Claimed by Shadow – Karen Chance
Having been enthralled by the book previous to this, Touch the Dark, I dove straight into this one when I finished it. And I’m very glad I did. It was definitely better to read the two books back-to-back as the plot is complicated in places. I think Claimed by Shadow will be much easier to follow when the first book is still fresh in your mind.
Anyway, onto the action. We left Cassie Palmer as heir to the role of Pythia – an immensely powerful magical being whose job it is to travel back and forth in time to solve problems and eradicate any rogues that are trying to alter history. The only problem is, Cassie doesn’t want the job. If she becomes Pythia, she will have every type of magical creature after her (even more than usual) to either eradicate or use her power for their own devices. She already has an immense amount of this power due to a chance meeting with the old Pythia in the previous novel. But Cassie doesn’t dare to use the power because she’s not entirely sure what will happen. Cassie just wants a quiet life, but unfortunately for her, this is never going to happen.
The narrative continues with Cassie desperately trying to get out of trouble without using her power, but she is endangering other people in the process. If it wasn’t for the fact she was still chasing the vampire Tony to avenge her parents, she probably would have disappeared without a trace by now. But with the mage Pritkin by her side, she is still attracting trouble from every direction. And to add even more problems to Cassie’s list – it appears that the vampire Mircea has put a geis on her – which basically is a spell that makes her “belong” to him. If any other man got close to her then the spell would prevent anything from happening between them. This also has the additional effect of making the two very attracted to one another. And the geis appears to be working whenever they meet, in whatever time, which certainly complicates matters.
Cassie is less than impressed that everyone is trying to control her and her life. This is the reason she doesn’t want to become Pythia, because the Fey, mages and vampires alike will all be trying to tell her what to do in that role. So she decides to fight back, and go against expectations of her and how she should behave. Oh, and try to stop her rivals killing her, of course.
I did really enjoy this book, but I don’t think it was as good as the first one. Given the way the first one ended I was expecting literary fireworks with the second. It did start off really action-packed and exciting, but I think there was potential to add to this. The whole thing about Mircea and the geis was exciting… and the sizzling-hot passion between Cassie and Tomas certainly got me hot under the collar, but I almost felt this book was simply “padding” to make way for the next book. But I’ll still definitely be getting the next one, I’d love to see what happens next.
Don’t let this review put you off though. It’s still an excellent book that had me hooked. I love the characters (particularly Cassie, a true modern-day heroine) and the supernatural elements, but I thought there would be more loose ends tied up than there were.