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Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer Series, Book 3) by Karen Chance
Review by Gayle Surrette
Roc Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451461995
Date: 01 April 2008 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Book Trailer / Author Interview / Show Official Info /

If you thought Touch the Dark and Claimed by Shadow were action-packed, well, buckle your seat belt because Embrace the Night starts with Cassie trying to break into a crypt while dodging mage assassins. Lara Croft would have a hard time keeping up. The tension remains high and the action is almost constant.

More by Karen Chance:
Touch the Dark
Claimed By Shadow

Cassie has been told that she has to find the Codex Merlini in order to lift the geis from herself and Mircea, who originally cast the geis to mark Cassie as his and keep her safe in the vampire household in which she was raised. Now the geis has doubled in strength and it's driving Mircea crazy and Cassie's not doing too well either.

Add in the god who says he'll train her as a pythia but who seems to be holding back on the information, a war mage that she might or might not be able to trust, mage assassins showing up to kill her no matter how well she hides her tracks, and a batch of kids that shows up seeking help because their benefactor seems to be missing and Cassie owes this benefactor a favor. Could life get more complicated? You bet it can, especially when Cassie is involved.

What makes Cassandra (Cassie) Palmer such a wonderful character is her groundedness. Cassie is a loyal friend. She listens to her heart and she doesn't wait for someone else to come along and rescue her or tell her what to do. She's never convinced she's doing the right thing but she's always doing the best she can with what she knows at the moment. The mix of vulnerability and steely resolve make for some interesting twists in the plotline.

Even more importantly, for me, Chance doesn't ramp up Cassie's powers in each book in order to throw more powerful enemies at her. If the enemies get more powerful, Cassie just has to deal with them with the skills, intelligence, and power she has. She may think of an unconventional use for her skills or powers but they don't get stronger.

Once again, Chance has written an action-packed story with very few places to put the book down for a night's sleep or a potty break. This is definitely a book you save for a weekend, so you can read it in one sitting.

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