Series: Chronicles of Elantra #16
Author: Michelle Sagara
Released: June 29th, 2021
How is it that we’re already sixteen novels into the Chronicles of Elantra series? It feels like just a few years ago, I found this series and fell in love. Yet here we are, with Cast in Conflict being the latest (sixteenth) addition to the series.
Corporal Kaylin has long been known for having a talent for getting into trouble. Yet this time, no one can pretend that the fault is hers. She’s been tasked to follow one of her roommates (and friend), Bellusdeo. As in, the last female dragon.
There’s something going on inside Bellusdeo, and it’s making all of the remaining dragons nervous. It’s making Kaylin nervous too, but she understands that Bellusdeo is more likely to survive whatever it is she’s seeking.
“Her reactions were her reactions, yes. They were visceral and instinctive. But her behavior was a choice.”
She’s done it again. Cast in Conflict is another delight to read, and I have to thank Michelle Sagara for continuously providing adventures to the fans. Kaylin’s journey has been a long one, and it feels like she still has quite a ways to go. All I know is that I’ll be sticking around for as long as it does.
At this point, I think that the Chronicles of Elantra series is the most detailed series I’m actively reading. Each novel covers a relatively short period of time, as there is simply so much to cover. It’s like a slice of life meets fantasy, only with a heavy dose of chaos (courtesy of Kaylin) and politics (courtesy of nearly every other character in the series).
There are many different reasons why I enjoyed this novel. There’s the politics, of course. Not only do we see more dragon politics, but library politics (please see the previous installment in this series), as well as how other fiefs function.
Words cannot express how badly I’ve wanted to see the rest of the fiefs. While there are still so many questions left to be answered (so many!), I’m happy with what I was able to spot here. Furthermore, I feel like this novel worked really hard to push Bellusdeo’s plot arc forward while doing justice to her background and needs.
It was tense and a delight to see if I’m honest. It forced readers (and Kaylin) to see a different side of the dragon. Okay, it doesn’t hurt that Kaylin is our central perspective, and she wouldn’t notice certain emotions if they hit her in the face.
On that note, I do feel like this was the start of something new. My favorite character was present, though perhaps not as much as I would like (is that even possible?). Yet, their presence was deeply felt, especially as specific conversations rose to the surface.
Dare I hope that Kaylin finally realizes something that has been right in front of her face this whole time? Only time will tell. Until then, I will be happily counting down the days to the release of the next sequel, which I’m certain will be worth the wait.