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Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6)

Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6) - Karen Chance "You are the child of chaos, Cassie, of turmoil and mayhem and wild uncertainty. Your very existence is proof [...] that hope cannot be chained. That fate can be undone!" It's been two long years since we last saw Cassie and gang in [b:Hunt the Moon|8926959|Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5)|Karen Chance|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1334245981s/8926959.jpg|13803434]. If you're a fan or follower of the series, you may remember the book ended on quite the cliffhanger. Now, in Tempt the Stars, Cassie has one thing on her mind - rescuing her friend Pritkin from "a fate worse than death". But, as the "newly crowned Pythia, aka the world's chief seer," her focus is pulled in many different directions. Still, despite the appearance of three unruly witches demanding a meeting, a barrier of homunculus trying to keep her from speaking to her mother, a wicked fae spell distorting one of her own¹, windsurfing through hell with dark mages to escape Allû, and facing the demon council, she's able to accomplish part of her mission.The next part, actually freeing² her friend, continues on into the next book. So, expect another cliffhanger. Other things you can expect, as with all Cassandra Palmer novels, a lot of magical battles, some witty quips from Casanova and Billy, and some whiplash time traveling. The thing you should not expect is Mircea. He's surprisingly absent during the story; he's off taking care of Senate business and we are left wondering, along with Cassie, is he avoiding her? Or, as always seems to be the case where Mircea is concerned, keeping a close eye on her in unexpected ways? As a fan of Karen Chance's Dorina Basarab series in addition to this one, I have grown to like Mircea more and more. So, I hope we will see more of him and, along with Cassie, find some resolution to their relationship questions.Between the two series by Karen Chance, I would say I am a bigger fan of Dorina than of Cassie. That said, I really enjoy watching Cassie not only cope with the challenges she must face, but also learn to embrace her gifts and fight instead of run. So much has been kept from her over the years and now, as Pythia, she finds there is so much more yet to be learned. ¹An intense scene between Cassie and Jules, one of the vampires watching over her, occurs when he finds himself on the receiving end of a wicked nasty, fae curse. It's like he's being unmade - his skin is smoothing over, his fingers and hands are merging together - like he's being turned into a blob. A blob that, had he'd been human, would have killed him, but since he's a vampire he's essentially trapped inside himself. No one can hear his mind-speak until, for some reason, Cassie can. She works to try to help him and accidentally does more than that ... she turns him human! Seems the presence of Rhea, from the Pythian Court, amplifies Cassie's power. When she was trying to remove the fae curse, she also removed the vampire curse - at least that's the only explanation she can think of at the time.Of course, other events occur and her attention is taken away from Jules, but last we see him he's off alone trying to deal with being human again. And, Cassie's fretting over what that will mean for him, Mircea and herself now that she's essentially taken away one of this Master vampires. Hopefully more will be revealed in future books. "When you change someone else's fate, it often changes your own." ²The council unleashed a regression curse on Pritkin in front of Caleb and Cassie. She's told, "It is an old method of execution that sends the soul back through his or her lifetime, into previous versions of himself. When his soul reaches the beginning of its life journey, it will wink out of existence, and the body will die." When she insists that she will go back and stop the spell from being laid, she's told she will be prevented. However, at the end of the book, after proving herself selfless when she was willing to die to save innocents, she is given a counterspell and told that if she "... can find him before the curse concludes, [she] can save him. The spell [they] used was specifically designed to thwart [her] power. His soul will pass through each year of his life only once and then never again. Afterward, [she] can use [her] abilities to return to the same moment again and again, but [she] will not find it there." The catch? The counterspell is written in an ancient tongue that few can read. Pritkin's father, Rosier, the one she was trying to save Pritkin from in the first place, is one that can. So, he will be accompanying her on the mission to find and save Pritkin's soul.Now, she takes off time jumping with Rosier without a word to anyone else. So, what will that mean for those left behind? Will they think she died in the blast? Her Pythia powers will not move onto another who is worthy because she still has them, yes? Should be interesting to find out how this will play out for everyone. Thank you to Penguin Group/Berkley NAL and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. All quotes are taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted from the final copy.