Claimed by Shadow (Cassandra Palmer, Book 2)

Claimed By Shadow - Karen Chance Just about every mystical creature that you could possibly think of, has been mentioned at least once in this story. This makes for a very large and interesting world. At times however, Chance gets downright ridiculous in her choices. In the last book, we were introduced to Marlow, Rasputin, Baby face Nelson, Jack the Ripper and the famed artist Raphael as vampires. It's enough to make one wonder if Chance believes that any historical figure was human. To some degree, one must suspend belief to read urban fantasy but Chance simply has pushed this too far with her latest editions. Would you believe that zombie Elvis makes an appearance as an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas and when he gets accidentally hurt in a battle, he is temporarily replaced by zombie Jimi Hendrix? If that were not enough, Casanova the incubus, inhabits the body of a vampire. I side eyed my kindle so hard, I damn near hurt myself. It seems that Chance just loves a dash of camp with her urban fantasy.With the death of the Pythia, Cassie inherits great power, unfortunately she does not have the training to be able to control it and the Circle (Light witches), vamps and fae all want something from her. Cassie's goal is to find someone to transfer the power to, save her father from an eternity of imprisonment and to avenge the mortal death of her parents. As you can see, there is a lot going on with this world and this is even further complicated by time travel. As an agent to move things along, time travel is excellent; however, if not treated carefully, the varying timelines can and in this case do make story difficult to follow. In a trip to fairy, Cassie is offered the opportunity to complete the transfer of power and claim her rightful tittle as Pythra. As you may have guessed from my previous review, this involves having intercourse. We are repeatedly told that Cassie is a virgin, though if she is -- it is name only --having done every sexual act except penile penetration; this definition of virginity is highly heterosexist. It means that a gay man or woman who has never had sex with someone of the opposite sex, would by Chance's definition, remain a perpetual virgin, regardless of how many times they had sex. This coupled with the fact that there isn't a single gay or lesbian character in the series thus far is highly problematic. I will give Chance a bone though, for having succubi and incubi change gender at will however, once they change their gender to ensure that whatever coupling they participate in is heterosexual. There is only one hint of a same sex relationship involving an incubus and the vampire Dracula and that is thrown in as an aside, but with the ability of the incubi to change genders, there is enough room to question whether this really constitutes a same sex interaction.A large part of the reason Cassie wants to claim her title as Pyria, is to remove the gies (read: magical spell) that was placed on her at the age of 12. This spell was placed on her by the master vampire Mycia and it ensured her virginity until she was ready to assume the role of Pyria, by sending out strong keep out vibes. The gies is specifically set to only allow Mircea, or a male he designates to have intercourse with Cassie. This of course means that when she find herself attracted to Pritkin the war mage, the gies flares to cause them physical pain to stop any kind of coupling. Wow, a virtual chastity belt on a prepubescent child. Mycia was essentially grooming her for himself. Events however become confused when Cassie travels back in time and inadvertently places a second gies on Mircea. It becomes a case of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Would Mircea have placed the gies on her when she was 12, if Cassie had not traveled back to the 1800's and accidentally placed one on him first? Read more