Review: Claimed by Shadow (Cassandra Palmer #2) by Karen Chance

Claimed by Shadow
Author: Karen Chance
Released: April 3rd 2007
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Claimed by Shadow is the second novel in the Cassandra Palmer series, but honestly it doesn’t feel like any time has passed between one and two. Cassie is still dealing with a whole mess of problems – something she seems to have a talent for attracting. And she’s learning that her situation is even more complicated than she thought.

Claimed By Shadow picks up pretty close to where Touch the Dark left off. Cassie is still in quite the mess, and she’s got a lot of learning to do.

The Cassie Palmer series is one of my favorite series, and I can’t say enough positive things about the series. It’s a fast-paced ride full of shenanigans, vampire and mage politics, and magic. I love every minute of it.

Side note before we begin: I’ve actually read this whole series multiple times (it’s one of my favorites), but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I’ve never reviewed the older books in the series. So here I am, reading them all again, and loving every minute of it.
Because I’m doing a reread with a group of people (the Karen Chance Street Team – message me if you want to know more about it) I’m also going to include the discussions prompts we’ve been using. That will be at the end of the review, so if you’re curious, check it out.

Spoiler Warning

Claimed By Shadow is just as fast-paced and chaotic as I was hoping. Cassie has a talent for keeping herself in trouble, and us readers entertained. This novel ups the ante for what Cassie is dealing with.

I love Cassie. She’s gone through so much already, only to have to deal with mess after mess in this series. And yet she never gives up. If I could be half as determined and driven as her, I’d be a happy girl. The secondary characters all get a moment to shine as well, though some more than others, of course.

I’m always so conflicted about the other characters though. Especially the vampires. They all have their own motivations and goals, even in regards to Cassie. It’s impossible not to feel somewhat defensive of her, especially when she doesn’t see what they are up to. Still, it makes for a great read, so I really can’t complain.

I think this was the first time in the series where I truly felt my heart break. Karen Chance managed to beautifully set up a situation in which a sacrifice was required. And even though the character we lost was not one we knew well, it still hurt. That just goes to show how well she designs her characters.

The politics and complications in this series are unparalleled. It is so hard to find a series that covers vampire politics – even more so if you want the vampires to actually be charismatic. Mircea is certainly that. The rest of the vampires vary to different degrees, but I still love seeing them all interact.

Claimed by Shadow was a blast to read, and I know I’ll come back around and read it again sometime. I just won’t be able to resist.

Reread Commentary:

It’s so crazy going back and reading this series again after so much time. All of the characters have changed so much, but it took me going back to really understand all of that. I think Cassie has stayed the most stable, but she has grown up. Meanwhile Pritkin and Mircea are just – wow. I know it’s more that we’ve learned more about their motivations than anything else, but it’s still an intense change.

Tarot Card: The Lovers

“Despite the common misconception, the Lovers rarely has anything to do with finding a soul mate or even having a good time.”

“It points to a looming choice, one that will involve temptation and pain. And, like the depiction of the card in my deck— Adam and Eve being thrown out of Eden—the final decision will have huge consequences for everything that follows. Needless to say, it has never been one of my favorites.”

Favorite chapter/scene/plot point: Tough choice. I sort of adore the fight scene that happens in Dante’s. I can’t quite explain it, but I love that magical items are shown to not be infallible and will sometimes attack the wrong things/people.

Favorite quote: “Mac reached for my arm and I looked down to see a gleaming gold charm in the shape of a cat being held to my elbow. As soon as it touched bare skin, it morphed into a sleek black panther with narrowed orange eyes.”

MVP (not including Cassie): Mac. No question there. Though Billy probably comes in second.

Favorite Political Quote: “Mircea is the greatest manipulator I’ve ever known. There’s a reason he’s the Senate’s chief negotiator—he always gets what he wants.”

Interesting bits I noticed this time ’round: I’m really enjoying seeing characters like Mircea and Pritkin, knowing how much their plot points will change by the time we get to the newer books.

What further research did this book inspire (historical, mythological, etc): I may have looked up some fun Latin sayings.

Unanswered questions: None this time around.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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