Tag Archives: #ChroniclesOfElantra

Sagara, Michelle: Cast in Fury (Chronicles of Elantra IV) (2011)

In our case, my reading to my dyslexic child makes the world of words more accessible to her while also giving us the opportunity to cuddle. But needing to be read to is NOT a prerequisite for reading together. Stories like Cast in Fury are wonderful reading out loud stories because there is so much dialogue. That means that I can shout, whisper, and bring humour to my voice. Fortunately, my daughter still enjoys my voice. We had fun and precious together time, something I am not usually very good at.

I adore Merrin. She is what I would have liked to have been. But I would go insane in the chaos of an orphanage. Having two children of my own has been difficult enough. The other thing she does, that I would also like to be able to do, is to accept any person (no matter breed) as long as they are kind to her children.

I fear I am more like Kaylin. My daughter and I laugh at her attention span. Do we ever recognize ourselves in that. Kaylin’s attention span and her bluntness. Autists aren’t famed for being great liars (although some of us are able to lie). Nor is Kaylin. If anything, she if known for the opposite. These traits bring her into trouble with her teachers and friends, but they are also the traits that keep her going as she searches for a truth she can live with. Truth is strange that way. Depending on who I speak with or what I read, ideas of what truth is and must be varies. Kaylin’s greatest truth is that all children have the potential for “good” or “bad” deeds. Only time will prove what they prefer.

Cast in Fury is in part about the child that Kaylin claims as her own. She was there at his birth and licked some of his birthing fluids off his eyelids (not my kind of thing). That makes her part-mother according the laws of the Pridlea, and Kaylin uses any tool at her disposal to save a child she has met. The little dude is one lucky boy to have Kaylin on his side. Without her, he would be a dead little Leontine cub according to Caste laws. That a child might need killing in order to protect a group from something is not a new phenomenon. Nor do I expect it to become an extinct practice. Killing this Leontine baby is the only wise thing to do according to Leontine tradition and lore. Not only Kaylin is in trouble for trying to save the Leontine cub. Her sergeant, Marcus Kassan, is awaiting his trial for murder because of that same cub.

We had fun reading together. Recommended (both reading together and the story).


Reviews:


Cast in Fury available at Scribd

Sagara, Michelle: Cast in Silence

“It was not a terribly fine door. The frame that contained it was solid and blocky, one piece with the stone of the Tower. There were no letters above it, or, as was often the case in parts of Elantra, adorning the wall to either side. In fact, it looked as if the door had been added as an afterthought. Given that the door seemed flat, rectangular, and plain – the type of door behind which someone like Kaylin or Severn might live – it might have been. It had a doorknob. The hinges were on the inside. It seemed – at this distance – to lack a keyhole.”

Page 252

Sagara, Michelle: Cast in Secret (Chronicles of Elantra III)

Once again, my son and I have finished reading a book together. He enjoyed the first two books of the Chronicles of Elantra, which is why we just finished the third one, Cast in Secret. My son’s conclusion about Cast in Secret was to get me to begin reading the next in line. He laughed a couple of times, giggled some and seemed touched by certain parts of the story. I had similar feelings in about the same places of the story as he did.

Kaylin’s attention deficit disorder is a good thing for us, the readers. This way Sagara has an excuse to introduce us to concepts Kaylin missed in class. Even though Kaylin knows she needs to learn certain principles about magic and ought to know more about racial relationships in Elantra, she seems to struggle with the same inability to pay attention to subjects she considers irrelevant to her job as I do. In social settings this proves a problem for her, and Lord Sanabalis is clear on her being a long way from ready to meet the Emperor (unless she wishes to be eaten). Some people need to learn from experience rather than theory (well, actually, I think that most of us only get true learning through experience). Kaylin needs this more than most people. This inability to learn any other way tends to get her into trouble.

I like Michelle Sagara writing about a person like this. With one dyslexic son, one autistic son and one autistic mother in this family, we are all stuck in that mode. My reading ability, age and gender have probably all contributed to the theoretical understanding I have of people. Face to face encounters can go really well, but like Kaylin I tend to break social rules. Admittedly, some of that disobedience comes from not seeing the importance of the rules, but there again Kaylin, I and both of my sons find common ground. Other rules are broken because we do not understand them.

Words. Such a powerful tool. And what a difficult tool it is to wield. Sagara does a great job portraying the difficulties that arise from not understanding what is being taught. Kaylin has a theoretical understanding of what the Tha’laani are, but she is petrified of them. Her terror is a common one in humanity – fear of the unknown. In this sense, all humans are autistic. But just because a race is physically able to read your secrets, does not mean that they want to. Unfortunately, we humans seem wired to think that if a person is born a certain way, then that means that they wish to wield that “power” over you. We seldom stop to think that the other person might be just as afraid of us, disgusted with us or simply does not care about who and what we are. I suppose that comes from our ego-centrism.

Thankfully, Kaylin is also the kind of person who tries her hardest to face her fears. Facing our fears is so stinking hard. But sometimes a situation arises that forces us to do so. And what do we usually discover? Well … The answer is given considering the story and the obviousness of the question. In Kaylin’s case, the Tha’laani children helped her face and overcome her fears . Children are great fear-breakers that way – if we let them be.

Definitely recommended.

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Reviews:

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Cast in Secret available at Scribd.com

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My review of:

  1. Cast in Shadow
  2. Cast in Courtlight

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Translations:

Le secret d’Elantra: T1 – Le Cycle d’Elantra

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