The sixth book in the Chronicles of Elantra series, published September 2011.
Seven corpses are discovered in the streets of a Dragon's fief. All identical, down to their clothing.
Kaylin Neya is assigned to discover who they were, who killed them - and why. Is the evil lurking at the borders of Elantra preparing to cross over?
At least the investigation delays her meeting with the Dragon Emperor. And as the shadows grow longer over the fiefs, Kaylin must use every skill she's ever learned to save the people she's sworn to protect. Sword in hand, dragons in the sky, this time there's no retreat and no surrender.
If you have not read the previous books, you will not understand a thing that happens in this book. Or in my review. The story picks up at the end of the previous book, with little to none looking back. And even if you are a follower of this series like I am from the beginning, I find this one difficult to follow.
Kaylin is supposed to get lessons in etiquette from Dragon Lord Diarmat, so she won’t offend the Emperor when she finally meets him. Not that Kaylin is really looking forward to it. All she wants is to be a Hawk (sort of police officer) and help out in the Foundling Halls and the Midwives Guild. Kaylin is chosen, her body is filled with tattooed words, that appeared magically when she was still young. Nobody really knows what it means to be chosen, but Kaylin can do a lot of things the other beings/races in Elantra can not. She has friends and enemies in all the castes and races.
And Lord Diarmat totally hates her. He doesn’t really want to teach her. Luckily for Kaylin, Lord Sannabalis requests her help from her Sergeant, as there is trouble in the new fief of Dragon Lord Tiamaris. A fief Kaylin was substantial in, in making in the previous book.
And then lots of things are happening, and not happening. Kaylin gets send back and forth to the fief, and the Emperors Court, the Halls of Law. Shadowy and unclear things are happening, and are resolved in the end, but the how and why is still unclear to me. Perhaps I was too sleepy at the end of the book.
So, a short review, as I really don’t know what to say about this book. I liked it, because it is a good series. I disliked it, cause there was no real progress in the book. Although the premise for the next book is perhaps set up: A trip with Lord Nightshade to the West Marches of the Barrani …
I am disappointed as Kaylin did not even meet with Evantor in this book, which is always a good part, and a mysterious part in the series.
About the series though, I can tell you this: the world building is absolutely fantastic. Lots of different races, lots of castes, with a Dragon Emperor for whom the city is his hoard, but also with some fiefs, run by a kind of criminal lords, where there is no law.
And so far, each book has focused on Kaylin interacting with one of the other races: the Barrani, the Leontines, the Dragons, etc. Saving the world from one kind of disaster or the other, fighting the Outcaste and the Shadows. And I loved that. This book is just a bit different in setup.
Yes, I still look forward to the next book, and yes, I do recommend this series to all lovers of fantasy. Only a tiny little hint of possible romance so far, so don’t worry about it. A great female lead character, and awesome secondary characters. You can’t help but to love Kaylin as she is feeling her way through life and everything that comes on her path. There is magic, ofcourse, and some fighting, and evil things and persons.
And if the series is a 9 star one, this book doesn’t rate that high, but of course this is my personal opinion. 7 stars.