Curse the Dawn
Onyx, Apr 2009, $7.99
When the gods were banished from earth, those using the magic bestowed on them by Artemis banded together to create the Silver Circle. Apollo keeps in touch with the mages through the Pythians, but the Silver Circle has kept the chief Pythian under their control for millennia. Cassie Palmer is the current head Pythia, but the Silver Circle fears her independence as she refuses to bow to their control leaving her in their minds susceptible to Apollo’s manipulations.
They place a large bounty on her dead or alive. Cassie thinks they are acting stupid because their action places the Silver Circle at war with Apollo’s followers, The Black Circle as well as the God himself who is playing his foes like a puppeteer pulling the strings of his puppets to abet his returning to earth to rule. Master vampire Senator Mircea Basarab protects Cassie, which further aggravates the combatant Circles as they assume the undead want to use Cassie for their own purposes. No one seems to respect Cassie as her own person as she repeatedly risks her life to do what she believes is ethically right.
Karen Chance affirms that she is one of the best fantasists today with her fourth Palmer thriller (see EMBRACE THE NIGHT, TOUCH THE DARK and CLAIMED BY SHADOW). Readers will believe that vampires, mages and distant interfering Gods exist in the Chance realm. The story line starts at the speed of light and accelerates from there as Cassie has a price on her head that brings out the avaricious dregs of society; leading the audience to ponder the question of whether the end ever justifies the means. The strong support cast, mostly her enemies, enhances this kick butt heroine’s tale as she knows that the enemy of her enemy may remain her enemy.