Curse The Dawn
Published 2009 350 pages
Reviewed by Ania Tyburska
Summary (from the book jacket)
Cassandra Palmer may be the all-powerful Pythia now, but that doesn’t mean people have stopped trying to kill her. Most of the supernatural power players don’t want the independent minded Cassie as chief clairvoyant—and they’ll stop at nothing to see her six feet under.
The Vampire Senate does support Cassie in her position, but their protection comes with a price: an alliance with the sexy master vampire Mircea, who has claimed Cassie as his own.
But even the vampires will have trouble keeping Cassie alive now that the self-styled god Apollo, the source of the Pythia’s power, has it in for her in a big way. To save her life—and the world—Cassie’s going to have to face down her creator once and for all.
Curse the Dawn is a fourth foray into the world of Cassandra Palmer a residing Pythia, the strongest clairvoyant of the world with a power over time and space. The magic community is in the state of ongoing war between the White and Black Magic Circle and there might be even a worse danger, in the person of a pissed off dainty creeping in the shadows. The book is an immediate continuation of the previous issue in the series, Embrace the Night and though it does offer some inside into the earlier events, it cannot really work as a stand alone book.
We encounter the heroine Cassie as she is about to ask the previous Pythia, who died by the end of book two, for training. Cassie can easily travel through time so the whole concept of securing aid from a long gone character is not as insane as it seems. In fact, as it is the only time travel in the book, it pretty much turns out quite coherently. Whereas Curse The Dawn can boast a less complicated time line than the previous books in this series it has its fair share of space shifts - taking the main characters for a crazy journey from Las Vegas to the tiny village near Stratford upon Avon, which for some reason holds a strong appeal for mages. There is also a hysterical body-shift episode that makes for some wicked findings to the theme of what really differs boys and girls.
As for the characters, we encounter the whole assemble of quirks and weirdoes from the previous books, led by Cassie’s personal mage sidekick, Pritkin, along with some new additions. My favourite being a Vegas drag queen with an unhealthy (for her large feet mainly) passion for Jimmy Choo’s. On the bloodsucking turf, there is a nice inside into the vampire culture and although Mircea is not as central a character as before, he still seems to occupy a large part of Cassie’s thoughts.
In the way the previous books got us accustomed to, Curse the Dawn is pretty much action packed. And this may be the largest weakness of this book. It seems that if some of the characters could actually communicate and discuss their decisions, they might have avoided most of the tragic misunderstandings that fuel the plot.
What is more, a constant tumult and disarray underlines Cassie’s scatterbrainedness and makes it sometimes quite hard to fully identify with her decisions and feelings. Ms Chance seems to be forgetting that occasional stops in action and explanations give the reader time to recapture and review some notions they had about the characters. That is especially important in the book that is simple overflowing with magic users, otherworldly creatures and strange events. But then a less complicated plot would not do for three hundred pages of mostly enjoyable read, so why am I really complaining?
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