Book Review: Karen Chance’s Claimed by Shadow

Posted October 6, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Karen Chance’s Claimed by Shadow

Claimed by Shadow


Karen Chance

urban fantasy that was published by ROC on April 3, 2007 and has 384 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Curse the Dawn, Death's Mistress, Hunt the Moon, Chicks Kick Butt, Fury's Kiss, "The Gauntlet", "The Queen's Witch", "House at Cobb End", Midnight's Daughter, Touch the Dark, Embrace the Night, Tempt the Stars, "In Vino Veritas", Updating Pritkin, Reap the Wind,

Second in the Cassandra Palmer urban fantasy series revolving around a clairvoyant who has succeeded the late Pythia.

My Take

I think I’d free the Gæae too if only to get back at Casanova for making me work for free! I do enjoy how much fun they’re having as Casanova tears his hair out. Then there’s the unfun of the geis. I’m having a hard time following it because it is so twisty, twisty, twisty.

One of my reading groups thinks Mircea is a selfish, controlling vampire. But after reading Claimed by Shadow, I have to vehemently disagree. Yeah, he put the geis on Cassie for selfish reasons, but when everything goes wrong, he’s doing his best to help her escape the Consul and do what she needs to do. Even at the expense of his own sanity.

“You want to talk?” We never talked. Stabbed, shot at, and tried to blow each other up, sure, but never talked.

While I understand Cassie not wanting to build up some kind of karmic? Pythian? debt, I really don’t understand her refusal to use her time shifting powers. It feels more manufactured than natural.

Whoa, Billy Joe goes solid in Faerie! And we get Tomas’ back history. Goes to show that war is not the answer. Tomas also provides the reasoning for the geis, and it does make sense if being Pythia was your goal.

Figures, in Touch the Dark, 1, Pritkin was sent to the Senate by the Silver Circle because his experience was with demons. They hoped he’d believe Cassie was a demon and kill her.

I do have to agree with Tomas about what happened to Mac. I don’t like it, but the sentiment feels right.

Oh, god, a zombie Elvis. Whom the necromancers can’t seem to patch up quite right.

Okay, the story was good although, I could have wished for a bit more coherence in some of the writing. It’s as if Chance forgot to flesh out some of the bits in the outline. Still, she has a very interesting take on how Faery works with betrayals and allies running amuck throughout.

The Story

It’s havoc at Dante’s as Cassie has accidentally released the Gæae in her quest to find tools and help to track down Tony and free her father. And, for the first time, she learns about the dúthracht geis placed on her.

Having her time traveling ability out of her control is one thing, but the geis…well, that’s another. It does serve one purpose as Cassie figures out why she keeps traveling back to the same timeline over and over. It comes in handy as the Silver Circle wants her dead, too.

The Characters

Cassandra Palmer, a.k.a., Herophile, the name Apollo gives her, is a clairvoyant who has inherited the role of heir to the Pythia. Billy Joe is the ghost of an Irish-American gambler who got caught. Now he hangs with Cassie due to the energetic ruby necklace. Cassie’s mother was the first heir to the Pythia, before she ran away. Her father was a mage who could see ghosts.

Mircea, Count Basarab, is a 500-year-old vampire, the chief negotiator for the American Vampire Senate, Tony’s master, and Dracula‘s older brother. Abraham Stoker is Drac’s human servant.

A dúthracht geis operates similar to a chastity belt, but it fell out of favor.

The Gæae are three old women who share one eye and one tooth amongst themselves: Pemphredo (alarm), Deino (dread), and Enyo (horror). Think curious two-year-olds with all their self-control…LOL Their other aspect is much bloodier and Amazonian.

John Pritkin is a war mage, a walking armory, in the Silver Circle as well as their chief assassin. He never believes a word Cassie says. Archie McAdam, Pritkin’s retired partner, is a magical tattoo artist these days, and he has the coolest tattoos! I love the one of his shop. He’s not too happy with the Council. Sheba is the cat tattoo that Mac lends Cassie.

Casanova is an incubus possessing a vampire, and as Tony’s second-in-command, he’s in charge of Tony’s Vegas operations which include Dante’s. Chavez, which means Dream Maker, is a helpful incubus—Cassie’s encountered him before. In the future. When they captured Dracula in the box in the 1880s. Randolph is another.

Tony, a.k.a., Antonio Gallina, born of chicken farmers when Michelangelo was carving his fawn, is on the lam from the vampires and the Dark Fae; he’s been a naughty boy, engaging in the magic user slave trade. The gargoyles are illegal aliens brought in from Faerie. Miranda is the cook.

Myra is the former Pythian heir. Agnes is the Pythia whom Myra murdered, but she’s still hanging about. Tomas was the traitorous vampire working for Rasputin; Louis César is his master who took him from Alejandro, the leader of the Latin American Senate. Dmitri is a wolfish vampire in the past. Augusta is torturing Jack the Ripper. Go, Auggie! Creepy, but good reasoning on why Jack is intent on ripping!

Radella is captain of the night guard in Faerie. She’ll deal for the rune. Françoise is the witch Cassie encountered and freed back in the 1700s.

There are six vampire senates in the world. The American Senate is headed up by the Consul, a.k.a., Cleopatra. Kit Marlow is the Senate’s spymaster.

The Silver Circle is the supposed good mages and includes the war mages who police and protect. Marsden used to lead the Council before he retired. Nick is a researcher friend of Pritkin’s.

The Cover and Title

The cover is black and white with a tinge or red. While it has an industrial feel, I suspect it’s supposed to be a side street off the main drag in Vegas. It’s Cassie in a skintight black dress with sheer sleeves and a v-back to showcase the ward centered between her shoulder blades.

I think the title is a metaphor for all the horrible things that happen, but especially for events at the end when Agnes imparts that final lesson. Being Pythia certainly is a role that will find Cassie Claimed by Shadow.