Cast In Shadow by Michelle Sagara
Luna Books is a subsidiary of Harlequin, which is not the sort of thing that leads to me having a lot of confidence in the product it puts out. On the other hand, Michelle Sagara. Nice cover blurb from Tanya Huff. Lousy cover. Michelle Sagara. I bought it. I wasn’t disappointed.
Kaylin Neya is a Hawk, a servant of the Hawklord of Law in the city of Elantra. She has come up from the streets, from the slum neighbourhoods known as the fiefs because the crimelords rule them like fuedal kingdoms. Long ago, she fled from the fiefs, marked by tattoos that mysteriously appeared on her skin at the same time they were mysteriously appearing on the skin of dead children, and because she was cruelly betrayed by her closest friend.
Now, she is assigned to go back into the fiefs again, with that friend (the one man she tries to kill on first sight), because children are dying again, and they are again covered in weird tattoos. And her own tattoos are changing, in response . . .
As a summary, that sucks. It touches only the surface of the story, which is deeper and richer than I could explain in less than 409 pages. And it’s very short for a Michelle Sagara story.
19 books into a series, what can you really say about it? Grafton continues to write enjoyable mysteries. In this one, Kinsey Millhone is hired by a dying rich man to escort his daughter home from prison, where she was sent for embezzling, and make sure that she visits her parole officer and generally help her adjust back to civilian life. Kinsey does her best to befriend the other woman, but it is difficult not to be surprised when she falls immediately into bed with the boss who had her arrested before. Things get stranger than that, as the plot proves fairly labyrinthian, and Kinsey meets an interesting guy herself and comes to an interesting realisation about her own role in this book.
Sequel to The Eyre Affair, this has Thursday Next dealing with the after-effects (or do I mean affects? I can never remember) of the end of the last book. Specifically, she’s something of a celebrity, and has to deal with SO-27’s efforts to get good publicity out of her. And she’s just married, and is trying to adjust to that. And Goliath Corporation wants something from her, and even if she could do it, she’s quite sure she doesn’t want to. So they make threats. And someone else seems to be trying to kill her in mysterious, coincidental ways. And her father, a renegade timecop, is trying to figure out why all life on earth turns into pink goo on December 12th.
All told, it’s a long, strange, funny and exciting book. Highly recommended.