It's been two years since the publication of Tempt the Stars, in which we saw Cassandra Palmer, Pythia and chief seer of the supernatural world, once again lose the war mage Pritkin, after working so hard to get him back. This time, Cassie has to travel further back in time than she ever has before in order to save Pritkin's soul. This one task on its own would be difficult enough but as Pythia, Cassie has to deal with her court, and her supposed allies, who seem more interested in controlling her than helping her prepare for the war ahead. Still new to her power, Cassie is just holding on by the seat of her pants, hoping that somehow in her time travel and bumbling that her luck will continue to hold out long enough for her to help prepare the supernatural world to face their biggest threat - Aries.
It took a long time for Cassie to accept the fact that she is indeed the Pythia and now that others in the supernatural world have accepted her title, the battle is on to see who will control her. Cassie has known the vampire Mircea since childhood. Unlike her guardian Tony, he always seemed to treat her kindly and now that Cassie is a woman, there's a bond between them that is undeniable. They have made a promise to be Senator and Pythia but also to be Cassie and Mircea. It's a good plan in theory but with so much at stake, it is impossible for Mircea to avoid using his influence to get what he wants. When Mircea asks for a master vampire army to defeat the fae, Cassie knows that if she gives into this demand which Mircea tried to frame as a request, she will spend the rest of her time as Pythia capitulating. As much as it bothers Cassie, she says, "no", and she means it.
The circle, the Pythia's traditional guardians and protectors having accepted Cassie can still not abide her independence. To that end the freeze Cassie's assets making it impossible to support her new court, withhold information and set about trying to force Cassie to remain in one location and be the none active Pythia they expect who only uses her power as they see fit.
In many ways, Reap the Wind is about Cassie not only learning more about her powers but understanding the politics behind the position of Pythia. Sure, Cassie has been told about all the responsibilities the Pythia has and their historic roles but she hasn't really learned how to do her job because she never received training. It would be easy to just become a pawn of the vampires because she was after all raised by the them or the council because they were always heavily involved with the Pythias but Cassie learns that despite all of this history and the pomp and circumstance, for this to work, she's going to have to do it her own way.
For the longest time, Cassie has been made to feel inferior because she was a human in a vampire world. When she became Pythia, despite being the seat of power, many sought to control her because of her lack of training. Reap the Wind is about more than Cassie accepting her role of Pythia, it's about her gaining some much needed confidence in her abilities. Yes, Cassie rushes head long into things and doesn't really stop to form a plan (which is absolutely a problem) but somehow, despite the odds, Cassie has always emerged victorious. Though many around Cassie would like to believe that this is all blind luck which certainly cannot last, Cassie has finally accepted that her victories are just that, victories and for her to win. skill had to have been involved.
I really enjoyed this growth in Cassie and I think it will be very important moving forward, particularly given that she still has a date with Aries to face. Unfortunately, despite all of this growth in Cassie and the introduction of court, the plot itself once again seemed to stagnate. I love Rossier and Cassie travelling through time together and the humor it provides and I love the back and forth with the young Pritkin but none of this really advances the meta. Despite all of the action scenes which come with a Cassandra Palmer novel, Karen Chance is absolutely a master at dragging out her story and dangling carrots. Reap the Wind, is yet another book that ends on a cliffhanger and tossing in Dorina at the end as fan service does not make up for that. At some point, Chance is going to have to shit or get off the damn pot.