Title: Cast in Flame
Author: Michelle Sagara
First published May 16, 2014
400 pages, Audiobook
Dragon disputes are never a good way to start the day. Kaylin has just returned from her journey, and things are not the same.
She yearns for a life where she can deal with ordinary criminals and have a place to call her own. However, her new normal includes living with a dragon as a roommate, which she can handle.
But the fresh inhabitants of the city are not as simple to handle, especially when Nightshade’s younger brother is among them. One night, when she should be meeting landlords of regular buildings, she gets called to the fief, and Teela has a request for her.
A minor family disagreement has escalated into a significant issue as Castle Nightshade’s sleeping magic is stirring, and it’s not the only thing.
About the Author
Meet Michelle, a Toronto-based author, book enthusiast, and literature lover. She has a passion for writing fantasy novels, which she does under the names Michelle Sagara and Michelle West (sometimes as Michelle Sagara West too).
You can purchase her books from reputable bookstores.
Michelle shares her home with her patient husband and two children, but unfortunately, no furry friends. Reading has been a lifelong hobby for her, and she occasionally gets paid for her reviews by the esteemed Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
Despite buying countless bookshelves, she never seems to have enough space for all her books.
Michelle has published books under her legal name Michelle Sagara, her husband’s surname Michelle West, and a combination of the two, Michelle Sagara West.
Cast in Flame by Michelle Sagara Review
Michelle Sagara’s Cast in Flame is a must-read for urban fantasy fans, and her latest addition to the Chronicles of Elantra series does not disappoint. Sagara is a Canadian fantasy writer who has garnered impressive critical acclaim for her works of fantasy fiction.
Cast in Flame is the tenth book in the Chronicles of Elantra series, featuring detective Kaylin Nera, a human special agent of the Hawk, residing in the city of Elantra. The series is set in a unique, magical world where Kaylin must navigate a web of politics, conflicts, and lies while working as a criminal investigator in a city filled with a plethora of magical beings.
The novel opens to a city wracked with political upheavals and the threat of a powerful and ancient force that could change the city’s fate. Kaylin is tasked with investigating the mysterious murder of a high-ranking priestess, a case that takes a complicated, dark turn when magical wards around the city’s religious enclaves are violently disrupted.
This leaves Kaylin and her allies such as Severn Handred, Teela, and Nightshade chasing dark magical threats with deadly consequences, fighting to save the city from certain destruction. Sagara sets the stage early in the novel with vivid detail and a complex cast of well-crafted characters.
Kaylin’s past experiences are intricately intertwined with the unfolding events in the novel, creating layers of depth and intrigue as the character’s past and present collide. We get to see more of the world’s intricate magical landscape, with Sagara’s descriptions bringing Elantra’s city, temples, and streets to life.
From characterization to pacing, Sagara’s craft is impeccable. She has mastered the art of writing a page-turner, and Cast in Flame is an excellent example.
The book’s intricate mysteries are packed with action, magic, and politics, making for an engaging read throughout. Sagara’s character development in Cast in Flame is impressive.
Kaylin’s growth as a character is evident, and Sagara continues to develop Kaylin’s relationships with her complex and well-loved supporting cast, allowing readers to connect with the individual characters throughout the novel. The book’s only drawback is its complexity.
Readers new to the Chronicles of Elantra series may find the extensive world-building and intricate political webs challenging to navigate. The book’s pace is generally steady, but there are times when the complexity of the plot threatens to detract from its positive aspects.
Overall, Cast in Flame is a beautifully crafted novel that adds richness to the Chronicles of Elantra series. Sagara’s masterful hand guides readers on a magical journey filled with action, drama, and a thrilling murder investigation.
Highly recommended for urban fantasy fans. Rating: 4/5 stars.