Review: Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer #3) by Karen Chance

Embrace the Night

Author: Karen Chance
Released: April 1st 2008
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Embrace the Night is the third novel in the Cassandra Palmer series by Karen Chance, and this series is not slowing down anytime soon. Being that this is one of my favorite series, I’m always relieved to realize that there are more books to come.

Cassie Palmer is a brilliant series. It’s got magic, a chaotic sense of timing that I adore, mages, vampires, fae, ghosts, and an ideal balance between intense moments and amusing ones. Altogether it’s exactly what was needed to make a long lasting and enthralling series.

The third novel in the series has Cassie up against the same troubles as before, but naturally things are getting more complicated for her. We’re starting to learn that nothing is ever quite as it seems, and that there isn’t always an easy solution to magical problems.

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

Embrace the Night took the series from being a great read, to being an amazing read. It happily met all of my expectations from the previous novels and novellas, and then surpassed them. The plot was intricate and full of time traveling, pithy banter, and intense scenes. In short, it was perfect.

Cassie’s quest for the codex – and thus a way to free both herself and Mircea from the geis, brought along an insane amount of adventures. Though I’m sure that Cassie wouldn’t classify them as such. That was the main driving force behind the plot for this novel, and it turned out so much better than I had expected or hoped for.

Honestly, I really love how complex the geis situation became. It makes sense, magic is usually fairly convoluted even in the best of times. Throw in the ability to control/inhibit behavior and time travel and you’ve got a whole ‘nother mess on your hands. But in all seriousness, it made for a fascinating situation.

And of course the ensuing chaos of the chase for the Codex was just absolutely amazing. As one of the major revelations forced out by the search. Which I’m not going to spoil by talking about it here (and yes, I know the book has been out for years, but I’m still not doing it).

I loved all of the time traveling moments in this novel. And there were a lot of them. It seems like Cassie is truly starting to get a grasp on her powers. And she learned a new trick this time around! It’s actually something we’ve seen previously, but never from Cassie. And bonus points for it turning into something hilariously catastrophic.

The unexpected and surprising tension between Cassie and Pritkin was also appreciated. I know a lot of people are on team Mircea, but I personally have always been on team Pritkin. And I swear I’m not just saying that because I love seeing Cassie drive him nuts. Okay, maybe it is a little bit of that.

While I loved the first two novels in the series, I feel like Embrace the Night was where I really became invested (read: obsessed) with the series. So in that sense this novel will always hold a special place in my heart.


Reread commentary:

I knew that this was the novel that revealed more about Pritkin, and I was looking forward to reading all of that again. What I forgot was how complicated the mess was with the Codex and the geis. Obviously, being on team Pritkin, I didn’t cheer to the same levels for some parts of this book even my first read-through of it. But now? It definitely added a new layer to the complexity, knowing what Mircea was hoping to accomplish. It’s a lot harder for me to ship them now.

Tarot Card: I can’t recall if any were mentioned this time around, though admittedly I read through this one really quickly – I forgot how much I loved this one.

Favorite chapter/scene/plot point: There were a lot of great moments in this novel. Everything from the Pritkin/Cassie interactions to her showing her sword fighting chops, to Billy being uncomfortable in Cassie’s body.

“Hit the person, not the sword! It isn’t the sword that’s trying to kill you. And remember, taller opponents have a longer reach, but they often leave their legs exposed. It isn’t only torsos and heads that are targets, girl!”

Favorite quote: “Some people thought he had only one mode—pissed off. In reality, he had plenty of them. Over the past few weeks, I’d learned to tell the difference between real pissed off, impatient pissed off and scared pissed off. I suspected that this was the last kind. If so, that made two of us.”

MVP (not including Cassie): Pritkin. He went through a lot in this novel. First, he was made to look like the bad guy (though admittedly his attitude didn’t help things here), then he got beat up in the past, and then had to have a few fights in the present. Give credit where credit is due, right?

Favorite Political Quote: ““Where. Is. He?” Alphonse repeated, although it sounded more like “Don’t make me eat your face.””

Interesting bits I noticed this time ’round: I forgot how convoluted it must be, hanging out with Cassie. Pritkin and Mircea both had to deal with visits from her from different timelines. It’s no wonder the guys are facing some consequences of that (Mircea getting the geis – which he deserved, and Pritkin being unsure of it was her or not).

What further research did this book inspire (historical, mythological, etc): Nothing this time around.

Unanswered questions: Nothing other than an anxiousness to start the next novel!

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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