the Author

Cast in Conflict: Spoiler Discussion Thread

Posted in writing.

It goes without saying that a spoiler discus­sion thread is for discussing the events in the book — so people who hate spoilers (I don’t, my long suffering husband does) should prob­ably avoid the comments here.

54 Responses to Cast in Conflict: Spoiler Discussion Thread

  1. Nicki Himmel says:

    I read the book in one day and you never disap­point me. Loved it.

  2. This is my favorite book in this series in awhile. I loved that we finally brought together the various fief lords and from a plot perspec­tive covered a ton of ground and brought in many char­ac­ters. It was fast paced and really fun and I made my husband leave me alone for several hours while I finished it 😄. 

    I espe­cially loved the addi­tion of Robin. What a great new char­acter as Kaylin is at her best when protecting young kids. I was surprised to learn that she was still only 20 years old though. Talk about a dense life!

  3. Tchula Ripton says:

    Michelle, I just finished Cast in Conflict last night! What a great story (although I confess I’d forgotten some of what happened in Cast in Wisdom, so I should’ve prob­ably re-read that one first.) I really liked the Wevarans.

    Person­ally, while I under­stand the spider “cringe” phobia, I’ve always loved them. Prob­ably because Char­lot­te’s Web was the first book I read at six-years-old where I cried buckets because she died after saving Wilbur. I remember tear­fully asking my mom, “Why did she have to die? She was so nice! Why did the writer do that?” So I’ve always had a soft spot for arach­nids. Although I do admit, I’d be freaked out if I came face-to-face with ones the size of Wevarans! xD

    I like how you resolved Bellus­deo’s emotional state, and explained Emme­ri­an’s. It was very believ­able to me, and I hope they’ll find a good reso­lu­tion in the future. I also liked learning more about Durandel, Night­shade’s Tower’s Avatar, and hope to under­stand more about their rela­tion­ship, too. Liatt and Durrant were inter­esting as well. Liatt having a daughter with whom she wants to inherit the Tower is a new idea for the series, and I wonder how that will all play out. And Mando­ran’s inter­ac­tions with Kaylin made me lol as usual. I swear, they are so similar and I find it highly amusing that this annoys Kaylin at times. Teela and Tain must be laughing uproar­i­ously! Another enjoy­able read. Thank you!

  4. Jennifer Lynn BOSWELL says:

    This really was a great book! I usually reread the whole series when a new one comes out but I couldn’t wait that long. I’m with Kaylin, happy for Bellusdeo but sad she won’t be living there anymore at the same time. Change is hard!

  5. br60103 says:

    I have been wondering about the economics of autonomous build­ings. Do they provide food and things magi­cally? Does Kaylin pay rent?
    I also like Robin. I would have liked a scene where his parents find out what he is doing now.

  6. Anjali says:

    Read the book. And then reread it again!! Iv read the series over 10 times by now. And every time I need some laughter and famil­iarity I turn to the Cast series.
    It’s like every book after the cohorts rescue is about rescuing more people who have faded from the world. Seems to me like slowly Kaylin and Co. are bringing together various races and char­ac­ters who almost always end up becoming “family” to kaylin.
    Love the inter­ac­tion between Terrano, Mandoran and Kaylin. It’s hilar­ious and brings much comic relief from the some­time inten­sity of other characters.
    Person­ally I want more of Kaylin and Sedarias. The new old high halls and the new char­ac­ters there. Kaylin and Night­shade. Evanton, Teela & Tain & Marcus. All the old lovable characters.
    I know you can’t bring them all back all the time. But such are the char­ac­ters you have created that I can’t seem to not want them more LOL.
    Awesome writing as always. Love the series. The only real gripe I have with you Michelle is…. I wish you could release a new book every month!!!
    Well done as the former Arkon would say.

  7. E_ says:

    Anyone else think Kaylin is slowly influ­encing the Dragon Court to find their horses? I almost feel sorry for the Emperor.

  8. Naomi Booth says:

    Unlike the other responses, I found this book harder reading. I enjoyed reading more about the Towers and the spiders. It seemed a little disjointed at times but that may be due to all the inter­rup­tions when I was trying to read it. I loved the hints that Liatt’s daughter may have walking diffi­cul­ties and the Outcast may not be fully respon­sible for his actions. Is the next book going to have Kaylin trying to save the Outcast? Or will Sedarias find a way to solve her own dilemma?
    Looking forward to the next exciting instalment

  9. Tchula Ripton says:

    @E_says Auto­cor­rect strikes again! (horses, lol) I think Kaylin as Chosen is defi­nitely a prime mover of strange events and actions, which is pushing the Dragon Court, and the Barrani to change. I suspect Bellus­deo’s captaining of the Tower is not truly her hoard yet. She is wedded to the war against Shadow and the Outcaste right now, but the war or desire for revenge cannot be her hoard (other­wise Karri­amis would not have accepted her). I think what she will build with him, and hope­fully Emmerian, after the war is over, will consti­tute her hoard. That, in turn, will lead to Emmerian finding his hoard, which is to be with her.

    I assume Sana­bal­is’s hoard is his students. The Chan­cel­lor’s is knowl­edge, which the Acad­emia embodies, and Diarmat has his duty to the Emperor. Tiamaris has Tara, and the Emperor, of course, has Elantra. Can’t think of anyone I missed, unless some new Dragons awaken. Don’t think we’ll see any born for quite awhile yet into the future (if we see it at all).

  10. E_ says:

    Auto­cor­rect gets me every­time @Tchula. And yes…that should be hoard. Which almost changed to heard this time.

  11. cgbookcat1 says:

    I tried to stretch this book out over several days but ended up reading the whole thing within 24 hours. I loved the new Wevarin, the idea of having the fief lords meet to strate­gize, and the upcoming changes for Bellusdeo and Emmerian. And I want to know under what circum­stances dragons change color! Presum­ably the blue to silver tran­si­tion means some­thing important.

  12. KScappace says:

    One of my greatest plea­sures in this book was Serralyn and her reac­tion to being able to attend the Acad­emia. She even develops a friend­ship with Robin. It seems to me, in a way, that Serralyn is what the Barrani were before the wars and the corrup­tion of the High Halls. Also, I wonder if Maggaron will go with Bellusdeo? If he doesn’t what will happen to him? I don’t think he can rejoin his people. Each new book leads me more and more to the feeling that ulti­mately Kaylin will have to heal Ravellon. 

    I would love to under­stand the thoughts and emotions of other char­ac­ters, like the new Arkon, Teela, and Tain espe­cially, about Kaylin in her current state. I am always a bit thrown by the lack of respect she is afforded. Not just because of the marks but also because of what she has accom­plished with them. It seems that many of the people around her might know some­thing about what the marks mean and yet they with­hold the infor­ma­tion while insisting that she is being derelict in not learning magic. It seems clear that the magic she wields is completely different from that used by anyone else. 

    So, I would love to see a short story or novella about that. Like maybe she’s kidnapped and we learn how the char­ac­ters truly feel about her while they are trying to rescue her? Some­thing anyway. Cause seri­ously, they all need a slap upside the head.

  13. Kat says:

    I loved it so much! I loved Bellusdeo growing and having some reso­lu­tion. I hope we see some­thing similar with the Cohort soon. I liked that Kaylin real­ized that she misses Severn, and am hoping that he will take more promi­nence in the next book(s). I also want to learn more about the Weavarin and maybe some other races that we haven’t met. I also love the idea that the outcast dragon may be controlled by shadow rather than evil. I’m inter­ested to see where that thought leads. I’m also fasci­nated by getting to know the indi­vid­uals who became the hearts of the towers and how they interact with the captains/ lords.

  14. Jamie says:

    There was so much to digest with this install­ment — and I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface with Ravellon. I can’t wait for Kaylin to unravel the mystery behind why Ravellon is the way it is and whether she can free all its one-off shadows… how many of them are trapped and how much is it Shadow? 

    And Hope mentioning the deal again…things were never easy for Kaylin, but I feel like we’re going to get our “when push comes to shove” moment soon. 

    I so love this series, and all the rela­tion­ships. It was great to get a clearer picture of some of the more back­ground char­ac­ters too, as well as deeper dive into some of the new char­ac­ters intro­duced in the last book. Now I just need to go back and re-read this series again and again until the next one comes out!

  15. Paula Lieberman says:

    This was going through my head during the scenes in the Libraries.… 

    I’m a child of the Library,” by Piers Cawley [From 2011, though it was the past year and a half that I first heard it, sung by Piers live on Zoom] 

  16. Chels says:

    Sooo good :). I love that the towers and actual people, with emotions and attitudes 😂. 

    I cant wait to see the dragon rela­tion­ship dynamics!

    Always an amazing read, thanks Michelle!!

  17. Grace says:

    I liked meeting all the fieflords, but was hoping Night­shade would be a major char­acter again. It was nice for Ynpharion to put on an appearance.
    Has anyone else thought that the Arcan­ists are being strangely quiet about all the recent events?
    Other stuff we haven’t seen much of: the human caste court/nobility. And what ever happened to Roshan Kaylarr?

  18. Tchula Ripton says:

    @Grace I found the discus­sions of the different parenting styles in Barrani fami­lies inter­esting. It makes sense to me that Night­shade had a good rela­tion­ship with his parents, and desper­ately wanted to get his brother back from the Hallion now that we know his family was more loving than a family like Sedari­as’s. Hearing about Ynphar­i­on’s family also helped me under­stand and like him better. It was a relief to know that most Barrani feel that Sedari­as’s family was extreme in terms of disci­pline and compe­ti­tion, and that this is not the norm, even in the fami­lies closest to the High Halls. I’m excited to see how things will change, now that the High Halls have changed, and Sedarias has come to power.

    Because Night­shade loved his family – even if no Barrani would state it so boldly – that makes me believe that he wants to recreate that for himself somehow, with Kaylin in the role of Erenne. Which we don’t fully under­stand, but I’m guessing it has some­thing to do with being able to pull Names from the Lake, which Night­shade wouldn’t be able to do other­wise, being outcaste.

    I do find it sad that Teela doesn’t ever want chil­dren. I can under­stand her fears, but don’t believe for a minute anyone she would choose to marry would ever do the things her father did. Someone like Tain certainly wouldn’t, and they’ve basi­cally helped raise Kaylin between them and the rest of the Hawks. I admit, I don’t under­stand the details of Teela and Tain’s rela­tion­ship inter­ac­tions. Some­times I think they are or were inti­mate, some­times I don’t know – maybe they are just part­ners at work. But Teela, as a Power, at least has choice, and since Barrani live as long as they want to, unless they’re killed, she has time to change her mind, or not.

  19. Jazzlet says:

    I loved that we have several living wevaren, rather than one library ‘preserved’ protector, and getting to know more about the other fief lords. I am intrigued by the hints that Liarts daughter has walking diffi­cul­ties, maybe other health prob­lems, but that Liart wants her to inherit the Tower when holding the Tower agaist Ravellon means fighting. It was lovely to see Robin so happy with the Acad­emia running as it should, and making friends with Serralyn. So much more too.

  20. Shadowkindrd says:

    I am now offi­cially Team Mandoran.

  21. Agustine says:

    Thank you another awesome book, Michelle. XD I’ve just finished reading CiC n I honestly love it. I love the Wevarans, I love how Sedarias sort her fears through (with loving supports n sincere accep­tance from the cohorts), I love how Kaylin misses Severn, n how she was enlight­ened abt how Severn feels through what she learns about Emme. I’m happy that Bell finally captain the ex Candallar, but kinda also a bit sad that she moves out of Helen. And also Mandoran and Terrano; gosh, I love ‘Em! N to see Terrano who will also apply for Acad­emia is great. I’ M looking forward to reading more of your books. How many books left for this series that you have in mind, Michelle? I kinda wish for forever, but wishes seldom comes true. Grins. Crossing my fingers for at least another 4.or 5 books, though. XD

    Anyway, stay safe n stay healthy, Michelle, we’re now facing a tsunami of Covid infec­tion here in Indonesia. Hospi­tals over­load, medics are infected n dies, n the fune­real services (ambu­lance n ceme­tery) oper­ates 24 hrs nonstop, n still not enough. Hope things will get better soon, n I’m still waiting for my 2nd dose of AZ vaccine, but I suspected that I may not get it in time, due to current govt concen­trates more on getting people to get 1st dose vaccine, to create herd immu­nity. Well then, let’s just hope for the best for now. =)

    Have a wonderful, blessed day to you n your family, n also to all fellow readers of Michelle ‘s series, wher­ever you are. Stay safe! =)

  22. Paula Lieberman says:

    What’s Annarion been up to [or down to]? He’s caused quite a bit of psychodrama and unde­sir­able outcomes in recent books, but was only the most periph­eral of pres­ences in Cast in Conflict [as opposed to Mandoran, Terrano, and other less, um, ordi­narily flam­boyant members of the cohort than Terrano, Mandoran, and Annariaon…

  23. gregbanks3624 says:

    16 books in and Elianne has not learned a thing. She wants to believe she is not stupid yet contin­u­ally does the same things, always and forever seat of the pantsing. This was truly disap­pointing book consid­ering a monu­mental battle was ongoing between enti­ties that had the power of life or death are back­grounded, by a new species, two less than signif­i­cant Baranni what could be construed to be an insane child. Don’t get me wrong the handling of Durant and Liatt and their denizens made for an inter­esting sidebar. Emmerian, Beelusdeo, Tiamaris, Hope played well who was the second blue dragon or was it just a slip of MS’swriting pattern?

  24. Tchula Ripton says:

    @gregbanks I dunno…I thought it was really awesome when Kaylin used a rune of silence to basi­cally shut up three arguing dragons. Doesn’t get more boss than that! ;-P

    And I liked that she relied less on Hope this time around, too.

    Can you mention the chapter or page of the second blue dragon? I don’t recall that, as the outcaste is ebony and Kami­aris is “ghost­like” or silver in appear­ance, but I’ve only read the book through once so far.

  25. Lisa B. says:

    Excel­lent read as always! It feels like the overall series plot is leading up to some­thing and it was cool for them to finally reach Ravellon, even if that wasn’t the intended result of their actions. It was nice to visit the former Arkon in his new role and learn more about Emmerian. I do wish that there could have been a little more inter­ac­tion from the High Halls and the Emperor and I am anxiously awaiting the next time they meet in person. 

    I re-read Oblivion and Wisdom quickly before picking this one up to refresh things in my mind (terrible memory and all that — makes re-reading super fun though!) and managed to accom­plish nothing but reading for the past week or so and can’t wait for your next work!

    I have left the first book of the series on my husband’s coffee table and I am very quietly waging a war until he picks it up to start reading.. Until then I am pleased to find a spot to chat about these books! 

    Thank you for your writing!

  26. I really enjoyed this story… was glad to see some of Night­shade, but was hoping for more.

    I read Severn’s story and will read his next one as well, but I can’t ever feel ok if they get in a rela­tion­ship. If she had babies with him, I can’t see how she’d ever be able to trust him completely!

    I’d rather Night­shade because at least it’s clear that he had a healthier family situ­a­tion and real love with his brother.… makes more sense and no ugly history of murdering Kaylins chil­dren to boot. 

    Also, was so excited that they were able to bring back so much from Ravellon! I know the Chan­cellor will be ecstatic… but who will keep the books? The wevaran, the Arkon, or the Academia???

    Was a bitter­sweet moment when Belusdeo finally claims her own home… will miss having her around Kaylin all the time, but so happy she has a chance for happi­ness and romance also! I’m so relieved that it’s Emmerian and not the Emperor, but also worried how the Emperor is going to react. 

    So many issues are left open for the next novel and I can’t wait!

  27. gregbanks3624 says:

    So Maria is the Tower’s name not Tara, how bout dat, however we still don’t know what species Maria is. To Tchula Ripton I looked but not supris­ingly I was unable to refer­ence to the second blue dragon.

  28. Linda Robins says:

    @gregbanks3624 I was confused when I read the name Maria. I finally assumed it referred to Tara. It seemed so random to appear just once in this book with no appear­ance in any previous book that I could remember, and not really neces­sary to plot. Maybe someone else remem­bers a previous appearance.

  29. michelle says:

    @Greg & Linda: The Towers remember the names of the appli­cants who were finally chosen to become the heart of a Tower. Those names weren’t always kept by the Towers, and the mortal Tower (nee Maria) was subject to drift; she didn’t remember the name she’d been born with. (To be fair, this is true of Hallionne Orbaranne as well.)

    I believe Maria was also mentioned, but only once, in Cast in Wisdom. And… yes, it’s prob­ably more confusing than it needs to be =/

  30. Louise says:

    I just hope we find out at some point just why Night­shade marked Kaylin. What does he want from her? I read each book hoping to find the answer. I believe in a previous book it was mentioned that Severn is Kaylin’s Protector. Reminds me of the rela­tion­ship that Bellusdeo has with Maggaron.

  31. cgbookcat1 says:

    @Louise, my theory is that when Kaylin went back in time and met a younger Night­shade, he saw the mark and knew to mark her when he met her in book 1. But I am sure there is more to it than that!

  32. Tchula Ripton says:

    @cgbookcat1 Yes, and he also knew that Kaylin had seen him as outcaste and the captain of a Tower, which she called a castle. So he knew what shape to ask the Tower to assume when he took it. (Seri­ously, I love Cast in Secret, it might be my favorite book of the series).

    Durandel sounds like a jerk, but he knows his duty as far as I can tell. Sounds kinda like Diarmat to me. It would be inter­esting to see more of Night­shade, Annarion, and Kaylin as they try to interact with him. Maybe that will happen now that the captains of the Towers are inter­acting with each other more. Durandel defi­nitely doesn’t seem like a Baranni who is open to change and new ideas, so I wonder how he’ll perceive this.

  33. gregbanks3624 says:

    &gcbookcat1 and Tchula Ripton You’re right Silence clears up a number of things such as the marking the fact Night­shade knew Tiamaris and Severn before meeting Elianne at the castle. He recog­nizes Severn from meeting him seven and a half years previous at the killing times, may I be so bold as to suggest that Night­shade was instru­mental in Severn’s wolf trip to West March where Severn won his weapon at that time. Tiamaris is a slightly different story however Calar­nenne and Tiamaris have centuries to meet over the inter­regnum either thru explo­ration or battle. Why Elianne was marked is rela­tively simple Calar­nenne had been waiting millen­nema to renew aquain­t­ence with a girl who struck his fancy

  34. gregbanks3624 says:

    Ques­tion here, Why was Moran de Carful not in conflict? She is this godlike Aerian with Praevolo powers. She more than held her own vs Makuron while in the southern stretch. Has she come to some sort of under­standing with the outcaste some­thing like stay from mine and I’ll stay away from yours or is she just substan­tially weaker nearer the fiefs?

  35. Therese says:

    @gregbanks362 I kept waiting for Moran to arrive too. I’m not sure how that would have changed things, but it would have defi­nitely been inter­esting to see!

  36. Therese says:

    I really like Mandoran and Kaylin’s friend­ship. It would be great if they did share their names with each other. I’d love to read that in a future book.

  37. Mary Allen says:

    I wonder now that the tower avatars are inter­acting if Helen, the avatars for the acad­emia, the high halls and even the Halleron (sp) will be allowed to commu­ni­cate. I missed the Lord of the West March and wish Kaylin would visit him again.

    fI thought the Blue Dragon was just Emmerian because they can change color.

  38. Matthew says:

    Longterm lurker on your site Michele. Loved the book really liked all the inter­ac­tions between the char­ac­ters. Looking forward to see the impact of Kaylin healing Emmerian and how this could impact her rela­tion­ship with the Dragons. What did she learn? Dragon tongue? Defi­nitely, so many things I what to see. The new High Halls. How the Dragons would interact with the released “reset” Shadow from the High Halls. Defi­nitely Team Mandoran! So want some more dinners with Darian­daros and liter­ally “everyone.”

    I really liked the idea that some of the cohort consid­ered the acts of the Barrani as geno­cide against the Dragons during the wars. Just true to our own history, adds depth to the level of hated that would have come out of the wars. 

    Keep the stories coming.

  39. Shadowkindrd says:


    Emmerian and Diarmat are both blue dragons, although Emmerian takes on silver coloring in CoC. The Emperor is indigo. 

    As for why Moran isn’t there, well, she’s completely across the city and well south, and in the given time, she prob­ably couldn’t be noti­fied, raise the troops, and get to the fiefs in time to do anything. The involved Aerians were already in Ravelllon.

  40. gregbanks3624 says:

    I’m inclined to agree with your obser­va­tion the second bluish black Dragon was Diarmat which leads to other ques­tions. Sanabilis and Diadanros (sic) stayed home for back up? The palace will be a quiet place with the loss of four Dragons within a year can we expect two or three more to wake from the Long Sleep within in the next few books?
    Flight made it pretty plain that Illumen Praevolo has powers above and beyond any normal Areian I find it less than conciev­able that Moran was inca­pable of not having rein­force­ments addi­tional to aid to Karramis in time consid­ering she has the Hawk­lord and Areian Hawks avail­able at the Halls of Law. I venture to say my opinion that Moran and Makuron have made some type of deal is not untoward.

  41. Cheyenne says:

    I love your books!! Every time I read one I fall in love with fantasy all over again. I just wanted to say that. Anyway, Cast in Conflict was great. Bellusdeo and Emmerian. OMG! I loved the meeting of the fieflords too. So much happened. Did Kaylin pick up a new word? On her hand?

  42. Aquilegia says:

    @Kareen McCabe: It was made /very/ clear that Night­shade views her as a tool, a weapon, a posses­sion. He does not respect her as herself, he only respects her abil­i­ties and what she can do for him. I would never want to be in a rela­tion­ship like that. And from what she has said, it sounds like Kaylin would not like it either. I am not sure is she and Severn will be able to over­come their shared past, but I find it far more likely than Night­shade ever viewing her as an equal partner. 

    I love the emotional ground this novel covered. Most of the conflict was internal. Sedarias and Emmerian fighting against them­selves. And how facing those doubts and fears was good therapy for Kaylin. It has only been a year or so since the first novel (I think) and you can see the progress she has made. My only complaint, besides a couple typos, is how Maggaron seems to have disap­peared for three quar­ters of the book.

  43. Kat says:

    @ Aqui­legia I completely agree about Night­shade. I can’t see Kaylin ever getting past how he governed his fief/ being a tool

  44. Aquilegia says:

    It occurred to me that I didn’t say what I based my opinion on. And I think it’s impor­tant. I am not parroting the opinion of anyone in the books. Not even Helen. And you /know/ that she did her best to plunder his secrets while he was in screaming matches with his brother and his guard was down. She may not pass the infor­ma­tion on, but she had to look.

    I based it on eye color. Every time Night­shade tries to get inti­mate with Kaylin his eyes are violet. Not the purple of grief or the light blue of lust. Violet. A few years back on the old forums, I asked Michelle for a list of eye colors and mean­ings, and she said that violet means domi­nating desire or possessiveness.

    The author told me that he wants to domi­nate and possess her.

  45. Alisa Stein says:

    So my son, my husband and I are “arguing” about Hope, Shadow, Devourer and the Maker. We are reading all the books and getting our brains more confused by the second.
    Is the Devourer an element?
    Is the Devourer shadow?
    Is Hope an element?
    Any insight will be very much appreciated.

  46. Aquilegia says:

    It is at times like this that I miss the forums. I under­stand why they no longer exist. Spam-bots being the nuisance that they are, as well as all the tech­nical issues that tend to come up. But for some reason I felt less weird making my fourth comment on the same thread. And having it be nearly a year after the last comment. Don’t mind me, just whining a bit. 

    I am reading the entire series again. Because they are so wonderful and amazing, And I wanted to say that I was incor­rect. Not that anyone will look here, not that anyone but me cares. But I do care, so here we go. I don’t like being wrong, but I like knowing that I said some­thing wrong —and allowing it to persist— less. 

    In Cast in Chaos, Nightshade’s eyes do not turn violet. They are the sky blue of desire. However, it is imme­di­ately after he was going to chop off her legs in order to save her. Not caring about what she would want. So I main­tain that his affec­tion for her is entirely selfish. The Night­shade that existed when the towers acti­vated or the one that spent decades with Gilbert might have a better perspec­tive, but the one present in the regular time­line is a self absorbed tool. 

    Severn’s affec­tion is almost entirely self­less, which creates its own prob­lems. I am still firmly team none of them are ready for a rela­tion­ship yet, and need to work on themselves. 

    Inci­den­tally, pale blue is regret and sky blue is desire, and I have no real idea what the differ­ence is.

  47. CMarie says:

    I have just recently found this book series Chron­i­cles in Elantra. I read all the books in order and although I enjoyed them I found myself frus­trated by (1) some of the char­acter inter­ac­tions and (2) hints at impor­tant plot points that were never addressed again. 

    I too would be inter­ested in a discus­sion forum, I think I would find it would help me to hear other readers perspec­tive on the char­acter inter­ac­tion. If you know of a place where a discus­sion thread or forum exist I would like to join. I looked through Goodreads and Reddit found none. I do not know where else to look.

    I under­stand from reading the blurb that the next book will feature more on Severn and may address some of the ques­tions that stand out since the start of the series. I tried to read and then listen to the first Wolves book and found myself angry in such a way that I could not get past one/two chap­ters. I also did not like the narra­tors voice at all. 

    Severn is one of the char­ac­ters in the story that I have signif­i­cant prob­lems with in terms of char­acter rela­tion­ship and inter­ac­tion. I suspect him of being an ‘enemy’ spy from the begin­ning and consider his inter­ac­tions with Kalyin to be actual grooming. While Kaylin is all about second chances, I find imaging Severn as a love interest for her repulsive. 

    He was 18 when he murdered the 2 chil­dren, also made a mess out of the killings, by murdering them at home and leaving her to find their bodies, which drove her out into the night alone and frantic with grief and betrayal in a dangerous fief. How is this fulfilling his wow of ‘protec­tion’. He alone is respon­sible for a complete destruc­tion of her mental health leaving her vulner­able to preda­tors, which in turn lead her to murder and sexual assault and exploitation.
    While Severn’s love does appear genuine it is not self­less, even his char­acter in the books specif­i­cally admits to Kaly­in’s that all his actions are about what he wants and are entirely selfish. I can’t remember which book he said that, but he did say it. He hides his past, he hides his thoughts, he hides his friends and connec­tions, he never lets Kaylin into any part of his life. At the same time he lives in her head watching her life through her eyes every day, sensing her feel­ings. He has also managed to attach himself to her side by becoming her partner at work and going every­where with her, even into Sedarais mind, really?
    I believe that he uses magic so that although he is with her almost all the time, he is ‘not noticed’ like a forget me spell or a ‘don’t pay atten­tion to me’, other­wise surely her friends and adopted family would be as creeped out as I am by his stalker behavior. 

    As you see I have thoughts and frus­tra­tions! However I am inter­ested in other readers view­points on the books, char­acter, story and world. I am open to alter­nate ideas and that I may have missed some nuance or evidence that contra­dicts my conclu­sion. I have not seen any discus­sion anywhere else other than here but this does not seem like to place to have a lively discus­sion on content of the books.

  48. Aquilegia says:

    @CMarie Think back to when you were eigh­teen. We’re all of your choices we’ll planned out and rational? If so you are certainly one up on me. I didn’t kill anyone, of course. Or commit any crimes… Er… I never did anything grossly illegal or uneth­ical and never got caught for anything else. But I sure managed a lot of stupid.

    Top of the list of danger­ously stupid was agreeing to be a nude model for a guy taking a figure drawing class. Alone in his bedroom. So lucky I wasn’t assaulted. Still have the drawing though, it’s nice. Second is going skinny dipping at night in a mixed group. Twice. Almost got arrested for that one. No one called in a complaint and no one admitted to being under eigh­teen and we we’re outside the city limits, so the cops had to let us go. Again lucky to not be assaulted. My favorite example of less obvi­ously dangerous random­ness and ‘what was I thinking?’ was tres­passing onto a construc­tion site. A building was being reno­vated and we were climbing all over the scaf­folding. In our Halloween costumes. Because why not. Why wouldn’t I be wearing a long dress, imprac­tical shoes, and volu­mi­nous cloak when climbing rickety scaf­folding? I was stone cold sober and nine­teen or twenty for every one of these. I am sure that everyone past the age of twenty five can think of some crazy shenani­gans that their younger self did that were… questionable.

    Teenagers can be morons at times. Even the well adjusted and reason­ably smart and sane ones. These kids were not well adjusted or very well educated.

    Killing the girls was wrong. Absolutely and in every way. But, I can see the thought process that led to it. He thought that they were going to die anyway, no matter what he did. And better to have them die with as little fear as possible before­hand. Horrible, but a mercy killing of sorts, it makes a twisted kind of sense. It was wrong, again, not agreeing with it. And I absolutely can see the bone­headed failure to consider the conse­quences of how she would react and what to do after. Eigh­teen year olds really are not always very good at conse­quences and are usually more than a bit self centered. 

    Because I can see — but not agree with — the logic of it all, I have never treated him as evil. Stupid, yes. Panicked and impul­sive, certainly. Not evil, and not a villain until I have proof of it beyond one horrific choice that he has spent five years trying to atone for. His anger at thinking it only delayed but didn’t stop the trans­for­ma­tion of the marks felt very real.

    He appears to be code­pen­dent and terri­fied of losing the person he has devoted half his life to. Because of that he seems to close himself off as a defense mech­a­nism and to try and avoid doing anything that would cause her to reject him again. He is not in a good head­space. Not mentally healthy. When­ever people try to solve the love triangle and debate over who Kaylin should choose, my answer is no one. None of them are ready or healthy enough for a stable relationship.

  49. CMarie says:

    Hi Aqui­legia, I want to thank you for engaging with me. I do enjoy the books and after 17 books I am invested in the char­ac­ters and the reso­lu­tion of the story line.

    In response to your comments, I want to say that I do not see Severn as evil, I think he loves Kaylin, I think he had a terrible choice to make, both Kaylin and Severn believe there were only two choices, I don’t, (1) kill Kaylin or (2) kill the two girls. Kaylin would have wanted him to kill her, he chose to kill the two girls.
    He may regret the neces­sity of the choice but not that the he took the action, after all his action saved Kaylin, who he loves. It’s also possible he had an addi­tional moti­va­tion, to honor a wow he made to Kaylin’s mother (or someone). 

    Elantra is not modern day USA it’s a dystopian world, I read the books with that in mind. Both Kaylin and Severn and all the other char­ac­ters see violence and killing as neces­sary for survival, and in their world it is. 

    I hope you can look back to your young self with more fond­ness and less judg­ment, one has to take risks to enjoy living, and your expe­ri­ences though not without risk look more like adven­tures to me. Much of my risky teenage+ behavior was less sober and compa­rable with my peers at the time. Fortu­nately our world is less dangerous, we don’t have wolves hunting to eat us in our back yard every night, we are not squat­ting in our homes, and stealing to eat, avoiding gangs on the street during the day who would beat us, or men who would steal us away to a brothel. 

    I can accept the possi­bility that Severn ‘fell apart’ and then made a total mess of the girls execu­tion. However, if Kaylin’s judg­ment of him as being a capable person was wrong we have no evidence of this. A 17/18 year old who grew up like he did or a 11/13 year old who grew up like Kaylin is not compa­rable for our expe­ri­ences, we do not live in a dystopian lawless world with no parents. I would have expected him to do better, all evidence suggest he should have handled it better. Also, he has not once apol­o­gized for how he handled the murders/executions, why is that, consid­ering the outcome, why does he not take respon­si­bility for making a mess out of the situ­a­tion? Is it possible it was inten­tional, and why? 

    This is the reason I could not read the first Wolves book, I became incensed, as his char­acter in that book which is only 6 months later is portrayed as a calm, reason­able, capable even talented man. He is welcomed open arms into the Wolves, fawned over by Ybel­lion. The red carpet is rolled out to him even before he does any paper­work, before he is accepted or takes any vows, before he receives any training, they are spilling secrets galore. What is this weird­ness? This is not the same Severn who made a mess out of the girls murders. I decided to stick with Kaylin’s story I just could not read, it made no sense to me it made me mad. 

    With all this I have been consid­ering the role of Severn in Kaylin’s life, if Kaylin’s judge­ment of him is wrong and he did fall apart, then he is much more broken that he appears. He is looking to Kaylin for the kind of uncon­di­tional love and forgive­ness one could only expect from a parent or a mother. Given their life expe­ri­ences together as chil­dren I first thought of him as a big brother figure but found that did not fit well with me, it felt ugly, given their age differ­ence I found I often wondered when his love for Kaylin trans­formed into desire and was deeply uncom­fort­able with the idea. But their little family was a family and I now think Kaylin was the Mom and Severn was one of her kids too, she loved them all uncon­di­tional, like a mothers love. This feels more right to me. Severn of course is mixed up, which is under­stand­able with a child­hood like he has had, he did not have a mother or fathers love, (maybe, we don’t know his back­ground) he doesn’t know or under­stand the different types of love. I feel like his healing will neces­si­tate under­standing the love he craves from and receives from Kaylin is not be mixed up with inti­mate partner love. Love from an inti­mate parent is not uncon­di­tional and in my opinion there is no way it can be.
    I also do not believe Kaylin sees him as an inti­mate partner. No doubt from the story­line Kaylin often admires his appear­ances, and that is possible without being strange. A mother or sister or for that matter daughter is capable of loving and admiring the visual appeal of a male rela­tive without desiring.
    As I said before Severn and Kaylin together as inti­mate part­ners to me feels all wrong. I’d like to see him well adjusted, happy and in love, just not with Kaylin. (shudder, yes I still feel repulsed when I think of it).

    Kaylin does knows what a mothers love is, she does not know what an inti­mate part­ners love should/would be like. 

    The alter­na­tive to all this is of course is that he is a master manip­u­lator and all his actions are about control­ling Kaylin to his own personal advan­tage, and that he is very very good at what he does.

  50. Aquilegia says:

    @CMarie Since you did not read the Severn books there is some of his back­ground you can’t know. It covers the conver­sa­tion with Night­shade when Severn made his choice. And there were five possible choices, not two. Do nothing, let the girls be abducted, be tortured and die in agony and terror. Hand them off to Night­shade and have them die quickly but still in afraid. Kill them quickly himself with minimal pain and fear. Hand Kaylin off to Night­shade so he could maybe kill her. Or kill Kaylin himself. It was clear that there was no other choice, Night­shade was watching the border and would have stopped them if they tried to leave. Three of those choices would allow him to lie to himself and say that he was inno­cent since he didn’t hold the knife. But he knew he was damned any way he chose. Night­shade knew what his answer would be, because time travel. 

    Severn has never asked for forgive­ness or abso­lu­tion, because he has said that he does not believe that it is some­thing that can be forgiven. All he can do is try to make better choices in the future. 

    Another thing you can’t know is that he was raised from birth to ten years by a barrani man who was living incog­nito in the fiefs. There was no love there. Because barrani don’t do squishy emotions like love. Up to that point he had little sense of family or belonging. 

    Which could be why he clung to the idea of family with Kaylin so obses­sively. He didn’t have a frame of refer­ence, so he would not feel compelled to cate­go­rize his rela­tion­ship with Kaylin as like a sibling or parental or anything else. She was family, and that was enough. I assume that as a healthy-ish teenager he expe­ri­enced attrac­tion to some­body, but nothing leads me to believe that he felt any towards Kaylin while she was still a child. They lived in a lawless terri­tory surrounded by the worst sort of brothels. I don’t imagine they even consid­ered it taboo to have sex with a child. If there was an attrac­tion, there would be no reason not to act on it. With her hero worship she prob­ably would have responded posi­tively to any over­tures he made. Ewww. Kaylin said that her only expe­ri­ence was with Barren, there­fore nothing happened and I can believe there wasn’t anything icky there. 

    As to when his desire to be a family shifted to an earthier form of desire, that is hard to say. We know that he distantly checked up on her every so often while he was a Wolf. It could have been any time in her late teens or it could even have been soon after he started to interact with her again. 

    He has had more time as an adult to observe other rela­tion­ships. More time to care­fully consider what family and rela­tion­ships are. He may have had a girl­friend or two between his novels and the main series. That has not been said. Kaylin has had no rela­tion­ships and has not really analyzed anything beyond the familial. She has an exten­sive found family, even if she has nothing left of her blood. 

    Severn actu­ally has a little bit of blood family. But… it’s compli­cated. It may well come up in the main series so I will summa­rize it for you. He is a child of The Green. His ‘father’ was human and his ‘mother’ barrani. She begged The Green for a child, and they had one. But only by becoming a part of The Green them­selves, they no longer exist. To answer the fan ques­tion, half-elves are possible. But only if you are beloved of The Green and willing to to give up every­thing to have them. So pretty much only the one. But he has an aunt and any number of distant cousins. Not that any of them know beyond his aunt, and not that any of the others would acknowl­edge him or say anything if they knew. And Severn has magic and can focus magic though his chain. He can’t cast tradi­tional spells, but he can remain unseen and do a few other tricks. It is a bit extra and over the top. But, in a way it makes sense. He has to be able to be a little bit super human in order to keep up with everyone else on the regular. 

    In the Severn books we see inside his head. We know some of his thoughts. He is not a spy or master manip­u­lator, he just think like a barrani because he was raised by one. Not if you accept those books as canon.

  51. Aquilegia says:

    @CMarie I forgot that you asked earlier. A decade or so ago there used to be forums on this site, but the spam­mers were too much of a pain, and they had to be removed. There also used to be a pretty good Yahoo Group, but those went defunct. There currently is a group on fansofmichelle­sagarawest (dot) word­press (dot) com but they are not very active. Only one post in the last year. 

    I would love it if someone else started up a page on reddit. I am scared to do it myself. Since if I started it, I would have to be a mod. And having ADHD and being in charge of anything like that is a terrible, terrible idea. I have learned that from experience.

  52. CMarie says:

    Thank you for sharing the back­ground infor­ma­tion from the Wolves, I really appre­ciate it.
    I see now that I can maybe discount that Severn is part of the orig­inal plot against Kaylin/Chosen when she was a child. 

    Still that leaves the same ques­tions open from the very first book: who knew about her and her marks and what kids to murder as part of the Outcasts plot? 

    So my suppo­si­tion that he had some kind of magic that helps him go unno­ticed or unseen is correct. Sneaking guy is using it all the time. 

    I still think he should apol­o­gize or at least be sorry for how badly he messed up the girls murders, it’s not about forgive­ness or abso­lu­tion. He is taking respon­si­bility for the actions but not for the conse­quences of those actions. 

    It’s curious that Severn’s biolog­ical parents loved each other enough to create a child together that they knew would then result in their death, but not provide a loving care­taker after they were gone. What kind of nonsense is that?

    I was wondering if Severn is consid­ered human? I am not sure if Kaylin as ever been called human, I think is she always called mortal by the immor­tals. I remember one of Marcus’s wives saying she didn’t think Kaylin was human and I remember Night­shade saying that he thought Kaylin was maybe not even mortal. Also Kaylin was called daughter twice by dragons, once by the Outcaste and once by the skeleton dragon I think everyone recog­nizes her as not human but no one will say what she is. Any ideas?

    I do not agree with you that Seven as a child did not have a good refer­ences of cate­go­rizing family rela­tion­ships, there were fami­lies all around them to observe.
    Regard­less he is not a child anymore. Also I think the books are clear that Kaylin as a child was very aware of child exploita­tion, and brothels and completely under­stood that it was bad and to be avoided and to be afraid of. 

    It appears to me that Severn (and maybe Kaylin) is attempting to recreate the rela­tion­ship he had with Kaylin when they were chil­dren, except Severn now wants to add sex. Their rela­tion­ship as chil­dren was not normal or healthy, they were kids acting as adults and failing. The child­hood rela­tion­ship was her as a kind head of family providing love and care and him as protector, sound familiar? 

    As an adult he is not well adjusted emotion­ally, he is displaying signs of obses­sive love, grooming behavior and stalker behavior and lucky for him his magic helps him do all that and go rela­tively unnoticed.
    Not lucky for Kaylin who has serious trauma issues to deal with herself and should be able to grow up and recover, mature and expe­ri­ence life as an adult without the pres­sure to take care of his needs. I think their code­pen­dency and attach­ment issues would be disas­trous for an inti­mate rela­tion­ship. They both stuck in a past that’s not allowing either of them to moved forward. They should separate. 

    Hmm, I’ll think about forum thing. I have never done a Reddit page either. I think I’d be terrible at it. Face­book has possi­bil­i­ties and there may be other places like Discord. I’d love to talk about the books more but two people cannot keep a discus­sion going long. We’ll wear ourselves out and run out of thoughts! Plus it’s great when someone has just read the books and has fresh eyes. In a few weeks I’ll forget a lot of stuff and will need to read them again to remember. I’ll run of things to talk about or I’ll start a new series and get absorbed in that.
    Goodreads has Groups and Discus­sion, do you know anything about those?

  53. Aquilegia says:

    Severn’s parents gave him to a guardian, and told that guardian to raise him. Barrani just have very different ideas on parental care. Consid­ering how often family members kill each other, it is not hard to under­stand why. That guardian did not do as good of a job as they intended him to, defi­nitely not as good of a job as a human would think he should have. I think that was said pretty clearly. But I do think you really ought to just read the books your­self and not trust my barely adequate paraphrasing. 

    Kaylin’s mortality has been called into ques­tion by a lot of people. Mostly Night­shade, though. She seems to be human in much the same way that the Cohort are barrani. Maybe she is immortal, maybe she isn’t. Prob­ably could be, but that presup­poses that she actu­ally survive this insanity. One of my favorite pet theo­ries is that her father is the Outcaste. He could alter himself enough to actu­ally /be/ aerian. Why could he not alter himself enough to /be/ human enough to father a child? She would still be human but with a tiny bit extra. (My second pet theory is that since dragons have two true names, their birth name and their adult name, Kaylin will pick up a second true name, a dragon one. But that is off topic.) The base of who she was before the marks changed her, if my theory is true, would make her human in exactly the same way that Severn is human. He is human in phys­i­ology and spirit. But there may be some­thing extra there. We don’t know yet. I suspect there is, but I don’t have any proof one way or another.

    I can’t remember where I saw it, and maybe I am just imag­ining things… but I could have sworn that it was said that there is always a Chosen some­where in the multi­verse. On one of the many different worlds. If I am not completely crazy, and that is true… Ravelon inter­sects with every world, and if the Outcaste knew where a Chosen was, and knew when they died it is not unrea­son­able to think that he could have used some kind of orac­ular or divina­tion magic to try and find the next one. The sacri­ficed chil­dren were in a pattern spiraling closer to where she actu­ally was. Those deaths were not only to modify her marks and control her, but they seem to have been used to locate her. No one would have had to betray her or helped to find her. It was all the Outcaste and magic. When she was in Barren I am nearly posi­tive that Tara was siphoning her magic. That is why she didn’t use it uncon­sciously to defend herself while she was being abused and why the border held for so long. It is my belief that the drain on her magic protected her from that divina­tion, in a way. And he moved on to different schemes until he got desperate enough to try what he did later near her previous loca­tion and hope to draw her in. 

    In times of high stress, in a war zone or a natural disaster, people get a form of myopic tunnel vision. They focus so much on surviving the battle or getting to some­place safe or completing some essen­tial task that they are simply unable to see past that point. It is not that they fail to plan, it is that they can’t. I don’t think that Severn was capable of plan­ning for anything beyond the fact of the deaths. That it was so painful and so diffi­cult that mustering the mental strength it took made it impos­sible for him to plan anything else. It took him so long to find that strength that it ate up all the time he wanted to have by sending Kaylin out to the market. And I like him more for it. He actu­ally cared about them and it was the hardest, most painful thing he could possibly do. If he was cold blooded and method­ical, if he had a plan and could easily stick to it, I would never believe that he truly cared.

  54. CMarie says:

    Sorry that I have taken more than two weeks to respond to your post, I have been distracted with personal stuff. Then I wrote a response, discarded and wrote a new one. I reread some parts of the books looking for infor­ma­tion. Then rewrote my response maybe twice more! 

    I think it’s diffi­cult to remember all the details and some­times I miss or forget impor­tant details in the books, so I like talking through the plots, it helps me. However, I read fantasy because I want the author to tell me a story, I do not want to create a story myself. So for me, I am going to spec­u­late or theo­rize as little as possible. 

    So first Kaylin’s race. Kaylin was born human and is mortal, Severn was born human and is mortal, I’ve searched all the books and there is not infor­ma­tion to deter­mine other­wise. Mortal and human mean the same thing when said by an immortal, I found that stated specif­i­cally in one book. 

    Kaylin was born human but I agree with you in that she is now ‘other’ she was first by the Chosen marks and then by The Dragon Outcaste spell, but she is still mortal. That’s it, every­thing else is a mix of spec­u­la­tion or conjec­ture based on hints, or what may be fore­shad­owing by the author.
    So one fore­shad­owing worth noting; in Cast in Shadow, Night­shade makes a cryptic comment to Kaylin about not killing The Dragon Outcaste in consid­er­a­tion of her feel­ings, implying that it would be similar to what Severn did when he killed Steffi and Jade. 

    Secondly, Kaylin’s mortality. Night­shade ques­tioning Kaylin’s mortality is straight­for­ward to me, she is capable of healing herself. So while Kaylin has a mortal body she can heal herself allowing for an extended life and many of the bene­fits of immor­tality. I do wonder why she does not make more use of her healing powers for herself, and finally (conjec­ture) if she learns how to use her powers she can alter her own body to create an immortal body, or she’s not human (fore­shad­owing).

    The first spell to trans­form Kaylin was when she was 13. No matter how the chil­dren were selected, by magic or other­wise, they were not killed remotely. So to do the final sacri­fice Kaylin, Jade, and Steffi had to kidnapped, but they were missing, the girls because they were dead and Kaylin because she left Night­shade. Then the timing passed (quickly) for when the spell would be successful, some­thing to do with the moon phases.
    Steffi and Jade may have been consid­ered impor­tant to make the spell successful but after three years of effort, they absolutely would have continued the spell and found more kids to sacri­fice as they did later in Cast in Shadow. So I theo­rize that Kaylin being missing was the key to the spell failure.
    I will theo­rize here that there were people who knew Kaylin and were watching her and involved in this plot, people more than The Outcaste and the dead Barrani, prob­ably humans they knew. Steffi and Jade showing up when they did in Kaylin’s life is too much of a coin­ci­dence, them being needed for a sacri­fice at final part of the spell, way too much of a coin­ci­dence. There are other bizarre coin­ci­dences in Kaylin’s early life, (timing of Severn showing up and Kaylin’s Mom’s death) and I really do not believe in coin­ci­dences. Maybe this back story will never be addressed in the books, but regard­less Kaylin should confront her own past, and then move on, and there is poten­tial in that story to resolve some of these annoying questions.

    Despite many weak­ness in the story, I do like the world Michelle has created and I do like many of the char­ac­ters. I am concerned the series will end with many unre­solved ques­tions and will leave me extremely dissatisfied.
    The first book set the stage for the whole series yet there are many ques­tions and unre­solved plot points all the way back to that first book. Although many of the stories since then have been fun and inter­esting to read, Kaylin has shown no growth and very little change in these 17 books, often she seems to regress, and that regres­sion is most obvious in how she concedes to allow Severn into treating her like a scared kid needing reas­sur­ance and protection
    Now I know some of this is a limi­ta­tion of first person story line, told over such a short time frame, and with starting with such a young char­acter. This is part of why I rarely read YA mate­rial, but even so, I want better for the heroine, I want better for Kaylin. In Cast in Moon­light she was 13 and so bold, and coura­geous, and in Cast in Shadow she also shows much courage and maturity. 

    I dislike the Severn char­acter and his past with Kaylin and his constant secre­tive silent pres­ence in the books, I would prefer Michelle wrote him out of Kaylin’s daily life into a Caitlin, Marcus, or Lord Gram­mayre type role. There is just no way to develop Kaylin’s char­acter and story (into anything worth reading) with Severn always around being so damnably annoying and boring, he is a limiting factor in any poten­tial story­line (for Kaylin) going forward. Kaylin could get a new Hawk partner that actu­ally knew magic maybe a Barrani partner that not only knew magic but actu­ally shared knowl­edge, how novel. I under­stand YA books often insist on love interest, hell even if that needs be Severn as the crush she comes home to, (shudder) but please leave him out of the stories, he doesn’t work, his char­acter adds nothing posi­tive to Kaylin’s story. If Severn needs to be reinvented/rewritten/powered up to keep him in the story and keep the story inter­esting then I consider it a waste of ink, this time and word count should be spent on the main char­acter, on Kaylin. There are immea­sur­able PNR out there, and some are even good, this is not a good PNR, if this story resolves into an attempt at PNR espe­cially with the Severn char­acter, it’ll end the books series. Any Severn fan can read his story in his book series, Elantra is Kaylin’s story. 

    There is many other ideas that would make for a richer story poten­tial, befriend Night­shade is one, he has lots of knowl­edge which would help explore the world, and what about Spike, the familiar (way under devel­oped char­acter), the Adver­sary, Bakkon, and a magic univer­sity with a cool library and librar­ians guardians. How about The Dragon Outcaste, so many inter­esting char­ac­ters with stories. I do actu­ally enjoy the Cohort, but I just couldn’t read another full on Cohort story until some time is spent on devel­oping Kaylin’s char­acter. Maybe one of the Cohort would be her Hawk partner, Mando­rian is fun and some other of the cohort could join her adven­tures like they have been doing without devoting whole books to them. There really is a lot of poten­tial in this richly imag­ined world with inter­esting history and char­ac­ters, but it won’t be real­ized if time and ink is spent on devel­oping romantic inter­ests. Instead for the next number of books, this time and ink needs to be on the main char­acter and the resolving some of the orig­inal main plot/story.

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