Cast in Silence (Chronicles of Elantra Series #5) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Don't ask. Don't tell. Stay alive.

A member of the elite Hawk force that protects the City of Elantra, Kaylin Neya has sacrificed much to earn the respect of the winged Aerians and immortal Barrani she works alongside. But the mean streets she escaped as a child aren't the ones she's vowed to give her life guarding. Those were much darker…

Kaylin's moved on with her life—and is keeping silent about the shameful things she's done to stay alive. ...

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Cast in Silence (Chronicles of Elantra Series #5)

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Overview

Don't ask. Don't tell. Stay alive.

A member of the elite Hawk force that protects the City of Elantra, Kaylin Neya has sacrificed much to earn the respect of the winged Aerians and immortal Barrani she works alongside. But the mean streets she escaped as a child aren't the ones she's vowed to give her life guarding. Those were much darker…

Kaylin's moved on with her life—and is keeping silent about the shameful things she's done to stay alive. But when the city's oracles warn of brewing unrest in the outer fiefdoms, a mysterious visitor from Kaylin's past casts her under a cloud of suspicion. Thankfully, if she's anything, she's a survivor…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sagara swirls mystery and magical adventure together with unforgettable characters in the fifth Chronicles of Elantra installment (following 2008's Cast in Fury). Like the other Hawks—city guards who keep the peace on Elantra's lively streets—Pvt. Kaylin Neya wishes her mysterious magical abilities and Elantra's imperial mages would let her alone to do her job. When something old and powerful begins stirring in Ravellon, the heart of the fiefs, Kaylin is sent to investigate, a journey that will force her to confront unpleasant memories as well as the deadly secrets that threaten Ravellon and all of Elantra. Kaylin—“whose middle name was not exactly patience”—must rein in her temper and stay alive long enough to complete her mission. Fans will enjoy following her exploration of the fiefs and Elantra's history. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"With prose that is elegantly descriptive, Sagara answers some longstanding questions and adds another layer of mystery. Each visit to this amazing world, with its richness of place and character, is one to relish."
-RT Book Reviews (4 ½ stars) on Cast in Silence

"No one provides an emotional payoff like Michelle Sagara. Combine that with a fast-paced police procedural, deadly magics, five very different races and a wickedly dry sense of humor-well, it doesn't get any better than this."

-Bestselling author Tanya Huff on The Chronicles of Elantra series

"The impressively detailed setting and the book's spirited heroine are sure to charm romance readers as well as fantasy fans who like some mystery with their magic."

-Publishers Weekly on Cast in Secret

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459211933
  • Publisher: Luna
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Series: Chronicles of Elantra Series , #5
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 26,493
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Michelle Sagara writes as both Michelle Sagara and Michelle West; she is also published as Michelle Sagara West. She lives in Toronto with her long-suffering husband and her two children, and to her regret has no dogs.

She can be found @msagara on Twitter or http://msagarawest.wordpress.com

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Read an Excerpt

"It's eight o'clock in the morning. Please remember to fill out your reports and hand in your paperwork." Had the cheerful and musical voice belonged to a person who could be easily strangled, it would have stopped in mid-sentence.

Sadly, it was the melodious voice of the streetside window which interrupted the bustling and vastly less perky office in which the branch of Law known as the Hawks was based. That window, which had been installed complete with a magical, time-telling voice in some misguided attempt at humor, had been adjusted in the past couple of weeks by Acting Sergeant Mallory, and no one who had to work where they could hear it—and were prevented by office regulations from destroying it—considered the adjustments to be an improvement.

Sergeant Marcus Kassan, the large and currently bristling Leontine behind the central desk in the Hawks' Office raised his fist and flexed his fingers. Long claws, gleaming in the sun's light, appeared from beneath his golden fur. He had not yet shattered the window—and given it was installed with the guidance of Imperial Mages, that would have been damn hard—but he looked like he was on the edge of finally doing it in. The betting pool had not yet been won, but at least three people were out money, Private Kaylin Neya being one. The office had discovered, however, that the windows couldn't be scratched, and Kaylin had argued vociferously that this should have counted as a victory condition. She'd lost.

Then again, Leontines were generally all about the clawing, biting, rending, and ripping out of throats; they weren't as good with smashing things.

Kaylin's personal favorite was the new end-of-day message, wherein the cheerful voice of the window told the departing staff that they were to be in the office at 7:00 a.m., and they were to be shaved, where shaving was appropriate, and otherwise clean. She was less keen on the last bit, in which the Hawks were reminded to check the duty roster for last-minute adjustments.

"Why doesn't he just have the mages shut it down?" she asked Caitlin, as Marcus drove new furrows into his desk.

"I think he considers it a reminder of the differences between Sergeant Mallory's temporary tenure and his more permanent record," Caitlin replied. The reply, like the question that engendered it, was very, very quiet. This didn't guarantee that it couldn't be overheard, but unless Marcus had it in for you, he was capable of a bit of selective deafness. If he hadn't been, his office would be half manned for at least an entire duty cycle, and the half that was left alive would be too busy cleaning up to cause trouble.

"Neya!" Given Marcus's current mood, the fact that there had been no bloodshed was pushing the goodwill of whatever gods watched over underslept and underpaid police. "You're due out on beat in five minutes. Stop bothering Caitlin and hit the street."

Kaylin's beat was Elani Street and its surroundings, and her partner was—as it so frequently was, these days—Corporal Severn Handred. He was already kitted out and ready to go when she careened down the hall to the locker room. He raised an eyebrow, one bisected by a slender scar, while he watched her use the wall as a brake.

"What? I'm not late yet."

"Not yet. It's hard to be late when the window is nagging."

She grimaced. "Marcus took his claws to it yesterday."

"Don't start."

"I think that should count."

"Is the window still in one piece? Then it doesn't count." Severn was at the top of the betting pool at the moment, and looked to be secure in his position, but they'd both grown up on some pretty mean streets, and "secure" meant something different to them.

This was probably why they got along so well with the Barrani Hawks. The Barrani were noted for their love of the political. Political, in the context of their race, usually involved assassination, both literally and figuratively, and smallish wars. They understood that anything they owned had to be held against all comers. Those who held less were perfectly willing to test the definition of "secure," often to the breaking point.

Of course, unless one of those assassination attempts was lucky, the Barrani weren't about to expire of old age; they didn't. Age, that is. They had long memories, and they could easily hold a grudge for longer than Kaylin's whole life; at least two of them did. On the other hand, they made immortality look like one long gripe fest, admittedly with killer clothing, so it was hard to begrudge them their eternity of suffering. Or of making everyone else they knew suffer. Kaylin, as a human, would eventually clock out, which would in theory earn her some peace.

She dressed quickly, straightening out the cloth and under-padding that had managed to crumple in the wrong places the way it always did, and then rearranged her hair so it was pulled tight and off her face. It wasn't immortality that she envied the Barrani; it was their damn hair. It never got in the way of anything.

She made it out of the locker room with seconds to spare; Severn caught her by the shoulder and adjusted the stick that held her hair tightly in place so that it actually did the job.

Elani Street was, of course, Charlatan Central. It was also, unfortunately, where real magic could be found if you didn't have access to the Imperial Mages, or worse, the mages of the Arcanum, which access pretty much described ninety-nine percent of the city of Elantra. Kaylin had never understood how it was that people capable of genuine enchantments were willing to hunker down with total frauds.

The end result, however, of some fraud was ire, and the end result of ire, if not checked, was directly the purview of the Hawks. It was more colloquially called murder. It didn't happen in Elani often, because even if you were almost certain the so-called magic you'd purchased was a lump of rock, you couldn't be as easily certain that the person who'd sold it to you was incapable of something more substantial.

There were, however, no murders on the books today. Or at least not murders that Kaylin knew about, and therefore not murders that she would be called in to investigate. She'd wanted a few weeks of quiet, and she'd had them. For some reason, it hadn't improved her mood.

Severn noticed. Then again, it was hard not to notice. While he frequently walked streetside, Kaylin's accidental mishaps with merchant boards now numbered four.

"Kaylin." He stepped to her left, and took up patrol position merchant-side.

She couldn't bring herself to say it was accidental, although she did try. But the boards that promised to find you your One True Love were a particular sore spot for Kaylin, in part because it was impossible to walk past the damn things at any time of day, and not see people waiting in the storefront, behind glass. Some had the brains to look ill-at-ease, but if they had the brains, they clearly lacked self-control; some just looked desperate and flaky.

All of them would be disappointed.

"You know they piss me off," she muttered.

"On the wrong day, sunlight pisses you off."

"Only in the morning."

"Noon is not considered morning by most people. Tell me," he added. "Because if you keep this up, Margot is going to file an incident report, and you'll be in the hot seat."

Margot was the name of the proprietor of this particular haven for the hopeless. She was a tall, statuesque redhead, with amber eyes that Kaylin would have bet an entire paycheck were magically augmented. Her voice,

absent the actual drivel she used when speaking, was throaty, deep, and almost sinful just to hear.

Kaylin was certain that half of the people who offered Margot their custom secretly hoped that she would be their One True Love. Sadly, she was certain that Margot was also aware of this, and they'd exchanged heated words about the subject of her lovelorn customers in the past. Petty jealousy being what it was, however, Kaylin was liked by enough of the other merchants, mostly the less successful ones, that Margot's attempt to have her summarily scheduled out of existence—or the existence of Elani Street—had so far failed to take.

"If I knew what was bothering me," she finally admitted, "I would have warned you this morning."

"Warned me?"

"That I'm in a foul mood."

"Kaylin, the only person who might not notice that is Roshan, Marrin's newest orphan. And I have my doubts."

"I have no idea what's wrong," she continued, steadfastly ignoring that particular comment. "The foundling hall is running so smoothly right now you'd think someone rich had died and willed the foundlings all their money. Rennick's play was a success, and the Swords have been cut to a tenth their previous riot-watch numbers. I'm not on report. Mallory is no longer our acting sergeant. Caitlin is finally back in the office after her leave.

"But—" she exhaled heavily "—there's just…something. I have no idea what the problem is. And if you even suggest that it has something to do with the time of month, you'll be picking up splinters of your teeth well into next year."

He touched her, gently and briefly, on the shoulder. "You'll let me know when you figure it out?"

"You'll probably be the first person to know. Unless Marcus radically alters the duty roster."

The day did not get better when their patrol took them to Evanton's shop. Kaylin didn't stop there when she was on duty, because rifling his kitchen took time, and sitting and drinking the scalding hot tea he prepared when she did visit took more of the same.

Like most merchants, Evanton's shop had a sandwich board outside. The paint was faded, the wood slightly warped. His sign, however, did not offend her; she barely noticed it. She certainly didn't trip over it in a way that would snap its hinges shut.

But she did notice the young man who came barreling out of the door toward her. Grethan. Once Tha'alani. Hell, still Tha'alani. But crippled, shut off from the gifts that made the Tha'alani possibly the most feared race in the city. He couldn't read minds. The characteristic racial stalks of the Tha'alani, suspended at the height of his forehead, just beneath his dark, flat hair, still weaved frantically in the air in a little I'm-upset-help-me dance, and most people—most humans, she corrected herself— wouldn't know he was incapable of actually putting them to use to invade their thoughts.

"Kaylin!" he said, speaking too loudly in a street that was sparsely populated.

The people that were in it looked up immediately. You could always count on curiosity to dim common sense, especially in Elani Street. Evanton was known to be one of the street's genuine enchanters; he would have to be, given that he was also one of the few who still had a storefront and never offered love-potions or fortunes. Had he visible size or obvious power, he would probably have terrified most of the residents. He didn't.

She spoke in a much lower voice. It was her way of giving a subtle hint; the less subtle hints usually got her a reprimand, and Grethan looked wide-eyed and wild enough that she didn't think he deserved them. Yet. "Gre-than? Has something happened to Evanton?"

He took a deep breath. "No. He told me you'd be coming, and he set me to watch."

Had it been anyone other than Evanton, Kaylin would have asked how he'd known. Evanton, however, was not a man who casually explained little details like that to an apprentice, and if Grethan was valued because he was Evanton's first promising apprentice in more years than Kaylin had been alive, he was still on the lower rungs of the ladder.

He was also, she thought, too damn smart to ask. "You're not busy, are you?" Grethan asked, hesitating at the door.

"Not too busy to speak with Evanton if he has something he needs to say," she replied.

Severn, damn him, added, "She's busy plotting the downfall of Margot."

Grethan snorted. "You're probably going to have to stand in line for that," he told her, his stalks slowing their frantic dance. "But Evanton's in a bit of a mood today, so you might not want to mention her by name."

"I never want to mention her by name. You'll note that it wasn't me who did," she replied, giving Severn a very distinct look.

"Evanton is also not the only one who's in, as you put it, a bit of a mood," Severn told Grethan. "Maybe the two of us should wait outside somewhere safe. Like, say, the docks."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 88 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Michelle Sagara's CAST IN SILENCE is a great entry in a magical fantasy saga

    Elantra is a wonderful city ruled by the dragon emperor. He, his court and most inhabitants care nothing about the Fiefs (slums) that are located across the Ablayne River. There are several fiefs each ruled by a fief-lord who live in towers that rest upon the Old Ones magic. Private Kaylin Neya of the Hawk police force lived in the Fief Nightshade and wears his mark. She has performed remarkably well working her way out of the dirt of the fief by being on the right side of the law.

    Life is about to become perilous for Kaylin because a seer has told her that something dangerous will soon strike the Fief; if it is not contained it will spill over the entire city and change all it touches into something reprehensible. The heart of the troubles resides in the fief Barren where she lived for six months before escaping. Now the Barren Fief is no longer stable. Kaylin, another Hawk and Dragon Lord Tiamaris travel to Barren on a fact finding mission. Caught up in a shadow storm, they are thrown into the past in which no Fiefs exist and Elantra is just starting to form. What they learn in the Barren tower helps them understand what is happening in their time; when they return they think they have a chance to defeat the seemingly invincible foe.

    Readers who have followed the Elantra "Cast in ." chronicle (see FURY, SHADOW, COURTLIGHT and SECRET) learn about the Fiefs where the towers are located; this brings freshness to the overarching fantasy. Kaylin is much more confident as she no longer fears her past. She is doing her best to prevent the shadow spreading and destroying her city; she does this even if the cost is her life. Michelle Sagara's CAST IN SILENCE is a great entry in a magical fantasy saga.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Cast in Silence is another hit for Michelle Sagara.

    This is the fifth Cast in novel for Sagara and may be considered by many to be the best in the series to date. The main character, Private Kaylin Neya of the Hawks seems more assured and confident in her abilities; however, her dealings with Dragons still gives her phase. The story unfolds quickly and for awhile it appears that Kaylin may have finally gotten in over her head.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    Excellent science fiction. I bought this one from Michelle Sagara and went back to buy the rest. I had to special order one of them.

    The whole series is about the best in quality writing. I discovered one of the books and went back for the rest. I read them one after the other non stop; I'm now in the second slow reading and discover more and more details, nuances, perfect style, answers to plot questions I had kept in mind. I'm now able to tie details from one book to another. Michelle doesn't lose the particular incidents of the story or dialog content that move one book to another consistently. I have read lots of science fiction, she and her books of Elantra ate at the top of the pack.

    There are few writers that have a perfect writing style, like james Lee Burke in murder mystery; Michelle Sagara is another.

    You will read the same book again and again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Some History

    This was a great book - I have read the whole series and am anxiously awaiting Kaylin Neya's next adventure. This book goes more into detail about Kaylin's past and decisions that she wishing to remain silent about. She is forced to meet those decisions along with the feelings from her past head on. This book really explains how and why she is who she is now, and helps you identify with the main character even better. I hope that Kaylin can get past herself and realize that she and her partner need to confess not only to themselves but to each other their feelings.
    I recommend this book highly to those that have read the others, despite the fact that if you have read the previous books you do not need to be told to get this one. If you are looking for a new series with great characters I suggest starting with Cast in Shadow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2013

    Must read for those who love mystery, magic, variety of characters and great story telling.

    I must find a block of time to read these books since once I pick them up do not want to stop!

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful as always

    Michelle Sagara's world of Elantra is addictive. As in all her other CAST IN books, the more you read, the more you realize the series has to be taken as a whole, not just as a single book written about the same set of characters. Actions taken by Lord Nightshade in CAST IN SHADOW are explained in CAST IN SILENCE. It answers questions that you never knew were to be asked. I cannot wait until the CAST IN CHAOS is published in 2010.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    excellent

    can't wait for the next installment

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    Sagara never disappoints!

    I really enjoy this series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Diappointment this time around

    I was disappointed in Cast in Silence. It was slow and boring unlike her previous books in this series... I will continue to read in this series in hopes that the next book will be up to her standard in entertaining me in my hours I lose in books.. I take heart and hope she returns to her prior vigor in this my favorite pasttime....Reading.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another good book in the series...

    I enjoy this series quite a bit and the latest book was another jewel to savor.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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