Book Review: Karen Chance’s “The Gauntlet”

Posted January 17, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the author as a free story 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 “The Gauntlet”

"The Gauntlet"


Karen Chance

urban fantasy in eBook edition that was published by the author on October 12, 2010 and has 52 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads

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 Queen's Witch", "House at Cobb End", Midnight's Daughter, Claimed by Shadow, Touch the Dark, Embrace the Night, Tempt the Stars, "In Vino Veritas", Updating Pritkin, Reap the Wind,

A free short story, 0.5, in the Cassandra Palmer urban fantasy series. This one involves Kit Marlowe when he’s still a young vampire and he’s working for the Queen in Elizabethan England.

Download it for free (so far) at Karen Chance’s website.

My Take

This one is a blip in the early life of Kit Marlowe (as vampire) when he’s spying for the Queen and/or mistresses. It doesn’t say which queen, so I’m assuming from the text that Chance means Queen Elizabeth.

It’s interesting that the Silver Circle seems to be all men while the witches appear to be all women. With the men doing their best to beat all the women into submission. Well, at least their gender is consistent as violence and subjugation is the only route men — in general — understand.

I’d love to know more of Gillian’s story!

The Story

Captured. And it doesn’t seem as if any kind of future is possible. But Gillian is determined to fight. For herself and for her young daughter. She’ll do whatever it takes to flee this place with Elinor.

Marlowe, on the other hand, desperately needs a witch to aid him with his mission. A witch who intends to meet a representative of the Black Circle. And who can blame her really, after what the Silver has done to the English covens!

The Characters

Gillian Urswick is one of a number of witches imprisoned by the Silver Circle. Elinor is her seven-year-old daughter. Winnie is a dwarf and a witch.

Kit Marlowe is a vampire sent on a secret mission regarding the Black Circle.

The Cover and Title

The cover’s background looks like a medieval great hall in gray with a tiled floor, gothic widnows, and an upper railing with wood moldings. The red-haired Gillian is dressed for the time period in a square-necked gown with ground-sweeping sleeves, her arms stretched to her sides in supplication with her head raised toward the ceiling.

The title refers to the “battle” through which a Mother must prove herself to her coven.