Not Strange Yet

Cast in Silence is the last Elantra book I have in mass market paperback.  The rest are oversized.  Not massively so, but still annoying when I’m sorting books by how they fit best on shelves.  On the other hand, at least they show no signs of switching back, which means I shouldn’t have any trouble figuring out what order to read them in.  I have mentioned that the books flow so smoothly that I have trouble remembering which is which when I’m reflecting on the series.  I can tell you every major event that happens, but sorting out which title goes with which event is…not especially easy in most cases.

This particular book doesn’t focus on a species like the previous three.  Instead, we look at geography.  The fiefs in particular.  Imagine that the city of Elantra is circular, with part of that circle being the seashore.  There’s a river, the Ablayne, which makes an arc around part of the center.  On the inner shore of the river are the fiefs.  They form a semicircular shape around a center…and no one really knows what’s in that center.  At point point it was known as Ravellon and it was thought to contain a library that was filled with all knowledge and existed in multiple worlds.  All we know for certain now is that there is shadow in the heart of the fiefs.

The six fiefs hold the line against the heart, what is generally counted as a seventh fief.  Again, no one really knows what’s there.  But if one of the fiefs falls, the rest and the city will almost certainly follow.

Back in “Cast in Moonlight” we saw the origin of Kaylin’s involvement with the Imperial Hawks.  And in Cast in Shadow we revisited the past that drove her to that involvement.  But it was noted that a six month gap existed between when she and Severn separated and when she turned up in the Hawklord’s tower.  Cast in Silence addresses this oversight and fills in the gap.

There’s also some interesting revelations and while you can say that most series start getting strange around the third or fourth book, let’s just say that while one of the twists here raised my eyebrows, this is rather tame for what we’ll get later in a similar vein.  Some days you read a book and get a story. Other days your brain gets sore from attempting to figure out how things actually work.

In the Dragonlance: Annotated Chronicles Margaret Weis tells how Tracky Hickman made some extensive charts detailing the phases of the three different moons and how they did or didn’t overlap.  She, on the other hand, decided that as the author, she could assume that they would suit her when she needed them.  If she needed a full moon, well then, the moon would be full!  Or whichever moon she needed to be full.  Same difference.  It’s something you can get away with as long as the detail in question is not very big or important.  If, however, you were writing a diary on a day-to-day basis, the moon will obviously not be full more than three days out of twenty-eight.

I think I’ve gotten suffiently off-topic that I should bring this post to a close and get started on book six.  See you tomorrow – given the amount of snow expected, I do not plan to leave the house.  Which means plenty of time for reading!

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