Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cast In Secret-Michelle Sagara

Cast In Secret
Michelle Sagara
Luna, August 2007, $14.95, 521 pp.
ISBN 9780373802807

One person in Elantra who made it out of the fiefs, the outposts of poverty and hideouts for criminals, is Private Kaylin Neya. She works as a police officer in the division of the Hawks. Her boss is a Leontine; she wears the mark of Lord Nightshade, an immortal outcast Barrani. She is tutored by a dragon in human form because she has a magic nobody understands, one that can withstand a dragon’s breath or heal a dying patient.

While visiting the Keeper in his store because he reported a theft, he takes her to his garden at the center of his shop. There she sees the face of a bruised child in a pool of water and needs to find her as well as the missing artifact. However, first she must visit enclave of the Tha’alanii, telepathic and empathic mind readers who communicate among themselves with the antennae on their foreheads. A girl was kidnapped by a man who is telepathically deaf and she visits Lord Nightshade who gives her the identity of the person involved with the girl and the kidnapper. While she is working the three cases, she learns if she can’t retrieve the artifact, Elantra will be destroyed.

Elements of a police procedural and a fantasy tale are combined to create the electrifying and wondrous CAST IN SECRET. It is a magical tale where different sentient races live in the same area ruled by an imperial emperor who is an immortal dragon. The heroine learns and grows while seemingly (the reader’s delight) always in the midst of trouble and goes the long way in getting out of it. Fans will enjoy her spunk and √©lan as Kaylin keeps on ticking.

Harriet Klausner

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