Cast in Oblivion by Michelle Sagara
Private Kaylin Neya has a few problems in this installment of the fantastic Elantra series by Michelle Sagara. First, she has a houseful of displaced Byrrani, a dragon roommate, a sentient house, and a familiar that she only understands half the time. Second, the Byrani Consort (queen mother to the whole Byrrani race) is coming to dinner and Kaylin is not the most politically savvy Hawk.
When Kaylin went to the West March she didn’t mean to bring back nine Barrani or to take a Dragon, the sworn enemy of the Barrani, causing an interspecies conflict. But Kaylin attracts trouble like a magnet.
Before everything hit the fan Kaylin had invited the Consort to dinner, an innocent enough idea. However, the consorts attempt to capture Kaylin’s new friends/family have made things very awkward and politically dangerous.
Kaylin’s new houseguests aren’t normal Barrani but are determined to take their rightful place in Barrani society just the same. In order to do so, they need to successfully complete “the test of name” and face what lies beneath the High Halls. Now the mother of their race thinks they are the key to destroying the shadowy secret that the Barrani have held prisoner since the Dragon/Barrani wars and freeing the tortured souls of their trapped kinsmen.
So, no pressure.
My 2 Cents:
I love, love, love this series.
Michelle Sagara’s books make my brain hurt but in the best possible way. This one’s no different, it’s so descriptive that I end up re-reading her books multiple times in order to fully absorb everything the stories have to offer. I’m on my third read and am still connecting some of the dots.
I love Kaylin’s vulnerability and her inability to be anything but human, even if she is “Chosen”. Her struggle to understand Branni concepts of family are so relatable. Human’s as a whole don’t see love as a weakness, not like the Barrani do, so Kaylin’s need to protect those she loves can be problematic.
To me, this installment seems to about choices and homecoming. The choices we make and what we are willing to sacrifice to find our true home.