Top positive review
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A wild magic carpet ride through hell, Vegas and back
on 21 October 2013
I love the Cassie Palmer series and always devour each new instalment in one or two sittings before reading back through all the best bits again, which this time will probably mean reading the whole thing again!
The story picks up with Cassie trying to track down her missing war-mage protector Pritkin and that individual quest takes places against the backdrop of a bigger conflict unfurling.
The books are always frenetic with one crazy action scene after another and this book is even more dementedly action-packed than normal. There are some genius scenes in this book, I loved the crazy chase through the forest with potion-wielding ghost-robot and the magic carpet windsurfing ride before a sandstorm - the writing of the scenes is brilliant, breakneck speed and the usual Cassie / Pritkin teamwork enlivening each moment.
The bigger story arc that starts to unfold is fascinating and the scale of the forthcoming battle is slowly becoming clear. I loved learning more about Cassie's parents, who were interestingly unexpected. The demon realm and its capricious court was also brilliantly realised.
I like the character of Mircea but I much prefer him as Dory's father rather than Cassie's 'boyfriend' as Cassie refers to him in the book. The awkwardness of the term emphasises why their relationship and his long term manipulations don't work for me, so I didn't miss his almost total absence from the story, but was interested in the hints about his past interactions with the Pythias.
But for me, this book was all about Cassie and Pritkin and their relationship. I loved every intense, twisty angsty moment of their interaction. There is so much that is still unacknowledged (never mind unsaid) but it's so much more compelling for it. I can't wait for them to leap off that cliff Cassie's mother refers to...
Cassie has grown and developed as a character throughout the books and in this one you can see she is really starting to grow into her power and it's beginning to become clear that it's not just luck that's kept her alive all this time. At the same time, we see how much formal training she's missing and maybe that's why she makes the right choices based on instinct.
Pritkin is as awesome as ever and I adore his character. The intensity of his personality, the hair-trigger temper, moments of gentleness and his willingness to go all out in a fight.
At the end of the book I was grinning with Cassie looking forward to the next instalment. Just not looking forward to the wait!