Embrace the Night Paperback – 2008
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Recently named the world's chief clairvoyant, Cassandra Palmer still has a thorn in her side. As long as Cassie and a certain master vampire - the sizzling-hot Mircea - are magically bound to each other, her life will never be her own. The spell that binds them can only be broken with an incantation found in the Codex Merlini, an ancient grimoire. The Codex's location has been lost in the present day, so Cassie will have to seek it out in the only place it can still be found - the past. But Cassie soon realizes the Codex has been lost for a reason. The book is rumored to contain dangerous spells, and retrieving it may help Cassie to deal with Mircea, but it could also endanger the world.
Top Customer Reviews
A spell, placed on Cassie as a child, has gone horribly wrong and is causing havoc in her here and now. She needs to find the counter spell before it's too late. Unfortunately, the spell resides in a book that most claim is a myth. And those who believe it is real would kill Cassie to stop her from finding it. And to top it all off, her allies consist of a ghost, an insane vampire, and a traitorous war mage.
Mircea is the master vampire who had the spell placed on Cassie as a child. It was supposed to be a spell to ensure her safety. However, the spell is tied to both Mircea and Cassie, and now that it has gone haywire it is driving him insane.
Pritkin is a war mage who is now being hunted by his brethren for desertion. His orders were to kill Cassie but when she became Pythia he had a change of heart. Now he insists he only wants to train and protect her. The problem is Pritkin holds so many secrets Cassie doesn't know who or what to believe.
One thing is certain, unless they find a way to lift the spell, Cassie and Mircea may not live to see the next full moon. And through it all Cassie must learn to use her new powers while fighting off the war mages, vampires, and demons set on killing her.
Karen Chance has written another thrilling story in the third instalment of the Cassie Palmer series. Embrace the Night delivers frenzied action, energetic intrigue and a delightful dose of romance.
I feel as though a crazy romance is brewing between two characters with a big build up. :)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First, let me say that the Cassandra Palmer series has been one of my favorite series since I read the first book.
The author, Karen Chance, wrapped up a bunch of open storylines in this book, but left some big ones open as well for future books in the series. The book has wonderful character development and continuity from the first two books.
The jumping back and forth in time didn't confuse me, but I suppose it could confuse some people. I love books with time travel in them, but sometimes I get irritated when authors ignore paradoxes. This book (and series) tackles time travel paradoxes head on and it was very believably handled. I didn't find any flaws with how the author handled the time travel and its consequent effects.
There was a lot of character development for Cassie, Mircea, and Pritkin in this book. There is a lot of history explained for each individual which continued to help to flesh them out.
I loved this book and can't wait for the next one in the series! In particular, I can't wait for more Pritkin - I adore his character! :)
The story starts out as anticipated - Cassie needs to find a way to break the geis Mircea laid on her. Her will to resist is fading, and Mircea is going insane. I have to admit, the author's resolution to the dilemma was smart if extremely simple, and had been hinted at several times to astute readers. Some readers may find it disappointing; I was just glad it was over. The downside is that readers have to wait to the very last chapter for that resolution. Cassie needs Merlin's Codex which should have a counter spell in it. But the Codex has been unwriting itself through the years, and so the complete text can only be found in the past. No problem for a time traveling clairvoyant. Wrong. Everyone either wants the book for themselves because it is so powerful, or they don't want anyone to have it because it is so powerful. Which side of this debate Pritkin falls on is critical to the story. Until that last chapter, Cassie jumps back and forth through time, with small battles sprinkled in here and there, to find it. The action is fast paced and mostly useless, as she skips around like a little girl at a party. The main intent of all these trips is for Cassie to learn just who her allies are (especially Pritkin), but this could have been done in a less muddled and exhausting way. At times I become so frustrated I literally growled at the book! Hopefully, the author will realize that the constant time shifting is distracting and annoying to a reader.
The awesome, and truly clever, revelations about Pritkin made the entire book worth reading. His character was beginning to get beyond aggravating as the author constantly had Cassie (and readers) guessing if he was on her side or not, just as in book 2. Yet, his involvement in the geis is much deeper than suspected, and he becomes a catalyst for the introduction of another powerful, and potentially plot inducing, character - Lord Rosier. Cassie also discovers some twists to her new power (even managing to duplicate Agnes' time freezing trick, by accident of course), and sees how much responsibility it is to be Pythia.
The ending saved this book from being mediocre. My fears that the geis would consume many books to come were laid to rest but the actions surrounding the geis provided lots of cool plotlines and enough resolution to make some progress. Readers learn who the golden god who calls Cassie "Herophile" is and the origin of the Pythia's powers; we learn more about Pritkin's past, the motivations of the Silver Circle; and, just what Mircea and Cassie truly feel. Cassie finally accepts the responsibility as Pythia, and makes alliances to protect herself and the timeline. Now that these things are tied up, the plot should be able to focus on the coming "war." Though book 2 was a disappointment, this makes up for it. I will read Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, Book 4) and have even ordered Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Dhampir, Book 1) to see how she handles a story with a different protagonist. Recommended.
It was also in this book that I became a complete Pritkin fan. I suspect that Karen Chance has a lot of fun writing scenes with Pritkin, because it's those scenes that are really dynamic and pop.
Cassie is still dumb. She may SAY that she only "looks like a dumb blond" but she oftentimes acts like one, too. She says "What?" and "Huh?" so many times that sometimes I want to hit her, especially when the answer is painfully obvious. It seems like she needs EVERYTHING to be carefully explained to her. I suspect that's because Karen Chance uses Cassie as a device to explain things to the reader, but unfortunately, by making her so utterly obtuse about things, she makes it hard for me to respect Cassie.
Also, I don't know if I had a special copy of the book, but I saw many editorial mistakes. In fact, in the first few chapters of the book, Cassie comes to a realization...and then she comes to the SAME realization near the end of the book. I actually flipped back to see if I was just remembering things wrong, but no, Cassie actually comes to a conclusion for the first time...twice.
Because of these issues, the book didn't get above three stars, however it's still a fun, fluffy read that can be finished easily...and the humor between Pritkin and Cassie make the book worth the read.
Cassie Palmer has only had a few weeks to get used to her new position as Pythia, chief clairvoyant of the world and as such, the "official" head of the supernatural society, a position she inherited against all her wishes.
Cassie's latest is to track down the legendary Codex Merlini, a book of spells written by Merlin himself. She needs this book to find the only spell that can break the geis magically binding her to Mircea, (see Claimed by Shadow) one of the most ancient and powerful vampires around, brother to Vlad himself. If the geis isn't broken soon, Mircea will be driven insane and his second death will soon follow.
Cassie must jump through time and space to find the Codex, break the geis and save Mircea's life. Her only ally is a former enemy, War Mage John Pritkin, who has many secrets of his own. As she continues her search for the Codex, she begins to discover there is a very good reason why it has been missing for so long. If the wrong beings get their hands on it, it could bring about the destruction of all mankind, human and supernatural. And what is the huge secret Pritkin will do just about anything to protect?
I adore the Cassie Palmer series and I eagerly look forward to each new installment. Embrace the Night delivers more of the pulse pounding excitement that Karen Chance is becoming famous for. Keep in mind though, this is a series best read in order. Each book expands on the universe Chance has created, making many references to preceding books. While the stories do stand somewhat on their own, many of the delicate nuances to the story would be lost without knowledge of the earlier books.
Action begins immediately on the first page and the drive to the conclusion is so fast paced you'll be out of breath just from reading about it. The beginning to end of the story's timeline is quite short, covering about a week or so of time but with Cassie's shifting through time and space makes it seem like more time passes. We also have the pleasure of seeing Cassie grow in strength and pride, coming into her own magically. She also continues to explore her abilities, uncovering new talents at the exact times she needs them most. Unfortunately, her control of same abilities is lagging far behind, which makes for some lively scenes.
Fast paced adventures, physical attraction between characters that is positively electrifying, engaging characters, a whole passel of supernatural creatures from demons to fairies and everything in between, these are trademarks of Karen Chance's books. Embrace the Night more than meets the expectations of readers like me who have become fascinated with Cassie's story. I loved my most recent visit with Cassie, Pritkin, Mircea, and even Radella they warrior fairy. We have a very satisfying conclusion to the book though I sure hope we don't have to wait too long to visit again!
© Kelley A. Hartsell, March 2008. All rights reserved.