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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Curse The Dawn
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on 15 September 2013
i couldnt put this book down, i sat and read it in one go, if your a karen chance - cassie fan then you wont be disapointed
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on 14 August 2017
The whole cassie series is fantastic it grips you from the start and keeps reeling you in.
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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2009
He really does. Curse the Dawn focuses on Cassie Palmer, now the world's chief seer the 'Pythia'. This book sees her endeavouring to gain control of her new powers, handle the thorny politics of her world and stay alive all at once. Compounded by the former are Cassie's attempts to also manage her increasingly complicated love life -- there's Mircea the Master vampire who Cassie is extremely attracted to and smitten with. And then there's John Pritkin, her tortured war mage partner, who Cassie can't help but feel drawn to. With their help hopefully she can stay alive long enough to defeat her enemies. If you're new to these books, seriously, start with the first one: Touch the Dark and read them in linear order. There are a lot of convoluted story elements and complex character dynamics that have built up over the course of the other three books that won't make sense otherwise.

I have no idea how many more books are on the way but this one certainly had a different ambiance; things seemed heightened somewhat plot-wise. Curse the Dawn is much plot focused and broke away somewhat from the contents of the last three books, sort of signifying a new arc in the story. Having said this, there's still one or two scenes that are quieter and exist to explore the characters -- but perhaps, not enough of these.

The book focuses more on Cassie trying to get to grips with her powers and her attempts to get the Silver Circle on her side once and for all. This was about time in my opinion, and I was keen to learn a little more about the Circle. There's some intriguing mythological titbits all round actually -- we learn something of value about that enigmatic Agnes too!

There's a lot of Pritkin in this book which made me happy, Mircea isn't really involved in this book the way he was in the others. I believe he's off sorting out the stuff that occurred in Midnight's Daughter with his family -- which balances out his reduced page time (sounds like he'll be more focal to the plot in the next book). The burgeoning love triangle of the prior book is still evident in Curse the Dawn, as if simmering under the surface of things (I guess it'll come to a boil at some point) -- yet in general there wasn't as much as usual going on in the romance department. There was, however, some really nice character banter and bonding between Cassie and Pritkin. For instance, there's a moment where Cassie is told something that she categorically cannot believe... until she merely glances at Pritkin and it immediately shatters her disbelief. It speaks to the trust and the bond that they've built up between them, and there's another moment when Cassie's feeling sad and Pritkin makes her laugh to comfort her. It was sweet. It's exactly those little moments that make me love them together.

The book was extremely action packed, and there's some serious hilarity towards the end portion of the book that was suitably mortifying for all involved -- I won't spoil it... but reading it had me stifling giggles! As usual there's the funny stuff which makes Chance novels better than most. There's also a heck of a lot of secondary characters now and I enjoyed the return of most of them. It was a shame Casanova and his particular brand of shrillness wasn't around as much as before. There were quite a few new characters introduced too, I especially adored Marsdon who seemed particularly barmy. Tremaine and Caleb were fun too!

I was quite impressed with Cassie here. She didn't grow a great deal but she was exhibiting the more admirable traits she had learned in the other books -- like mature self awareness in examination of her love life. She was also self sufficient, brave and actively sought out the solution to problems.

Keeping with altered tone there's some definate 'ground laying' at work in terms of future story; as mentioned above. Pritkin's apparent death wish has been brought up in every book; said issue was brought up again here in Curse the Dawn. Another character even questioned him directly about whether he would die for Cassie. This is obviously some heavy handed foreshadowing of a choice that Pritkin will be faced with one day; likely at the end of the series. When it comes to it, I hope chooses life. This would indicate a diminishment of the self-loathing he has appropriated for himself and what he is -- it would indicate growth for his character. In esscence it would be about realising he has something to live for, but beyond that it would allow him to realise that he wants to live and deserves to do so instead of being so gun-ho and ready to die in every fight we see him get into. I think there's the very early signs of this occurring here. And anything other than realisation would be, quite frankly, completely unacceptable to me!

Anyways, all in all an excellent addition to the series. Curse the Dawn closes one or two threads whilst building on others -- all with a healthy does of humour and wit. Happy reading.
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on 29 March 2011
the scene with cassie, the sofa and marco made me chuckle as i read. cassie manages to do a freaky friday with pritkin, which is hysterical. when magic is destroyed in an alleged accident she also finds evidence mircea has a secret love.(readers of karen chances basarab series will realise who that secret person is) cassie evolves a few steps further on her path to pythia, during which she also discovers some uncomfortable facts about her parents. i thoroughly enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next book 'hunt the moon'. i highly recommend this to fans of the paranormal and supernatural genre, and everyone else of course.
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on 16 June 2009
This was another great addition to the Cassie series, there is plenty of action and moments in the latter half of the book where I literally burst out laughing.

Although it would be better if you had read the previous books, if only because they are also well written, I dont think it is 100% essential as she does explain things along the way.

All in all a great read that I didnt want to put down.
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on 8 May 2009
I loved this book as I have the previous three in the series. Chance packs so much into these pages, the action, romance, and humour make for a brilliant read. This is an unusual series for me as the books seem to get better as the series progresses where other sequels often don't live up to the original.
Of course, as a fan of Pritkin rather than Mircea (again unusual as I'd always go with the vampire normally!)I was happy to find the focus was much more on Cassie and Pritkin than her and Mircea. Their relationship seems much more natural and the pair together have so many sweet and hilarious moments, I love it!
A brilliant book in an amazing series, highly recommended!
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on 16 May 2009
This book is absolutely amazing, it has humour, sex, action what more could you want.

cassie palmer is the worlds leading clairvoyant known as the pythia, she has the ability to travel through time and see the future. Cassie's life has never been simple she has several people that would rather see her dead than welcome her as the new pythia, but the power chose her, she doesnt want it. So she has the silver circle after her , who are a group of mages, the black circle , who are at war with the vampire senate, and also a lost "god" known as apollo, who was banished from this earth.

The vampire senate are cassies allies but is this because they want 2 control her power? One of the leading senate members, Mircea, has practically owned cassie since she was a child, and as adults there love affair has grown because of a magical spell known as a geis he had laid on her when she was young to ensure her protection and 2 try 2 make the power of the pythia go 2 her. Mircea tries 2 protect cassie, but does so without her permission. Cassie is unsure if her feelings for mircea are true or are just a fabrication from the geis.

Cassies partner in crime, war mage: john pritkin ex member of the silver circle has pledged himself to cassie, he will help her even if it means giving his life. Pritkin is a very secretive character however I think he is in love with cassie, and they have a very intriguing relationship, in curse the dawn you almost see them make love in order 2 save pritkin the half incubus. However this becomes dangerous as incubus can drain the life force of a person.

So whilst trying 2 deal with her love life cassie also gets kidnapped by a member of the silver circle, wanting revenge for the murder of his son in embrace the night. She then has 2 rescue ppl from MAGIC when it explodes, she then has 2 rescue some children that were in her care, then she manages 2 swap bodies with pritkin which is really amusing! Then when they finally switch back, cassie has 2 find a way 2 kill apollo....and thats all in a weeks work.

a very entertaining read, 5 star!
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on 7 April 2009
The sides have been assembled for an all out magical war. Well almost...after the events of 'Embrace the Night' Cassie finds herself, along with her partner Pritkin allied with the vampire Senate against Apollo and his minions. As Pythia and with the geis now gone Cassie realises that she has a lot of mess to clear up but doing her job seems a little difficult when the Silver Circle of mages, who are also allied with the Senate and who hold the key to keeping Apollo out of the world, want nothing to do with her (except maybe kill her) and the fact that what she does and who she sees is trying to be controlled by a master vampire (guess which). And anyway how does one go about killing a god?

The stakes are high right? And Chance really goes for it in this novel, its criminally action packed, deliciously quirky with a kind of demented mirth...and I loved it! There's some great set pieces and some nice exploration of characters that I genuinely care about.

There's more on the mages and I'm glad, Cassie is after all a magical being so this aspect needed more depth. On these lines Cassie's clairvoyance abilities and the mythos surrounding the Pythia's abilities and role is given more flesh as well as other mythological quirks that make Chance's weird and magical world sparkle more brightly.

There is as always a fabulous cast of secondary characters, Marsden the ex-leader of the Silver Circle who makes Pritkin seem normal being one. I've also always been a sucker for Marlowe, playing attention whenever he appears. As for Apollo...he didn't seem as terrifying as he should of...I don't know I felt a little let down by this aspect.

As for Cassie she is still brave in a kind of hysterical way, witty and feisty. I think she has developed wonderfully over the previous books, although here she doesn't grow that much we do see that she still has a lot to work through; her isolation in the midst of many and her distrust of those people have been key themes in all the books and here I started to notice here her apparent lack of self worth. Although she has accepted her power she has not accepted her ability to use it. These themes are explored nicely here whether it is by seeing Cassie learning to put her trust in Pritkin or her beginning assert her position with Mircea, the Senate and the Silver Circle.

I did become a little frustrated with her though as she rarely vocalises her observations and opinions and this makes it seem as if she isn't making a stand. As a character I appreciate that she doesn't fight everything and will go along with things as long as it suits but this means for much of the book she's just being dragged around, doing what others want her to do. Also it still takes her an infuriatingly long time to cotton on to things which can make her seem a little dim.

On the plus side she is more emotionally aware in this book. Which brings me to the love triangle...I personally wasn't unhappy with the amount of romance but I did become a little frustrated. Although Cassie now has matured enough to know how any relationship with Mircea would go (down the toilet) by acknowledging that her feelings for him are based on those of a child's and are likely effected by the geis and also registering the fact that he is quite happy to coddle and manipulate her. Yet she does little about these observations. As a result the dynamic between her and Mircea alters very little. The fact that she can't bring herself to act on her convictions is frustrating because simply put I think he sees her at best as a procession and at worst as a tool. His dynamic with Cassie by turns creeps me out and annoys me, it just doesn't work. On the other hand Mircea's relationship with Dory in 'Midnight's Daughter' does and proves that he is actually an interesting character.

And then there's Pritkin, I can't help but fall for the direct, honourable and demented mage, he is as excellent as always and things continue to progress naturally between him and Cassie and their partnership is still lovely to see. Although it's a little disappointing that not a huge amount happens between them and the Mircea/Cassie dynamic is still stuttering along I wasn't terribly surprised as frankly I think all three characters are rather emotionally stunted and so things are going nowhere fast. For anything to change between Cassie and Mircea, he would have to learn to adapt. And with Cassie and Pritkin, Cassie would have to acknowledge her feelings and genuinely let someone in, Pritkin too and he'd also have to stop hating himself long enough for himself to be happy. All these are deep rooted issues and aren't going to change any time soon but they all add depth and show how rich these characters are while supplying loads of tension and humour.

Overall I was gripped, the book exhibits everything that I love about the series. Chance said in an interview that this book will form another trilogy and this is noticeable in the progression of the plot and the changes in tone but the writing is as unexpected and as fun as ever. It was particularly interesting to see Cassie's struggle with what she must do, what she wants to do, what people want her to do and what she thinks she can do as she gets wrapped up in ever more devious power struggles and political games. I look forward to the next with the hope that a few irritating dynamics and plot threads will find a conclusion as others are expanded, as few entertains with as much style as Karen Chance!
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on 11 April 2009
Wow, we're up to book 4 already - and only a month has passed in 'book time' apparently! Considering the demented pace this series hurtles forward at, it weirdly seems much longer...
But book 4 is more of the good stuff - although I have to be totally shallow and admit that it drags slightly when Pritkin is off-stage. It drags even more when Mircea turns up (and honestly, the fact that we're still getting random vampire sex scenes after what happened last in Embrace the Night is getting a bit tedious).

But, for the most part, Curse the Dawn is the usual demented fun, Pritkin is adorable and Cassie is starting to get to grips with her powers properly. Oddly for the longest book in the series it feels like there wasn't time to fit all of the usual elements in (Billy Jo only gets a brief cameo) but I'm dying to see where it's heading next book.

Not entirely sure what's up with the cover art this time - are we moving away from the traditional Urban Fantasy covers now or something? Because book 4 in a series isn't exactly the time to start going after new readers, and this one strangely looks like it's aiming for LOTR rather than this genre (and what's with the ring?! There's no ring featured in Curse the Dawn anywhere!).
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on 24 June 2012
Bought this ebook in the Kindle Sale a couple of months ago.

I have just finished reading Touch the Dark and thought it best to get completely up to date in the world of Cassie Palmer.

Ms Chance writes with a full throttle technique that leaves you feeling the exhaustion of Cassie. Each of her books has been an entertaining and fun rollercoaster and this was no exception.

I must admit that Mircea has never really appealed to me, however Pritkin really lights me fire.

I really did enjoy this book and about to get on with Hunt the Moon the fifth installment in this series. No dates have been given for the release of the sixth installment.
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