No Nobles Here

Cast in Courtlight can be considered the Barrani book of the series, as most of the plot takes place in the High Halls, the home of the Barrani caste court.  Barrani, remember, are kind of like elves.  They are immortal and beautiful and make us humans feel grubby just by standing next to us.

Which makes things rather awkward when Kaylin has to go.  To properly illustrate this, here’s an exchange right out of the book:

“You’ve never spent much time around real nobles, have you?”
“They don’t let me.”
“I can’t imagine why.”

There’s a lot of good quotes in this series, let me tell you.  And, as per my usual, I tend to share them with friends.  One expressed interest in knowing more about the series. Which then offered the challenge of summarizing Elantra in one sentence with no spoilers.  So I told her “It’s fantasy and it’s sort of epic except the main character is too down-to-earth for her settings most of the time.”

So far, the series has only begun to touch upon those potentially world-ending points which qualify as “epic.”  Oh sure, there was a fight with a Dragon last book.  And yes, there’s the leoswuld in this book as the rulership of the High Halls undergoes a change.  Trust me when I say this is only the beginning.  I’ve only finished two (and a half) out of eleven (and a half) books in the series.

It’s actually something of a challenge to talk about these books one at a time, because when I think back on Elantra as a whole, I have a hard time distinguishing one book from another, and don’t ask me to name them all because I really can’t.  Not simply because they all start with Cast in but because they flow so smoothly together.  At most, there’s a few weeks between the end of one book and the start of the next.  (I’m not including the novella in this because that is it’s own thing.)  Unlike Safehold, Elantra books are light and easy reads.  Not to mention full of hilarity created entirely by context and witty writing.  There are no slogs here, no books that I suffer to get through and beat my head against a wall to finish.  You may have noticed how rapidly I’ve been plowing through them and this is completely normal for this type of series.

Like Safehold, this series is a set, and it’s very difficult to read just one random book for the same reason that I can’t easily remember if we talk to the Oracles in book three, book six, or some other number.  Of course, once a character or concept is introduced, we do tend to revisit it.  Sagara is a good author in that she introduces these ideas and people early on, and then builds them into main characters and plot points in subsequent volumes.  Add her propensity to focus each book on a different species, element, or part of life, and we get in-depth studies on a subject while the rest of the world does go on.

Right now, the world is going on without my reading.  Obviously I should stop typing now, and get back to that.


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