Sagara, Michelle -- Cast in Sorrow (Elantra 9)

Part two of Kaylin Neya's Bogus Road Trip. This series has become very technical fantasy -- not as in technology; I mean that nearly the entire book consists of disentangling a centuries-old magical disaster, on its own terms. This means a lot of falling through magical portals and dreamscapes and things, where everything behaves according to an internal logic which is about 30% spelled out. (The author's "House War" series is in the same territory.)

If you're willing to cope with this, it's a great ride. It's interesting, though, because Sagara is a very prosaic author. I mean, I'm used to this allusive dreamscape stuff from McKillip, who can run on drunk with language for chapters. Or, if you want creepy rather than lyrical, all the new-weird writers will do that for you. But Sagara's protagonists tend to be extremely pragmatic people who see the world in concrete terms, and then are forced to run on pure intuition through these abstract situations. I wonder if Sagara isn't doing it specifically because it's outside her natural style.

But, speaking of natural style: Teela, the immortal Barrani elf detective, grew up in a gang! Of immortal elf kids! It's so Michelle Sagara.

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