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January 26, 2020

Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara ~ a Review

by MK French

The City of Elantra is surrounded by fiefdoms, each surrounding a sentient Tower. Between them are border zones, places of erratic and unpredictable magic. Even so, Kaylin seems to understand how that works, and is trying to understand the secrets surrounding the border zones before others do.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

January 2020; MIRA; 978-0778309383
audio, ebook, print (544 pages); fantasy
Cast in Wisdom is the fifteenth novel in the Chronicles of Elantra, but the first one I'd heard of, so I was woefully unprepared to be diving into this book. Because of that lack of understanding on my part, I often had to reread sections to try to get a sense of what's going on. There were relationships explained to some extent, others glossed over. I did like the touch of eyes changing color to reflect internal emotional states, as well as the descriptions of sentient buildings and the powers they wield to keep citizens safe. It's fascinating, and I was drawn into the mystery of odd sentient buildings popping up where they don't belong that contain people who refer to the location in archaic terms.

It was fascinating to see the different races and the explanation of magic in this novel, as well as the interactions between the characters. They argue over the nature of magic involved in this novel's story. The border zones had never been something that people bothered to examine before, and now it takes on a whole new importance not only for the present day to hide conspirators but involving the past. Some of the crotchety characters were actually fairly endearing to me, even if they bothered Kaylin a lot. I didn't like how sometimes she felt insulted merely for not understanding what was going on, but I did eventually gather that some of that was because she missed lessons that they had considered important. Oops. Willful ignorance is a whole other category, and as the novel progressed, some of that was smoothed over a bit, too.

I think I would have enjoyed the novel a lot more if I had read the earlier books in the series. From the amount of world-building and descriptions that I had seen here, I think I would have loved them.

Buy Cast in Wisdom at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and three young children. 

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