Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5) by Karen Chance

Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5)
  • Title: Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 432 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Select; Original edition (June 7, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0451413075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451413079

     "My name is Cassie Palmer, and I've cheated death more times than anyone has a right to expect. In the past two months, I've been shot, stabbed, beaten and blown up a few dozen times, and that doesn't count all the magical ways I've almost been killed. I'd have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.

     I'd have been a lot more appreciative if he hadn't pushed me first."

Cassandra (aka Cassie)  has never been your typical girl. At a young age it was discovered she possessed clairvoyant skills. Those skills were highly sought after and her parents were killed trying to protect her from Tony, a very powerful master vampire. Cassie is now grown up and no longer under Tony's control, but people are still after her. Now, however, many want her dead. Just a few days away from her coronation as the next Pythia, the ultimate clairvoyant with special powers, someone wants her dead. The big question is who, and the even bigger question is what did they send to accomplish the task?

The previous candidate for Pythia had been groomed to be a pawn of the Silver Circle, the world's leading magical association, which ruled over the human part of the supernatural community. Usually the heir to the Pythia throne was trained and groomed by their predecessor. In the past, the Silver Circle had made sure that they'd had a hand in raising that heir. Unfortunately for them, the power associated with the office of Pythia chose a different heir, Cassie.  A member or supporter of  the Silver Circle, however, may not be the only one to hold grudge and wish her harm. There is also the possibility that one of Apollo's offspring may have a hand in plotting her demise...

     "Apollo had been the source of the power that came with my office, gifting it to his priestesses at Delphi so that they could help him keep an eye on those treacherous humans. But once the ouroboros spell kicked him out along with the other gods, the power had stayed behind, bound to the line of Pythias who continued their work, only on behalf of the Circle and humans he  had despised.

     Or at least it had until I came along. Apollo thought he had it made when a clueless wonder inherited the Pythias position instead of one of the carefully groomed Initiates the Circle kept under its watchful eye. He'd intended to use me to help bring the bad old days of gods and slaves and nothing in between by helping him get rid of the barrier once and for all. 

     He'd been less than pleased when I'd declined. 

     In the end, I'd been the last one left standing although I still wasn't quite sure how." 

In a crazy attempt to keep her safe, Cassie will time travel to the past, learn more about her parentage while running across her mom, and once again come very close to death's door. Plus, there is a twist that will blow you away about Cassie's heritage. Be prepared for a fast pace, action packed, and mind boggling journey into the crazy and fun world of Cassandra Palmer.  

I absolutely adore this series which I started a couple of years ago. This is the fifth book of the series and I always end up impatiently awaiting the next one. Luckily, there is a sister series called Dorina Basarab which I also love. The Dorina Basarab series takes place in the same world as Cassie's but is a bit behind this one, and the main link between the two series is the handsome vamp Mircea. He's Dorina's father and a love interest to Cassie. Dorina is a Dhampir and Mircea sired her during his "change" from human to vamp.

Karen doesn't disappoint with this book, and it's my favorite of the Cassie Palmer series so far. Now usually I'm not a big fan of love triangles, but I must admit I'm loving this one. Just when you think Cassie's picked the "one", Karen Chance throws you for a loop and you question if maybe it's the "other" guys she should have chosen. Pritkin (aka Merlin) and Mircea are both great guys who are immortals. Pritkin is half mage and half demon. He's may not be as handsome and polished as Mircea, but he's got other qualities that make him very appealing. The two are as different from each other as night and day, but I believe each would be perfect for Cassie. One of the things I love about the triangle is that Cassie would never wish to be in one. She's a one man woman and at the start of this book thinks there is no chance her and Pritkin could ever be together. Toward the end she'll find that might just not be the case.

I loved learning more about Pritkin, the mysterious mage. He's my favorite of the two men in Cassie's life. I liked how he opened up to Cassie and the two bonded more than they had ever before. I can't help but feel what happened at the end was somehow influenced by the conversation Cassie and Pritkin had earlier:
     "That was later. After I started going places again, meeting people...after I figured it out."
     "Figured what out?"
     "You just woke up one day and stopped being afraid?" Pritkin's expression hadn't changed but for some reason he sounded almost angry.
     "Then what do you do?" He'd leaned over the table, close enough for me to map the ring of jade around each iris, and the pale amber-green layer that darkened to spokes of gold, and and specks of brown and emerald, all of which blended to just green at any distance at all.

      Beautiful, I thought randomly--for a second, until he abruptly pulled back and looked away.
     "You go on, anyway," I said, after a pause. "And yes, you're scared sometimes. But it's better than being scared all the time. Better than letting your life be about fear and nothing else. So, no, I'm not going to let them shut me away 'for my own good'. I'll take precautions, as many as I can. But I'm going to live."

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book. This one had such a great cliffhanger. 

Why is the book called 'Hunt the Moon'? Well, my guess would be due to the involvement of the Goddess Artemis with the book. Known as the Goddess of the Hunt and occasionally referred to as the Goddess of the Moon.

I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses

Special mythology notes:
"The Pythia was the priestess at Apollo's oracle in Delphi. The name comes from Python, the dragon that was slain by Apollo. The Pythia operated as a vehicle for Apollo's will to be known to those on earth. A believer would make a sacrifice and present a question to a male priest. The male priest would then present the question to the Pythia. The Pythia sat on a bronze tripod in the adytum, or inner chamber of Apollo's temple. In this sacred chamber the spirit of Apollo overcame the Pythia and inspired the prophecy. Some mythic traditions say the Pythia's trance was induced by vapors from a chasm below the temple or from chewing laurel leaves. Continuing his role of a middleman, the priest would interpret the Pythia's response for the questioner. (Powell 172)"  To read more about the office of Pythia check out Encyclopedia Mythica, where the above information was found:

"The daughter of Leto and Zeus, and the twin of Apollo. Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals, and fertility (she became a goddess of fertility and childbirth mainly in cities). She was often depicted with the crescent of the moon above her forehead and was sometimes identified with Selene (goddess of the moon). Artemis was one of the Olympians and a virgin goddess. Her main vocation was to roam mountain forests and uncultivated land with her nymphs in attendance hunting for lions, panthers, hinds and stags. Contradictory to the later, she helped in protecting and seeing to their well-being, also their safety and reproduction. She was armed with a bow and arrows which were made by Hephaestus and the Cyclopes." To read more about the office of Artemis check out Encyclopedia Mythica, where the above information was found:

Order of Cassandra Palmer Series:

1) Touch the Dark
2) Claimed by Shadow
3) Embrace the Night
4) Curse the Dawn
5) Hunt the Moon

Order of the Dorina Basarab series:

1) Midnight's Daughter
2) Death's Mistress

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