Fiefs, Magic, and Libraries in Cast in Wisdom
Cast in Wisdom is the fifteenth novel in Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra series. I’ve been a fan of this series since the beginning, and honestly, it’s hard to believe we’re so many books in already. This complex world is full of magic, a plethora of races, mortal and immortal, and politics.
Kaylin Neya is Chosen. She doesn’t always understand what that means but knows she carries a significant burden. She grew up in the fiefs – a dangerous place for any who are not themselves powerful or immortal. Even having survived that part of her past, it seems like she can never truly be free.
Something is lurking on the edge of the fiefs, pulling her back once again. Shadow, a dangerous and corrupting magic, has broken through the fiefs before. And there’s reason to believe it will happen again. So when something begins to wake inside the fiefs, Kaylin and her allies are tasked to investigate.
Since this series is fifteen books in, it’s hard to write a review for it without spoiling some of the earlier parts. As such, if you haven’t had a chance to read this series yet, consider yourself warned. I’m going to try to be careful. But I would suggest you go back to the beginning and try this series; it’s one of my all-time favorites.
Cast in Wisdom is a beautiful and intricate example of magic and politics. It’s impressive how Michelle Sagara somehow manages to weave the two together in such a way. This is a world full of lush details, expansive magical systems, and a massive number of characters.
This novel is arguably one of my favorites from the series in recent years. It showcases all of the elements that made me fall in love with the series in the first place. The magic, the characters, the sentient buildings (long story). It’s all there. No, more than that. It’s brought to a new level in this novel, building up on the tension and character development from years of work.
There was something deeply emotional and personal about this novel. Yes, it was full of lore, complications, and even a few fights. But there was also something that resonated deeply for me here, especially regarding the Arkon’s plight and quest. There was something oddly human about his sense of loss and desire. It was beautifully done.
As with the rest of this series, Sagara is unafraid to take time to set the stage. The plot unravels throughout several chapters. It seemed like every twist and turn (and many of them) helped build the tension of what was happening.
The raw power and emotion infused into these pages were impressive. I feel like every major emotion – from hope to pure indignation – was portrayed within these pages. And it all felt like it belonged here.
I’m not going to say that each and every character had a moment here. There are simply too many characters for that to be possible. But I will say that most fan favorites – the characters directly involved in this plot – were given a chance to shine. And that it was so refreshing to see.
Cast in Wisdom was a breathtaking read, giving out more than I had dared hope for. It embodied everything that made me fond of the series in the first place. All while developing the characters and advancing the plot even further.
I don’t know how many more novels are left for Chronicles of Elantra. I’m keeping myself willfully ignorant of that fact. But I am looking forward to seeing what mess Kaylin will get herself into next time.
This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.
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