Literature: Cassandra Palmer
Touch the DarkCassandra Palmer
is an urban fantasy novel series by Karen Chance, starring Cassandra "Cassie" Palmer, an orphaned clairvoyant raised by a vampire mob boss. Cassie ran away from him three years ago after she discovered he killed her parents when she was a child. But at the start of Touch the Dark
, Tony has found her and Cassie finds herself forced to accept the help of the Vampire Senate, which does not come free. Cassie is to be the next Pythia, the world's chief clairvoyant, time guardian and ultimate judge of the supernatural world; and Cassie is the first Pythia in centuries that has not been indoctrinated since birth by the mages' Silver Circle and is thus free of their control. And they do not like that, not at all. If the Pythia is not under their control, then they will make sure the power passes on to someone they can control. But there are other players in this game nobody knows about yet.
The series has a spin-off that stars Dorina Basarab, the dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) daughter of Cassie's love interest Mircea, and Master Vampire Louis-Cesare.
Cassandra Palmer series
- Touch the Dark
- Claimed by Shadow
- Embrace the Night
- Curse the Dawn
- Hunt the Moon
Dorina Basarab series
- Midnight's Daughter
- Death's Mistress
- Fury's Kiss
Cassandra Palmer and Dorina Bhasarab provide examples of:
- Action Girl: Both Cassie and Dorina.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Pretty much how the vampire senate works. Master vampires constantly challenge each other to duels for seats on the Senate, and for fun.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Louis-Cesare and Dorina.
- Badass: Mircea, Pritkin, and Louis-Cesare, to start with. Most vampires and mages fall into this category too. And Cassie's mother, who turns out to be Artemis, the goddess of death.
- Badass Family: The Bhasarabs (Mircea, with his mental, healing, and manipulative abilites, Louis-Cesare with his combat abilities, Dorina with her vampire-genocidal berserker fighting, and Radu, who's a 2nd level master vampire. Oh, and Vlad, of course).
- Battle Couple: Louis-Cesare and Dorina. And Mircea and Cassie (when she grows into her power).
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Cassie and Master Vampire Mircea, even after they consummate it. Cassie and Pritkin also apply. Louis-Cesare and Dorina as well.
- Berserk Button: Cassie's wellbeing, for Mircea.
- Blessed with Suck: Dorina has to be careful, because dhampirs are prone to rage attacks and usually don't live long. She has managed to reach five hundred by directing her energy to vampires and demons that deserved to be killed.
- Chick Magnet: Mircea.
- The Chosen One: Cassie for the office of Pythia.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Cassie
- Combat Pragmatist: Pritkin and Mircea. Most of the mages and vampires, in fact.
- Contemptible Cover: The covers of the Cassie books 1-4 aren't too bad, featuring a straight haired blonde(as the curly haired Cassie)in a slinky dress posing with a random city backdrop. However, the Hunt the Moon cover is ridiculous, with a (again straight haired) blonde in nothing more than a skimpy red dress and open toed heels standing IN THE SNOW at night. And no, it doesn't relate to the story.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Cassie
- Cool House: Mircea's dwellings. They all are equally luxurious. Even his customized personal plane.
- Cool Pet: In Curse the Dawn, Jordan Marsden has a demon-possessed dog.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Basically how Cassie survives.
- Dark and Troubled Past:
- Cassie's parents were killed by Tony, a low-ranked mobster vampire who wanted a seer of his own. When Cassie's father refused, he killed them and took Cassie. She discovered the truth when a vision hit her on her fourteenth birthday. She eventually managed to ran away from him. Until he found her again at the start of the series.
- Pritkin is the offspring of a mother with fae blood and a demon who wanted to run an experiment with him. Pritkin's mother died in childbirth and the villagers left him to fend for himself in the woods because he was a half-demon. Somehow, he survived. Some time later, his father dragged him to hell, but managed to flee a century later.
- Destructive Saviour: Cassie. Pritkin, too.
- Dhampir: Dorina is one who, unlike most, has been able to maintain her sanity through the centuries.
- Divine Parentage: Turns out Cassie's mother is Artemis herself, which would explain why the power of the Pythia passed onto her, who had no training whatsoever, instead of the other candidates.
- Drives Like Crazy: In Curse the Dawn, Marsden is a race freak and drives like one. Pritkin too, since he only learned from watching him and he doesn't even has a permit.
- Evil Counterpart: Myra, the former Pythia's last apprentice, to Cassie, for the first three books.
- Fantastic Racism: Vampires and mages can't stand each other, though they may collaborate sometimes. Specially those attached to Cassie.
- The Fashionista: Augustine
- Friendless Background: Cassie, on purpose.
- Geas: The Geis is like a love spell, a magical claim that warns off any would-be suitors and compels the the two people to be attracted to each other. Due to Cassie's meddling with time, she and Master Vampire Mircea find themselves saddled with one, until they manage to break it.
- The Ghost: Billy Joe
- Good Is Not Nice
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Pritkin
- Half-Breed Discrimination: Dorina, because she's a dhampir; Pritkin, because he's half-demon.
- Half-Human Hybrid: See above.
- Healing Factor: The Mage John Pritkin.
- Interspecies Romance: Cassie is the human Pythia, Mircea is a vampire and Pritkin is a mage. Also, Cassie's parents were a former Pythia heir and a allegedly former Black Circle Mage
- It's All My Fault: Cassie has a tendency to blame herself when things go wrong.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pritkin
- Love Is a Weakness: That's what Cassie thought for a long time. Until she starts caring too much.
- Love Triangle: As of Curse the Dawn, one seems to be developing between Cassie, Mircea and Pritkin.
- Manipulative Bastard: Mircea, who found out Cassie was a candidate for the pythia, created a geis on her to keep her a virgin so the power would consider going to her, made the counterspell for the geis sex so that she would fully become Pythia afterwards, kept her in Tony's court, so the mages wouldn't find out about her being harbored by vampires too early, and kept tabs on her through her roommate Tomas—who she didn't know was a vampire, when she ran away from Tony.
- Master Swordsman: Louis-Cesare, who is the reigning champion of the European Senate, and who no vampire wants to be fighting (in fact, the vampire Rasputin creates a war and allies with the Dark Circle to time-travel and stop Louis-Cesare from ever becoming a vampire just so he wouldn't duel him).
- Meaningful Name: Cassandra Palmer. The original Cassandra was the first pythia and the one who betrayed Apollo—and Cassie ends up burning the spell that would let Apollo back onto Earth rather than giving it to him.
- Morality Pet: Cassie, for both the vampires and the mages.
- Seers: Cassie is one.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Cassie, trying to save Mircea from Myra, goes back in time and creates a double geis that causes Mircea to go insane in the future—the geis that Mircea put on Cassie in the first place.
- Oh Crap: And how! Example:
- When Apollo uses Cassie's power to enter the mortal world to enslave everyone, and destroy her and everyone she cares about.
"It's fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants time, isn't it?"
"And that is a good thing?"
"No, but it's... sort of familiar."
— Cassie to Mircea, Hunt the Moon
- Older than They Look/Really 700 Years Old: Vampires don't age and mages age very slowly. Mircea is over five hundred years old. His daughter, Dorina, is also over five hundred. Pritkin is even older, since he is immortal, being a half-demon with fae blood who is, in fact, Merlin himself.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Billy Joe is a ghost attached to Cassie's pendant. He spies/scouts for her in exchange for a regular draw of energy.
- Our Time Travel Is Different/Time Travel: Only the Pythia, her heir and mages from an evil organization called the Guild, can travel in time. Changing anything in the past is extremely dangerous, as Cassie herself learns.
- Parental Abandonment: Cassie's parents were killed by Tony, a low-ranked mobster vampire who wanted a seer of his own. When Cassie's mother refused, he killed them and took Cassie.
- Personof Mass Destruction: All first level master vampires (including Mircea and Louis-Cesare). Oh, and Apollo, the other gods, Artemis, and the demi-gods.
- Power Tattoo, Animated Tattoo: Cassie has a pentacle tattoo on her back that's a ward that protects her against magical danger. The ward originally belonged to the Pythia Agnes, who lend it to Cassie's mother just before she eloped. Her mother passed it down to her when she was a child.
- Psychic Powers: Cassie is a clairvoyant, she can move through both time and space (enabling her to shift when in some pretty tight spots). Vampires have some psychic abilities, too.
- Saving the World: By preventing the return of the ancient gods.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The mages sealed the ancient gods (in fact, powerful beings from another dimension) away centuries ago. Unfortunately, Apollo finds a way back.
- Secret Identity: Pritkin is, in fact, Merlin.
- Sins of Our Fathers: The fact that her mother eloped and threw away the position of heir to the Pythia, and to marry a presumptive former Black Circle mage too both, still taints Cassie in some people's eyes.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Dory and Louis-Cesare.
- The Berserker: Dorina, when she blacks out, and her vampire half—who's a lot more powerful, takes over and kills everything in sight, which is because Mircea manipulated her mind so that her vampire and human halves would be separate and not kill each other while growing into their power.
- The Undead: The vampires.
- Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy