the Author

Spoiler Thread: Sword and Shadow

Posted in Elantra, Spoiler.

I try to put these up a week after a book has been released, but I was so focused on trying to finish Cast in Eter­nity that this did not happen.

So, late, but: this is a discus­sion thread meant entirely for people who are not me to discuss Sword & Shadow. As the title suggests, it’s a spoiler thread, and while I ask people not to spoil a book in the main publi­ca­tion day thread, I’m obvi­ously not going to ask people not to spoil things in this one :).

DO NOT READ if you haven’t read the book, unless you don’t mind spoilers.

31 Responses to Spoiler Thread: Sword and Shadow

  1. I can’t find the spoiler.

  2. michelle says:

    @Lauren: There might be a bit of confu­sion — the thread itself is for discus­sion of the book by people who’ve already read it. Because discus­sions of that nature are obvi­ously spoiler-heavy, I make a thread after a book’s publi­ca­tion so readers can discuss things without worrying about spoiling the book for people who haven’t read it yet.

    So… I don’t post spoilers here, I just don’t ask readers not to.

  3. Tricia says:

    Loved Sword and Shadow! I figure his unusual origins explains why the tower let Severn in for the test of name. 

    I was listening to Cast in Sorrow to see how things lined up. Some things I can defi­nitely just chalk up to Kaylin misinterpreting/misrepresenting because of her atti­tude toward Barrani and the fact that she, by her own state­ment, only really pays atten­tion to things she finds prac­tical. So, not exactly a reli­able or accu­rate narrator. 

    But it is stated that Severn killed a man in single combat. Did Lord Rowan not make it out and the accepted expla­na­tion is that he was killed by Severn?

  4. Bryan Chauveau says:

    Because I moved at the end of January, my copy of the book has been “in transit” all over my area all this week, I will finally have it in my hands tomorrow (or so the tracking leads me to believe, I should have had last weekend, ugh). But I still can’t wait to devour this new story, as I do every­thing Michelle writes.

  5. Aquilegia says:

    On the one hand, I love heroes who rise from obscu­rity and the only thing special in the begin­ning is their heart and convic­tions. But… this has been hinted at for long time. I thought it would be some­thing to do with shadow and not The Green, but I like this better. Besides, I am beyond amused at the idea of Auntie Tellarus. 

    It is good to know just how diffi­cult it is to have a bira­cial child. Prac­ti­cally speaking, impos­sible. This is not some­thing that even ancient forces could do without a great deal of diffi­culty or signif­i­cant change to the people involved. I think Hope might be able to do it, but some­thing precious would have to be sacri­ficed, like Leveanne giving up her name. It will be inter­esting to see what this will mean for his future. He might have some barrani traits that come out, he might live longer than a regular mortal. I look forward to seeing what’s develops. 

    Severn had a much stronger voice for this book. I think he spoke more here than in the entire Cast series. The writing was, as always, excel­lent. And it was surpris­ingly witty. Severn is usually so quiet and serious, and I expected his books to be similar in tone. I did not expect his discom­fort at being forced to openly flirt, nor that he would be so good at it. 

    One thing has been both­ering me a bit, though. I am rereading every­thing again from the begin­ning, and it sounded like the wolves were a much larger force than these books show. Not as large as the hawks and swords, of course, but more than a half dozen people. Is that delib­erate smoke and mirrors, or does the force grow over the next few years?

  6. Naomi Booth says:

    Severn hasn’t been one of my favourite char­ac­ters until this book. I didn’t like the last book until I read this one and went back to re-read it. Now I really want to know more about his differ­ences and Wolf training. By my calcu­la­tions, we have about five years before the Cast books start so there should be a lot more stories to come.

  7. Christy says:

    i have always loved Aev! I’m happy there are books centered on him. Now I have gone back to reread all the Ksylin books to see him in them while I wait for book 3 of Sev!

  8. Tracy Perkins says:

    I also went back and read Sorrows and have to say that i was disap­pointed that the stories didn’t line up as well. I expected their to be some differ­ences of course but that seemed to be a direct contra­dic­tion. That being said I loved the book

  9. Aquilegia says:

    Um, guys.…..? Michelle said in her last post that she is under a lot of stress with a looming dead­line and words that don’t want to write. Now is prob­ably not the best time to point out inconsistencies. 

    For the sake of her mental health and our desire to get more books, maybe it should wait a week or two

  10. Anna Wick says:

    This series is a wonderful companion and yes can stand alone.
    Handred family line is intriguing, so much of who is he, how he was able to become wolf at his young age is explained for me here.
    I have the notion that the green is preparing him to be Kaylin’s companion again and providing the tools and under­standing he will need in the future.
    Aqui­legia is right about Auntie Tellarus! It’s so delicious.

  11. Diane Osborn says:

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked being able to gain an under­standing of what has made Severn who he is, and what made El make the choices he has. In the Elantra books Severn is in the back­ground much of the time so it has been good to have his person­ality rounded out in these books.

  12. Alisa Stein says:

    Found a typo… Severn s called Stephen?? Middle of chap 16

    An’Tellarus was ready in two hours. Stephen saw what he presumed were couriers enter and leave Tellarus at least half a dozen times;”

  13. Jazzlet says:

    I loved Sword & Shadow for all sorts of reasons. I’m going to have to go back and read every­thing again to see how it all fits together, or doesn’t because Kaylin doesn’t always take account of things she does’t deem of prac­tical use. I was going to make a comment about a partic­ular scene, but as the names have been blown out of my head by the wind here (my excuse and I’m sticking to it) I’ll come back to do that.

  14. Aquilegia says:

    There are, of course, a few incon­sis­ten­cies in this universe that can’t be explained away. I have found them in every long series. It is inevitable. (I am still mad at David Eddings, I can’t read the companion books to the Belgariad and the Malloreon. I love the main series, but the other two make me so infu­ri­ated, it is just not worth it.) 

    But, most of these can be explained either by Kaylin paying a lot of atten­tion to the things she’s thinks are impor­tant, and being completely obliv­ious and dismis­sive of every­thing else. Or, by the barrani being cate­gor­i­cally unable to tell the truth, the whole truth, or anything remotely resem­bling the truth. They are masters of half truths, misdi­rec­tion, obfus­ca­tion, decep­tion through impli­ca­tion, and outright lies. 

    I think that most contra­dic­tions between this novel and the Cast books are in the second cate­gory. Their pride wouldn’t never allow them to openly admit that this mortal infant waltzed in and casu­ally picked up some­thing they had been trying to find for centuries. Besides, six years is a long time. There is a very real chance that Severn made more than one trip to the West March. Some of the events mentioned could be from the later trip. 

    I do think that if this new editor isn’t concerned with contra­dic­tions and incon­sis­ten­cies, it might be a good idea to get a conti­nuity beta. I would cheer­fully volun­teer for the job. But my skills at keeping secrets are pretty much on par with Kaylin’s.

  15. Agustine says:

    Oh, Michelle, i’ve just finished reading my Sword n Shadows last night n i’m ecstatic! I love, love, loved d my Severn, n OMG, his back­ground is fabu­lous n so unex­pected! I love the inter­ac­tions of Leve, Handred, n Severn at almost the end part of the books. Auntie Tellarus is also a unique char­acter that i hope to see more in the future. I’m so happy that Severn also have a wonderful reunion with his child­hood guardian. It was a very hood read and now here i am longing for more. 

    Will there be more Severn books coming? (crossing my fingers for a yes. >.<)

    Thank you, thank you, Michelle, for this wondrous books of Severn. This really made my life more colorful these days. =D


  16. Karen says:

    I loved this book! Severn is my favorite char­acter (possibly tied with Mandoran), so it was great getting more of his back story. I, like others, will have to go back and reread the earlier books — espe­cially the West March ones. I really liked the scenes with Leveanne and Handred. Yvonne was a great char­acter, too, and I’d like to see more of her story. I don’t remember if Ollarin appears or is refer­enced in any of the Cast books. Do we know what happens to him?

  17. Paula LIeberman says:

    I had sort of idly wondered if Severn might have some Barrani in him, “but no, Barrani = feli­noid species, human = hominid, NFW can they be inter­fer­tile” “But wait, there is *magic*” “No, Can’t Happen!” “But *magic*!” And lo and behold, Severn is a Barrani-human cross! 

    I’d wondered if/about Severn’s magical abilities. 

    It was a big surprise to me that Severn got his weapon from someone who was human, I thought it was going to be from a Barrani and that that Barrani was the Wolf. I was relieved that the char­acter who gave the weapon to Severn, turned out to not be the Barrani wolf. 

    But now, there is that whole ques­tion of just how did a Barrani become a willing supporter of a young [at the time] Dragon and attack his own species on the side of Dragons.… 

    I do want to see more of Tellarus.
    And I have to go back and do Much Rereading, as regards what fami­lies are what, partic­u­larly with the no-longer-imprisoned-sort-of-Barrani

    Other ques­tions include “who besides Tallarus are aware of Severn’s parentage? 

    In a non-sequitor, I wonder how that young magic-capable Leon­tine is doing? And what about former-Sergeant Carafel [spelling], how is she shaking up the Aerians? For that matter, the Hawk­lord had been shielding her, but now she’s the Aerian Castelord, how does that play out? Hmm, how much inter­ac­tion did Severn have with Aerians before loaned to the Hawks? 

    And when will the readers get to meet some Swords? There’s that third leg of the enforce­ment of Law in Elantra.… 

    It looks like Severn got more commu­nica­tive to Michelle for the second book.… 

    And that reminds me, I have to check on when a Zoom session with certain friends is going to occur – one or two of them had read Sword and Shadow in February, another hadn’t, so it couldn’t be discussed last month with them because *spoilers* But the friends keeping up with the series should have all read it by now, so the next Zoom session with them.…

  18. Paula Lieberman says:

    (Bah, back­spaced and lost what I was typing.)

    I have some *old* ques­tions, which include, “just what is the degree of kinship Teela has with the Caste Lord who was formerly the Lord of the Green [and the same degree of kinship would be with the Lord of the West March, “cousin” is not deter­mi­nate as to what the degree is, and the Lady, as the three are siblings. Teela’s mother was from the West March, so that makes it highly unlikely the kinship was on her moth­er’s side. Teela’s father was An’ some­thing or other, also the previous Caste Lord had extir­pated his brother(s) as part of the brutal Barrani compe­ti­tion for heir­ship, which the Lord of the Green and the Lord of the West March, facil­i­tated by their mother the Lady, had refused to engage in.

    The Caste Lord who wasCaste Lord at the start of Cast in Court­light, was obvi­ously fond of Teela.

    There’s the matter of Lord Evarrim, who in Cast in Shadow, said to Teela, “… it has been many years, cousin.” Also, Kaylin noted a resem­blance between Night­shade and Evarrim.… I really want to see family trees… 

    And how does Severn’s mother fit into the lineages?? 

    If/when Arcanum members discover Severn’s parentage, perhaps Kaylin will get a wish granted and see some of them liter­ally explode in apoplexy!

    There’s the matter of “how and when did the Lord of the Green get into the situ­a­tion of being and having to be “contained”” that he was in, when first met in Cast in Court­light? Night­shade said explic­itly that the Lord of the Green and the Lord of the West March were legendary for their long-time loyalty to one another, meaning that there was a long period of time when the Lord of the Green must have been out and about and free from the Shadows – he had passed the Test of Name or he couldn’t/wouldn’t have been a Lord of the HIgh Court and the Lord of the Green-but just *what* “the Lord of the Green” *means* I don’t remember that ever being delin­eated. The role of the Lord of the West March came out in the books in which Kaylin trav­eled to the West March and partic­i­pated in the rites there.

  19. Aaliya Bishop says:

    I’m rereading the books.

    There are incon­sis­ten­cies which may or may not be resolved.

    However, I now wish I had severns voice in kaylins books.
    His quiet and direct and incred­ibly level headed approach might make the stories have a very different feel.

    In rereading the books, while I’m glad we see kaylins growth and gradual matu­rity apart of me feels her imma­tu­rity shouldn’t exist jn someone who has had her expe­ri­ences. So while at first I wasn’t severns fan, I now very much back him and want to sew how he gets his qish to be back jn kaylins life (the loon)

  20. Paula Lieberman says:

    Kaylin had a mother who exacted a promise from Severn. I’ve long wondered about Kaylin’s parentage and how did her mother and she wind up in Nightshade.

  21. Aquilegia says:

    @Paula In the first book, the outcaste dragon calls her ‘daughter’. And the dead dragon that she released did the same. As have other mystical forces, it could be a completely metaphor­ical thing. Except, the way he was able to alter his form in Flight made me wonder if he could have altered himself enough to father a mortal child.

    I am prob­ably completely off about this. As I was off about Severn’s back­ground. (I still want to know what Illien meant when he called him ‘dark­child’)

  22. Paula Lieberman says:

    #Aquiegia. Kaylin DID get won’t of the way converting herself into a Dragon in was it the first book battling the Outcaste Drogon

  23. Paula Lieberman says:

    That should have been “most of the way to converting herself into a Dragon”

  24. marinamoon says:

    I need the next book pretty please ASAP…!
    I don’t want this series to ever end, I mean it NEVER!

    I give this book 5 stars. What an amazing story. I was excited to read the next book in this series. It was spell­binding as always. I learned so many new things. I loved seeing this side of the story. It was a blast to find out more about Severn. 

    I read this book slower than usual. Lately, I have been into BTS, anime and feeling creative so doing a lot of art. Feeling happy. I did not want to devour this one. I wanted to savor it. So I went slow. In the old days I usually read them in 2 – 3 days. I have been thinking about re-reading Cast in Court­light again since I just finished this one.

    I can’t tell you how much I love the world building! This is a very creative, compelling world. I can’t say enough about the incred­ible cast of char­ac­ters! We meet so many new people and learn more info about our old friends. I have no words. Dang! The world is popu­lated by all sorts of fasci­nating species: the immortal Barrani, Dragons and Tha’alani, the mortal humans and Leon­tine and Aerians. Very much in my head during this book as I was in all the others. Such a pleasure!
    In awe as always! Really.

    Was Severn able to leave the Wolves because Verranian joined? Or did they find others? 

    So glad Verranian trained him in the use of the shards. 

    Liked the hints in the story about Severn’s parentage. Learning such info really answered so many questions. 

    Would love a happy ending for An’Sen­narin (Ollarin) and Yvonne of Darrowelm. I liked them both. Maybe a short story? 

    Really wishing for book 3! I want to see what he did the next 7 yrs.
    Thank you so much for another wonderful story! Hugs.

  25. Aquilegia says:

    The cover for Cast in Eter­nity showed up on my Amazon wish­list today and it is absolutely stunning

  26. Aquilegia says:

    Just finished reading all 18.5 books again to try and mesh every­thing with the new book. Because I am appar­ently crazy like that. This universe tends to pull me in and not let me go until I can’t continue and am left craving more

    My main take­away at this moment is that in addi­tion to her magical studies and etiquette, as well as the upcoming culture and poli­tics classes from The Consort, what this poor woman needs is some therapy to help her over­come the lingering conse­quences of sexual assault.

  27. Jen Lamb says:

    Same, Aqui­legia. I’m rereading every­thing. I started with just the West March books after finishing Sword & Shadow, but I got sucked into the world again! I have been bouncing around through the rest of the series in a completely out of order kind of way. 

    I also agree that our poor girl needs some major therapy. Though I know that’s partially to satisfy my own need to see her find a romantic partner. I know Night­shade has forever, but I don’t and neither does she!

  28. Elizabeth K-W says:

    I loved Sword and Shadow. I can’t say it strongly enough. It was so, so satisfying. 

    Like many, finishing it sent me right back to the Cast books. I went right to Cast in Moon­light, and I’m now 3 books in. Truly Michelle, you have given me my comfort read. This will be my 4th reread since the pandemic began. 

    It does help to have both ebook and audio for rereading, so I am also glad the audio­book came out at the same time. Khris­tine Hvam is a great match.

  29. Cheyenne says:

    I loved Sword and Shadow. It’s nice to finally get to the bottom of why Severn is so Severn‑y. I thought there were only going to be two Severn books. I’m more than happy to read others but I feel like the ending for this one was perfect. It also explains some­what what finally prompted him to leave the Wolves. 

    I love the char­ac­ters in these books and I’m always happy to see West March. His rela­tion­ship with the Hallione Orbaranne raised an eyebrow or two. Was that hinted at in other books?

    It’s so funny. I was just wondering to myself if inter­ra­cial chil­dren were possible and lo and behold, I get my answer. 

    Anyway I enjoyed every­thing about this book.

  30. Cheyenne says:

    It was mentioned that the green was tired or Alsanis was tired. Is that because Alsanis was busy trying to contain all of Teela’s friends? Also, how many of them are there?

  31. Cheyenne says:

    I chuckled thinking of all possible conver­sa­tions between Ellu­vian and the Emperor during the Draco- Barrani Wars that resulted in Ellu­vian getting a front row seat to the destruc­tion of his whole family line. 

    Also when Severn compared Leveanne and Handred arguing to Ellu­vian and Helmat arguing, I wondered if the latter duo was also a couple. 

    Does Severn’s lineage now mean that he and Ellu­vian are distant cousins? 

    Okay. I think I’m done. For now.

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