Book Review: Cast in Deception (The Chronciles of Elantra) by Michelle Sagara

Cast in Deception is the 13th book in The Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara. You do need to read this series in order to get the most out of it, and maybe a reread of the previous books would help if it has been a while. Each book really does add to the world and character building, so new readers will want to start at the very beginning to enjoy the read. 

Private Kaylin Neya thought her home couldn’t possibly get more crowded. But when one of her housemates, Annarion, decides to undertake the Barrani Test of Name, his friends refuse to let him face his task alone—and Kaylin’s sentient home, Helen, is the only structure capable of shielding the rest of Elantra from the magnitude of their power. Annarion and Mandoran almost caused the destruction of the High Halls once already. Add nine of their closest friends, and the danger is astronomically higher—especially since these guests are at the heart of a political firestorm. Imprisoned almost a millennium ago, their recent freedom threatens the rulership of several prominent Barrani families, and the machinations of those Lords make it almost impossible to tell friend from foe. As political tensions ramp up, the shadows beneath the High Halls are seeking a freedom that has never been possible before. Kaylin must find a way to keep those shadows from escaping, or that freedom will destroy her city, the empire and everything she holds dear.

Cast in Deception is a journey with Kaylin and companions in dangerous territory. Politics, intrigue , and shadows are the main dangers at the heart of what they all face. Friendship, chosen and real family, and perceptions of self and others all come into play. I like that Kaylin has to continue thinking about her choices, past and present, and how they have changed her and effected the world around her. I did not like that the book felt a bit like the bridge between the previous book and the next, lacking substantial action and movement of its own. Half of the things promised for the book are only mentioned as problems, but end up being things that we will not see the consequences of fully until the next book. I enjoyed the read, particularly getting a better understanding of the cohort and all of its members, but did not feel like there was as much substance as I am used to from the author, or this series.

Cast in Deception is part of a fantastic series, but I felt a little let down with this one. It felt like this book was more of a placeholder or single journey rather than moving the greater story arch much. I am still invested, and will still keep reading, but it did not live up to my grand expectations.

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