Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!!
I seriously love this series. It is so unlike most other series out there and that is a very pleasant and a much-needed change. I finished the first 8 books back to back and this isn’t always a good thing. I tire of the series (even though I sometimes plan to read the next book in the series) I am so happy that not only did I love Cast in Sorrow, I also cannot wait for the next book to release. Although, this time the wait will be easier because it did not end with a cliff-hanger.
Cast in Peril was about Kaylin being summoned by the green. She was supposed to serve as the Harmoniste with Nightshade serving as the Teller. They had to tell a tale in the heart of the green, which is a very important Barrani ritual. Peril ended before their party could even reach the green. So essentially, one story was split into two: Cast in Peril and Cast in Sorrow. And I liked that Sagara did this. There was a lot to tell with a good number of new characters and stuffing all of this in just one book, wouldn’t have done it justice. It would’ve been rushed with half-baked characters.
Cast in Sorrow was about the fate of the lost Barrani children as well as the Hallionne of the West March and the green. This doesn’t make sense unless you’ve read Peril and I’m going to try and keep this review spoiler free. The party of Barrani, travelling to the green have already had a very trying journey and in Sorrow, they finally reach the halls of the West March. But of course, things couldn’t possibly be simple from then on. All kinds of weird things happen, for instance, important people disappear, and there are strange birds with only wings and nothing else. And of course Kaylin is pretty much involved in everything.
Sagara’s way of writing took time for me to get used to. She writes very differently from the other authors I tend to read. Her narrative is slow, heavy and takes time to build. So when you start her books, they take time to really get started but as you progress, it becomes more and more difficult to put them down. I tried so hard to read Sorrow as slowly as humanly possible but as I got closer to the climax, it was a losing battle, I found it almost impossible to stop reading because I couldn’t wait to find out how it was gonna end and to make sure that all the characters I cared about, were all safe and sound. Sagara’s characters are an absolute treat. They are so well written, multi-dimensional and layered. Even her villains have a good reason to be doing the dastardly things they do (or at least they seem to think so)
As far as main characters go, I love Kaylin. She is reckless and has the tendency to throw caution to the wind when someone she is close to, is in trouble. Her knowledge (of those around her and herself) is limited and she is not afraid of admitting this but she also does not let it hold her back. With each new book, we, along with Kaylin, learn more about the marks that cover most of her body. This time, we also learn more about her ‘small dragon’, the familiar.
Another one of my absolute favourites is Teela. A barrani lord, she genuinely cares about Kaylin. Sorrow was as much her book as it was Kaylin’s. We learn more about her childhood and what she was like when she was younger, her connection to the heart of the green as well as her connection with the lost children. She is also the closest thing to a real family that Kaylin has left. That part was beautifully explained in Cast in Sorrow. I love her friendship with Kaylin.
I also really like the Consort and the Lord of the West March. Sure the Consort was very mad at Kaylin for a while but I still like her character. She didn’t suddenly turn into a raging bitch for no apparent reason and she does care about Kaylin, in her own way. Lirienne (or Lord of the West March) is fun because; he is perhaps the most normal of the Barrani Lords. Plus it helped that he has a sense of humour. Nightshade was also present as was Severn, but they didn’t feature as prominently in this particular book.
I am having a tough time deciding if getting an ARC is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, it’s great because I get read the book before its release date and therefore don’t have to wait too long. On the other hand, it’s awful because now I have to wait that much longer for the next book to release. That part is really no fun.
And another thing I don’t understand is why, on NetGalley, Cast in Sorrow was listed as a romance. There isn’t anything even remotely romantic in it. They need to fix that.