Review: Cast in Oblivion by Michelle Sagara

Cast in OblivionWriter: Michelle Sagara
Series: Chronicles of Elantra
Publisher: MIRA
Released: January 29th, 2019
Received: Own
Rating: 4 kitties

Cast in Oblivion is the fourteenth novel in Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra series, and honestly? It’s hard to believe how long this series has been running. I fell in love with this series fourteen – yes, fourteen! Books ago, and I’ve never been quite the same since.

The Chronicles of Elantra follows Kaylin Neya, a Private in the Hawks. Her world is one of fantasy, with dozens of races and intricate politics for her to deal with. It’s a world I love, and that I honestly can’t get enough of. Throw in the magical system and sentient buildings and consider me sold.

Spoiler Warning

Cast in Oblivion is a complex novel, one that is even fuller of politics than normal – which is saying something. During the West March Kaylin freed the Cohort, and now they’re seeking to get their names. But as with anything related to the Barrani, it is not that simple.

Kaylin’s life has not been an easy one. She grew up in the fiefs, a less than kind environment for children. Then she became Chosen, and her whole life became inexorably more complicated. She’s doing the best she can, while desperately trying to leave the world a better place in the process.

Cast in Oblivion was a shockingly intense novel. It was so full of politics, emotions, and outright confessions that it’s no wonder this novel ended up being the size that it was. Granted, almost all of the Chronicles of Elantra could be used as a blunt weapon, should the need arise.

Before I really dive into my review, I want to talk about something. I noticed that Cast in Oblivion had some conflicting reviews. I understand why this dissonance is. This is not a light novel. Nor is it a quick one. This is a book filled with dialogue and concerns. So I can completely understand why some people felt it was slow. That being said, I personally felt that the buildup was well worth it. Though I’ll confess that it took me longer than I’d like to get through this book.

Once again Michelle Sagara has handed us something beautifully written. She made clever use of different writing techniques, including repetition. I know that for some that probably made the novel feel even longer. But personally, I felt that it added to the impact. Sagara was trying to drive a point home here, and I think she succeeded in doing so.

Kaylin’s journey felt a lot more ephemeral in this story. Yes, there was a physical confrontation (a couple, if you want to get technical), but that felt almost secondary to what she was learning and seeing. Given that she is Chosen, and what that means, that probably shouldn’t be so surprising.

My one complaint about this novel – if you can call it that, is one I’ve expressed before. I feel like some of my favorite characters have begun to fade into the background. Yes, one of them did have a bit more of a chance to shine in this novel. But it’s nothing like what we’ve seen in the past. And that hurts a bit. I’ll just have to hold onto my eternal hope for more, huh?

I strongly feel like Cast in Oblivion was a novel setting up for something. Yes, it did contain within it a solid standalone plot. But it also felt like a lot of groundwork has been laid for future novels. I don’t know where that will lead just yet – but I’m looking forward to finding out.

The one bright side about being hopelessly behind in a novel? I now have the next novel in the series, Cast in Wisdom, to hope right into! So that’s a major bonus for me.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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