I continue to enjoy this series, and while I'd heard mixed things about this installment, I thought it was a strong, well-written book. The books are set in a world called Elantra, in which several races of creatures live, more or less peacefully. Each species, from the telepathic Tha'alani and the winged Aerians to the shape-changing dragons, has its own history, language and culture, and each book delves further into the mysteries surrounding these peoples, not to mention the more personal mysteries surrounding our heroine, a Hawk called Kaylin. Hawks are law enforcers, but they only patrol certain parts of the city. Other parts, known as the fiefs, are relatively lawless - and that is where Kaylin grew up.
Readers who have come this far in the series are aware of some parts of Kaylin's past, but it was fun to get to know more of the story as it is revealed in this installment. A very dangerous person from Kaylin's childhood shows up unexpectedly, and Kaylin is soon drawn into a perilous situation, trying to unravel a mystery but also having to come to terms with a past she's not terribly proud of.
One of the things I most enjoy about this series is that it is an unabashed fantasy series, but there are no vampires, werewolves, or any of the usual elements that have been dominating the genre these past few years. The series is not high fantasy, though - its tone and flavor have more in common with urban fantasy, and the setting and situations are unusual and wonderfully creative. The world-building is phenomenal, and the characters and their relationships are further developed with each book, which is something I look for in a series. Kaylin is an admirable character that I've truly come to enjoy spending time with. I look forward to continuing with the next book in the series, and I hope there will be many more to come.
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
8. Cast in Peril
Cast in Silence (#5 in the Chronicles of Elantra series) by Michelle Sagara (Luna, 2009)
Also reviewed at:
Beyond Books: "Funny thing about this book. I hated it and my husband loved it. I thought it was the worst book in the series and my husband thought it was the best. Go figure."
Drey's Library: "This fifth book in the Chronicles of Elantra series is just as engrossing as the previous ones. I may be biased, here, because I love Kaylin, but I don't normally love books just because of a character..."
Janicu's Book Blog: "I will keep reading to find out how things play out for Kaylin, however, with the repeated problems in understanding the dialogue and with how Kaylin’s character is treated, my enthusiasm for this series is dropping."