Review: Death’s Mistress (Dorina Basarab #2) by Karen Chance

Death's MistressAuthor: Karen Chance
Released: October 1st 2009
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Death’s Mistress returns to the life of Dory Basarab. Dory is a lot of things. Stubborn. Protective. Witty. Dhampir. The list goes on. In this novel, Cassie finds herself in a bit of a predicament. She wants to, no has to, protect her friend at all costs, but naturally there’s a complication to that. Thankfully Dory isn’t the type to back down, and she’s got some handy contacts that she can call on for information.

Death’s Mistress is the second novel in the Dorina Basarab series, and sixth in the Cassandra Palmer World. The series is absolutely worth reading in order – as events in Dory’s life can affect events in Cassie’s life, and vice versa. Having the two weave together creates a brilliant and complex world for the fans to delve into.

Dory is one of my favorite characters, and I don’t just mean in this series. She’s so tough and stubborn, and all of that despite what has happened to her in her past. It’s inspiring, and of course, it’s also the perfect setting for a series such as this.

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 discussion prompts we’ve been using. That will be at the end of the review, so if you’re curious, check it out.

Spoiler Warning

Death’s Mistress brings us a whole new situation and mess for which Dory will have to sort out, and quickly. Dory has this way of getting herself into the biggest messes, and I honestly think that’s one of the reasons I love her series so much.

The second Dory novel in particular felt like it had a lot of room for comic relief. It was actually appreciated, considering just how much was on the line here. And no, we’re not just talking about Dory’s life. There has been so much going on as of late, our heroine has hardly had time to take it all in.

This novel was a very fast-paced read, with something happening on almost every page. Usually that something was either something dramatic, or at least an earful of Dory’s sass. So no complaints here!

I love how complicated this whole plot became. What was really happening was obfuscated by layers and layers of confusion and deceit. This made it a lot of fun to read along and try to figure it out. It also explains why there were so many people that were either confused or working on opposing goals simultaneously. Nobody knew the full truth of the story, and thus there was mass chaos. In short: it was a perfect Dory novel.

There was a lot of tension in this novel. And it came in several different forms. One of Dory’s antagonists did a great job of making himself well known – and for making his vendetta against Dory painfully personal. Likewise the family drama hasn’t let up any, but that’s no real surprise. And then of course there’s Louise-Cesare. Need I say more on that subject?

I’m so happy I took the time to read Death’s Mistress again. There were a lot of smaller elements in this novel that I had forgotten about, so it was great to see it all again. Next on my list: Hunt the Moon.

Reread commentary:

Just want to reiterate the spoiler warning here.

As mentioned above, this was not my first read through of this novel. I think I picked up on a lot more of the subtlety this time around. It helped that I knew how it concluded. Actually, there were two different points where knowing that helped a lot.

One was tracking the relic – I had a better grasp of who had it when this time around. I remember the first time I was pretty clueless on that front – though we were supposed to be, obviously. Still, it was fun watching the most epic game of hot potato while actually having a clue of who had it.

The other was Louise-Cesare and his subplot. It was more difficult to feel heartbroken for Dory, knowing full well what was going on there. But I was a bit more annoyed with him for all his secret keeping. I understand why he did it, I just don’t agree with it.

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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