This is a great second book to this series. I always find second books are the true hint to as to whether or not the series is worth continuing on. The first book is all about setting up the world 9and sometimes, they were originally supposed to be a standalone). But the second book is a hint as to the pace and style with which the rest of the series is going to set forth. Which made this a fantastic indication that I need to continue reading this series. Because. Wow. What a second book.
This is the second collection I’ve read by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. And it’s just as good, if not better than the first. Actually, it was probably better. Because I really wasn’t in the mood for the Holiday Season this year. Normally I read all sorts of nice holiday stories. I didn’t want those. But an anthology about werewolves and Christmas? That was perfect for my mood. Especially when some of the stories involve eating Rudolph and Santa.
I love that I finally got to revisit the world of Lia and Cyrus. That I get to do so in a Christmas collection and when they’re obviously just finding their relationship (the other two stories I’ve read which feature them are further along in the series) just made it that much better. It also gives a little more insight into the hierarchy of the werewolves in this series. Something I surprisingly needed in my life.
I kind of loved this collection. It definitely isn’t one that you can read cover to cover in one sitting – there’s only so many vampire romances that I can happily read before they start to blend into one. But as a slow read that I just picked up every now and again… it was really, really good.
I have had a slight obsession (alright, maybe not so slight) with the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead since I wrote an anthropology paper on it in my Undergrad at University. So reading a story that featured this time of year and festival made me kind of deliriously happy. Alright, stupid happy – I read this story from beginning to end twice in a row to get my fix. And then watched Coco. But that’s a whole other story…
I love tattoos. I have two, I’m going to get more. I love stories that feature tattoos. I loved this collection which was basically all about tattoos. Actually, the most disappointing thing about this was how quickly it ended. After all, there were only four novellas in this collection, and I would have happily enjoyed far more.
Lia is a really good, fun character, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting in Vegas Odds. So it was nice to revisit her in Skin Deep with an amazing new tattoo to boot. I also enjoyed the way that her relationship with Cyrus had developed further from that outlined in their previous novella.
It’s been years since I last picked up this novel – back when I first read it, I thought it was a standalone story with an off-kilter ending. Now that I’ve found out it’s just the beginning of a series, I thought that I’d pick it up again. See if it was as good as I remember and help me to become reintroduced to the world of Cassandra Palmer. And, if anything, I think that this was a little better than last time. Maybe because I’ve grown older, or maybe I just was in a more appreciative headspace… regardless of the reasoning, I loved this novel and am now keenly waiting for Claimed by Shadow to arrive.
I loved the setting location for The Queen’s Witch. Following on Gillian and Kit from The Gauntlet, they travel through Victorian England and try to find a way to save the queen. The semi-historical setting gave the story a unique feeling from the main Cassandra Palmer series, and (I’m assuming) context for the later storylines within the series.
I loved the way that this novella flicked between two different points of view – the vampire and the witch’s. Although originally it is easy to take the witch’s side, it quickly becomes possible to not only see the blossoming romance between the two, but also why each acts as they do. No matter how odd and absurd riding across a battle on a keg may seem.