This is the fourth book in Michelle Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra series, and it did not disappoint. Our heroine is Kaylin Neya, and she's certainly come a long way since Cast in Shadow, the first book of the series.
This installment has two main plot strands. In the first, Kaylin and her friend and partner Severn are called to work with a playwright. He is a grumpy, temperamental artistic genius, and he has been commissioned by the dragon emperor to write a play about the events that concluded the previous book, Cast in Secret, in order to sway public opinion and diffuse a potentially violent situation.
The Tha'alani, a telepathic race that used to terrify Kaylin, are misunderstood, and the majority of the human population of the city suspect the Tha'alani caused the devastating tidal wave that nearly destroyed the city - when in reality they are the ones who saved the city from destruction. The playwright is clueless about the Tha'alani, and the play he has written is ignorant and insulting to their race. In short, the situation is a diplomatic nightmare, and violence against the peaceful Tha'alani is brewing. Kaylin, the most undiplomatic person possibly in the entire city, is supposed to work with the playwright to sway public opinion in the Tha'alani's favor.
One of the reasons I love this series so much is that it is so different from the other fantasy series that are out there. Instead of relying on the same old, same old vampires, werewolves and fairies, Sagara has created a world with distinct races with complicated, believable and fascinating cultural differences that truly define each race. These differences are inextricable from the way the plot unfolds and the characters interact, and that makes for some compelling and entertaining reading. Because of the complexity and the overarching plot that continues from book to book, it is crucial to read this series from the beginning, in order - and even then, the books can be a bit confusing at times. Confusing in a good way, though - a way that makes me think and rethink events in the series from time to time and consider them in a new light. Great worldbuilding, sympathetic characters, and plots that twist and turn and surprise - these are all elements that combine to make this one of my favorite fantasy series.
Books in the Chronicles of Elantra series:
1. Cast in Shadow
2. Cast in Courtlight
3. Cast in Secret
4. Cast in Fury
5. Cast in Silence
6. Cast in Chaos
7. Cast in Ruin
Cast in Fury (#4 in the Chronicles of Elantra series) by Michelle Sagara (Luna, 2008)
Also reviewed at:
Beyond Books: "There is vague in storytelling and there is way too vague. I think this series falls a little too deep into the way too vague category at times. And yet I love the series. I need more when I am done with a book."
Sci.Fi.Guy: "...the love of her characters and world she has constructed shines through page after page. The central mystery delivers plenty of action and plot twists."
The Steel Bookshelf: "The realm of Elantra is slowly revealed, as bits and pieces of its history and myths show up in each book, and it grows stranger and more intriguing as time goes by."