Synopsis: Kaylin Neya was a child when the runes started appearing on her skin, and thirteen when they started changing. No one is quite sure what they are, what it is to be the “Chosen”, but Kaylin is equally able to kill as she is to heal. At twenty, Kaylin is now a Hawk and has sworn to protect the city of Elantra to the best of her ability… and that means fighting the Outcaste.
Author: Michelle Sagara also writes under the name of Michelle West and Michelle Sagara West. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She has written approximately twenty-five novels, in five different book series, plus some short stories.
Cover: The artwork of this series is always of interest, and improves with each novel. It is either the talent of one author who’s skills improve with each book, or the work of varying artists who are capable of creating an image of similar aesthetic.
Plot: The storyline of each novel has Kaylin save the city from destruction, and each is a step toward the climax in the final novel. Generally all the subplots within a single novel connect to form one major plot that allows each book to become a story in itself and a part of the larger theme of the series.
Character Development: The short story in “Harvest Moon” takes place when Kaylin is a youth, where as the remaining novels take place after Kaylin is a Hawk at the age of twenty. There is a difference between the two ages, of course, but also with each novel. Whenever Kaylin gains knowledge about a situation or learns something about herself, this allows Kaylin to been seen as evolving as she is able to use that experience in the situations and books that follow.
Romance: Kaylin’s childhood best friend Severn is the obvious choice for the romantic hero, but their relationship is rather multifaceted. There is very little obvious romance between the two, though they admit to loving each other –you’re just not sure if it is a love between friends or something more. There is also another, Lord Nightshade, who is a potential romantic interest for Kaylin yet, as the reader, you are unsure whether his interest is purely romantic or in his own self-interest. This triangle makes sense within the story and adds interesting complexity to the plot.
Unfulfilled Promise: Each book ends with a plotline left unfinished that is embellished upon in the next novel, but could potentially be carried over multiple books that follow. I presume that when the story does come to its conclusion, all the subplots will be fulfilled.
Quote: By your choice you shall be known.
The Verdict: This series is a must-read, as there is never a moment when you feel you can put the book down without dying to find out what happens next. This also means it is best to get all the books at once, because you will regret not being able to pick up the next one immediately after finishing the previous. The main character has a personality that is entirely relatable, the writing style is on the humorous side, the plot is enthralling… I will definitely be reading these books again and again.