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    Review of CAST IN SECRET by Michelle Sagara (see her website)


    Luna, July 2007

    Hawk Kaylin Neya just can't seem to keep from destroying her equipment, offending powerful lords, or losing concentration during boring lessons. But when a child speaks to her from a still pool of water, and when all of the oracles simultaneously begin to forecast the coming destruction of the Imperial capitol in a flood, it's time for her to be a good cop and get to the bottom of what's going on. When this means meeting with the strange, tentacled mind-readers--beings who can pick up all of the horrid secrets Kaylin has hidden, she sucks it up and does her job. But when she learns that they have lost one of their children, she wonders if there is a connection.

    Author Michelle Sagara (see more reviews of novels by Sagara) creates a wonderful world of magic, dragons, and complex rules. Kaylin is a spunky character, impulsive and unable to control her mouth, yet redeemed by her deep love for children. Kaylin's adventures as she attempts to learn the secret behind the elements, the shape of water, and the strange burden that held a dead dragon lord bound to earth are fascinating and described in powerful detail.

    Although Kaylin is an entertaining character, from time to time, she gets a bit too precious. I truly understand her lack of ambition and her disinterest in pursuing power. Still, she is strongly motivated to do her job and to help children. Wouldn't she do a bit more to study magic and learn the rules of the court she is forced to play in? Of course, part of the enjoyment is watching Kaylin stumble through magic and through power--even if it isn't completely consistent or believable.

    CAST IN SECRET is an enjoyable fantasy--and part of a strangely compelling and well-written series.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 8/31/07

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