Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!
You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^
I'm kicking off November by daring you to read one of my all-time favourite fantasy series: Michelle Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra. There are eight books (and one novella) out so far but I'm challenging you to try the first book, CAST IN SHADOW. Why? Because the stories are beautifully written, the characters will put you through the emotional wringer, and the world building and mythology are truly outstanding!
In this world, there are five races, two of which are immortal (the Dragons and the Barrani) and three of which are mortal (the humans, or Elantrans, the Leontines, and the Aerians). Most of the series takes place in a city called Elantra and the surrounding fiefs, or territories that are not ruled by the Dragon Emperor who rules most of the land. The central character is Kaylin Neya, a human woman who grew up in the fiefs and has made her way to the city. She works as a Hawk -- basically a law enforcement agent. She's special, not just because you'll love her as soon as you meet her (if you're the reader -- this can't be said for the characters in the series), but because her body is covered in tattoos in the language of the Old Ones, giving her a lot of unexplored power. She’s also scrappy and headstrong and passionate, with a tendency to get into trouble, which makes for fantastic books.
I was instantly drawn to Kaylin and the world she lives in and hope you will be, too. You'll find yourself immersed in this fantastic world that has a very high fantasy vibe but also has a lot of the flavour you find in an urban fantasy story -- there's the grittiness, strong characters, and city flavour, but it happens to take place in a more medieval world. Over the course of the series, Michelle Sagara really explores the world she's created and there's a lot to learn about the different races and their histories. (These books are probably not for those who don't appreciate a layered and detailed mythology.) We also learn so much about Kaylin and her past, including her tumultuous relationship with Severn (someone from her fief days), and her growing understanding of what she can do because she's Chosen. I'm currently reading CAST IN PERIL, the eighth book in the series, which is why (a) I was inspired to write this post and (b) why I can assure you that the series remains strong as it approaches the double digits. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the Chronicles of Enatra is one fantasy series sure to appeal to a broader audience, including readers of this blog, because of the strong storytelling and appealing characters. I hope you'll take a chance and give Michelle Sagara's work a try!
Interested in finding out more? Here's the scoop on CAST IN SHADOW:
Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered – an all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin…
Since then, she’s learned to read, she’s learned to fight and she’s become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she’s made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.
But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging. Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she knows she can’t trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers – powers that no other human has. Her task is simple – find the killer, stop the murders…and survive the attenions of those who claim to be her allies!
And here's the rest of the series:
Plus the prequel novella, available as part of the HARVEST MOON anthology or on its own as an e-book:
What do you think? Have you read this series? Are you willing to accept my dare?