Review: Cast in Eternity by Michelle Sagara
Written at an elevated level, Cast in Eternity is thought-provoking and a masterpiece. When it comes to Ms. Sagara's books, she takes fantasy writing to a whole other level. There is no other writer I read that compares to Ms. Sagara. I love her books because I'm pulled into a unique world that I haven't seen in any other books. Her concepts are so foreign that it is groundbreaking for me. Even some of the concepts she interprets in her world are different enough that it makes me gasp in awe.
What is the outlands? What is the Green? In this book, we learn more about it and it is mind-blowing. The story starts out innocuous enough. Kaylin is stuck manning the desk instead of patrolling. For action-oriented people, this is a slow death. Except... the sweetest old lady, Mrs. Erickson stops by to share homemade pastries and talk about her ghosts. On a lark, Kaylin walks Mrs. Erickson home and is stunned to find that there really are ghosts. Mrs. Erickson isn't dotty. In fact, she is much more than meets the eye.
There is so much to unpack in this story but it would give spoilers so I am going to have to be circumspect. First, figuring out why Mrs. Erickson can see ghosts and not-ghosts involves the much beleaguered Arkon. The characters around Kaylin complain that trouble follows here. I cannot disagree. Once Kaylin figures out the mystery surrounding Mrs. Erickson, it leads her to a much darker problem. How do true names come about? And how some of the different species, specifically Wevaran gain their True names is deadly. I feel like I'm starting to understand how this world came to be and how the different species relate to each other. This is not light reading and this book must be read in the order written. Each story builds upon the previous ones.
Second, we learn more about the Chosen position which now makes so much more sense for the previous books. We also learn more about why Kaylin was picked to have a familiar. Kaylin's ability to do the right thing based on her instinct makes her the perfect one to hold such power. Her relatively harmless human packaging is deceptive as she creates so much chaos. I love it. I also like how Kaylin is growing slowly. The Kaylin of today is quite a bit more mature compared to when she first started with the Hawks. I am pleased with her growth. Her ability to adapt is her greatest strength. Her next best attribute is her stubbornness. She will persevere and not be swayed off her path. This means she will always do her best to deliver her promises. She does it spectacularly.
Third, the conclusion and why of this book are stunning. I am speechless. I love it and I wish there was more time to delve into it. There are so many questions I have. The opportunity to speak with a new character would be amazing.
Lastly, there is one piece to this story I thought would feature a little bit more. Vampires. This was mentioned a few odd times and I thought it would have tied into the "big bad" that was causing problems. But it never did materialize.
This complex fantasy is recommended to readers who love intricate plots creating a three-dimensional multi-layered chess game.
*provided by Edelweiss