Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hallowed Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, #2) by Linda Robertson

Persephone Alcmedi has been persuaded to compete for the position of High Priestess of the Cleveland, Ohio, coven — now that the former priestess, Vivian Diamond, has strangely gone missing. Unfortunately, there are a few small problems with the idea. Not only does Seph know rather more about Vivian's disappearance than the other witches realize, but the epic struggle she's just survived has left her with some highly unusual powers — ones that could be dangerous to reveal. Despite her reluctance, she agrees to participate, if only to prevent snooty Hunter Hopewell, an obnoxious but talented witch, from ending up in the winner's circle. Can Seph hide her secrets — including her connection to the master vampire-wizard Menessos — from the terrifyingly wise judges? Plus, there's her rock 'n' roll werewolf boyfriend, Johnny, and some angry fairies to deal with....
Once the competition begins, a finalist turns up dead. It looks as if one of the contestants is willing to do anything — including murder — to win. Suddenly Seph has even more on her plate than she thought: from solving a murder to working out what her new powers really are...and exactly why they're creating so much havoc in her love life.
Hallowed Circle was an improvement over the first book in this series.  I felt like there was a much more comprehensible story, and I enjoyed parts of it. 
Persephone (Seph) is living with the consequences of taking Menessos’ mark, trying to work her way through her relationship with Johnny, and busy raising Beverly.  She is also trying to decipher what it means to be identified as the Lustrata, the prophesied go-between for each of the supernatural creatures.
Her friend, Lydia, comes to her and asks her to compete in the covens’ quest for a new High Priestess.  Though reluctant, Seph agrees.  Her competition is fierce and includes Hunter Hopewell, a haughty witch who Seph really, really does not want to win.
During the course of the competition, one of the witches is killed and Seph must try to help solve the mystery.  Between her attempt to avoid Menessos (who is part of the vampire muscle at the competition) and trying to find her way through the tasks she is given, Seph has plenty to keep her busy.
I enjoyed this book so much more than the first in the series.  First, there was more mystery in this book than in the first.  It also helped that I had some sense of what Seph’s world was like.  I did not feel as though I was dropped into a Wiccan textbook this time.
The characters are also growing on me.  Johnny,  Seph’s werewolf boyfriend, behaved in a more mature manner than he did in the first book.  While he is not entirely redeemed, at least he did not grate on my nerves.
I will say that I am not entirely sold on this series.  I am beginning to sense promise that I don’t think I felt at all after Vicious Circle.  I can only hope that the third book in the series, Fatal Circle, fulfills the promise of Hallowed Circle.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Regina

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