Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hallowed Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 2) by Linda Robertson

  • Title: Hallowed Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 2)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Format: Paperback; 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (December 29, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1439156786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439156780
Author's Website:

"There are legends...aren't there always?" Nana said quietly, the croak of her voice softer than usual. Legends about the beginning of time, the ending of it. Every  culture, every religion has their stories about it--ours is no different. And there are always secret societies, keepers of knowledge hidden from the general populace. There are enemies. There are heroes. The pendulum of power swings." Her focus sharpened on me, and I felt it like a cold blade at my throat. Nana stubbed out her cigarette in the ashtray. "She who can maintain the balance despite the swinging is the Lustrata."  (Vicious Circle page 197)

With Vivian's disappearance, the Cleveland Coven is now looking for a new high priestess. Much to her dismay, Persephone has been nominated by Lydia Whitmore for the position. Told she needs to come to the Coven to formally denounce her candidacy, Persephone goes in to do just that. All her intentions go out the door, however, as she realizes she doesn't like the woman who appears to be the most likely to move up to the next level of competition--Hunter Hopewell. Hoping she can knock her out of the running before the next round which will have more competitors joining the winners from their area, she accepts the nomination. If her mark from Menessos, a master vampire, is revealed, however, she could pay a hefty price...

     "You'll be Bindspoken." Nana went on, "and they'll put your name under the Faded Shroud!"...
     "What's  Bindspoken?" Erik asked. "And that shroud thing?"
     Glad for something else to concentrate one, I said. "If your name is put under the Faded Shroud, WEC will no longer recognize you as a witch. No membership, no benefits, no voting on witch issues, no attending rituals. You're not 'recognized' by them ever again, and you're denied the right to perform magic for others. Not even to read their cards. It forces you to be a solitary, but ignores you while you go on about your life. No big deal if you are already a solitary. 'Bindspoken,' however, is like imprisoning your witch abilities. They bind your power.  Kind of like hardening and sealing the aura until it's a wall, so that you're effectively severed--magically speaking--from the universe." 

As Nana points out,"The Lustrata cannot be beaten in a priestess Eximium. When Seph finally decides to share that she is the  Lustrata with the council, they'll scoff."


I am truly loving this series. In Vicious Circle, Persephone learned she was the Lustrata, a person prophesied to bring balance to the world. In Hallowed Circle, she's not yet prepared to make the announcement of what she is to the coven because she doesn't know what being the Lustrata entails. She's had a lot thrust upon her and seems to be growing into her role while starting to slowly accept her fate. She is also learning more about what being the Lustrata involves and what is expected of her.

With Persephone's nomination for high priestess, we get a closer look at the political structure of the Cleveland Coven. I love the idea of the Eximium which is a sort of competition between witches of whom the victor, in this particular instance, will become the next high priestess of the Cleveland Coven. I enjoyed the tests they came up with for the competitors. The Eximium was fun, informative, and interesting.

Persephone's love interest, Johnny, is on my must be watched carefully list. Toward the end of the last book I wasn't particularly happy with him. He's supposed to be the Lustrata's protector and while he did seem to look out for her, I didn't like how he put Nana's, Beverly's and even Persephone's lives in danger. He may not have done it on purpose, but he truly didn't think things through. He let his hate of Menessos cloud his judgement. In this book, I still questioned if he is the right guy for Persephone. To me he's a little rough around the edges and if I were Persephone I'm not sure I'd fully trust him. I fear he could let her down as I'm not convinced they have the same agendas. As the book progressed, however, he started to grow on me, but there is so much unknown about him which makes me both leery yet interested in his story. Hopefully, we'll soon learn more about him.

Overall I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I look forward to seeing where Robertson goes with the series. I definitely am enjoying everything so far. While I'm still not a hundred percent convinced that Johnny is the right man for Persephone, the chemistry between the two is undeniable. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the series:

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