTunes US / CA