Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gauntlet (Cassandra Palmer #0.5)” as Want to Read:
The Gauntlet (Cassandra Palmer #0.5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Gauntlet

(Cassandra Palmer 0.5)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,533 ratings  ·  133 reviews
The Gauntlet is a Kit Marlowe short from The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 and a companion piece to The Queen's Witch.

The story is available for free on Karen Chance's website.
ebook, 52 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Karen Chance (first published October 5th 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Gauntlet, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Gauntlet

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,533 ratings  ·  133 reviews

More filters
Sort order
The Gauntlet is a Kit Marlowe short, chronologically the first novella in the Cassandra Palmer series.

Kit Marlowe is only a newby vampire, but he had been given an extra deal of power, elevating him to a master’s rank, in order to help his mistress, and save the Queen. He is in sore need of a red-haired witch to complete a mission, so he goes to the prison to find one.
Kit needed to be at that meeting. And for that, he needed a credible Lady Isabel. But young, redheaded, coven witches were a lit
Lynsey   (A Bookish Life)
The Gauntlet.

The Gauntlet introduces us to a witch named Gillian who is currently in gaol awaiting execution. In steps a familiar (to us, anyway) curly-haired, be-goateed vampire with an offer she would really like to refuse. Madness and mayhem naturally ensues, along with some nice background information on the formation of the Silver Circle in the British Isles. I know it was in the The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 originally, but it's not really a romantic story at all. It's more li
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very quick, but engaging read about an unlikely alliance between a powerful witch and a gentleman spy vampire.

Having taken AP English for more years than I care to remember, Christopher Marlowe (who greatly inspired William Shakespeare) is among the playwrights that haunted my dreams when in school. Having him here, re-imagined, after his "mysterious death" to be this cheeky gentleman spy vampire is both hilarious and ingenious (since he was considered a spy in reality).

However, the real star
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars... This short story in the "Cassandra Palmer Series" depicts a time when Kit Marlowe is a newly made vampire sent to obtain a powerful witch to protect his Queen and country... What ensues is an epic battle with a fiery red headed witch named Gillian who acquires some unexpected powers herself leaving her to protect her daughter and an entire coven of witches... The writing is enjoyable filled with moments of humor as well as history; overall a fun read giving us a quick peek into Kit' ...more
Anna 'Bookbuyer'
Despite the author saying you can read these anytime I was quite lost. I have no clue who the characters are in reference to the main stories.

Overall it was okay. It wasn't a fantastic read. Lots of action. Kit was a bit of a buffoon and Gillian was a very obviously overprotective mom.

The Silver Circle seems to be bad news in all the books. Sounds like a really bad cult.
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru
Awwww! I love seeing Kit during his early time as a vamp! He was so different from the Marlowe we get to see in the Cassie and Dory books. He was adorable. He kept getting his ass kicked and his balls seemed to be in constant danger! I am not surprised that Marlowe would be attracted to a feisty type like Gillian. She sure was the epitome of a fiery red-head and then the way she robbed him at the end! Too funny.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Karen Chance fans
Shelves: spin-offs
Really funny short story about Kit Marlowe (from the Cassie and Dory series) meeting a witch in Elizabethan England shortly after he is turned.

It was great to find out some more about Marlowe's past (since he's usually so secretive) Karen Chance's skill for the 'ridiculous' really shone here. was free!
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A facinating story. I loved getting a look into the genocide of the witches by the hands of the silver circle. Marlowe, as always, is a delight. Gillian is a new favorite character. I hope Chance continues their story!
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Entertaining short story where we meet a young vampire, Kit Marlowe, who saves a witch name Gillian and helps her to escape from prison.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 8/10

I learned two things in reading this excellent novella: First, Karen Chance is a much better writer than I previously gave her credit for; secondly, she is wasting her talents writing unexceptional urban fantasy novels. While I have no doubt UF as a genre pays the bills more handsomely than historical fantasy, after reading The Gauntlet I know which of the two genres I would prefer the author to write more of.

Set in the same world as her two urban fantasy series, but
Kathy Davie
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, urban, history
A free short story, 0.5, in the Cassandra Palmer urban fantasy series. This one involves Kit Marlowe when he's still a young vampire and he's working for the Queen in Elizabethan England.

Download it for free (so far) at Karen Chance's website.

My Take
This one is a blip in the early life of Kit Marlowe (as vampire) when he's spying for the Queen and/or mistresses. It doesn't say which queen, so I'm assuming from the text that Chance means Queen Elizabeth.

It's interesting that the Silver Circle see
A very solid short story that takes place in the past in Karen Chance's Cassie Palmer world, but doesn't require any familiarity with the series. Kit Marlowe, one of the regular (and most intriguing) vampire characters in Cassie's stories, appears here, but this story is really about a witch named Gillian and about how the witch covens are being forced out of England by a new group called the Silver Circle. Fans of the Palmer series will recognize this group, but new readers won't feel lost at a ...more
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This, in essence, is a back story about Kit Marlow and a witch named Gillian Urswick, who becomes coven mother. It's available both at the writers web page under freebies at the top, as well as

Gillian had been a member of the Druid coven that once ruled the supernatural in Britian, prior to the arrival of what is now called the Silver Circle an ancient society of light magic users who had brought nothing but darkness to England. Her coven refused to join, so now she finds hersel
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Karen Chance's Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarab series and especially Kit Marlowe
Fast paced story featuring Kit Marlowe who it seems is in need of the help of one red haired witch, he finds one imprisoned by "The Circle" and in trying to help her escape he bites off a bit more than he bargained for with Gillian. Gillian just wants to get herself and her daughter out of the prison and out of England, in the process of which some really strange happenings occur and she inherits the full power of an elderly witch. This was a great story in a short amount of time that leaves one ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
Karen Chance delivered an excellent, free short story for her series with Kit Marlowe and a witch back in the past. It's not as short as most shorts and is divided into chapters. I loved Sarah and all the characters. Kit was never that interesting to me but I don't think I read the books with him featured much so that could be why; he was very likeable here. The humor was present and action, while there, was not overwhelming like some of the novels. If you like Karen Chance's work you should lov ...more
Jessica Buike
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though this is a fairly short book, it is action packed from the first page to the last page and highly worth the read!! The characters have great depth, and the storyline is interesting and well-written. Honestly, I wanted more - so I'm sure I'll be looking for more of Ms. Chance's work! I love that the heroine is a strong, interesting character and not just some damsel in distress, and I think the use of mystical forces is done just right. This is a very good read and suitable for all paranorm ...more
Elaine Howlin
Good story, shows another side of Kit. Not enough focus on him in it, though.
Interesting to see some of the history between the witches and mages as well.
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ok, so i wont read the other two short stories before book one....I'll read them sometime after...sorry Aly!
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was hilarious :D
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fast paced free short story featuring Kit Marlowe from the Cassie Palmer and Dory Series. Tight narrative and intriguing story. Nice dynamic between Kit and Gillian, the witch.
I usually steer clear of short reads, especially freebies, but it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Karen Chance’s writing and especially her Cassie Palmer novels. Suffice to say that this was an absolute gem and exceeded my expectations from Kit Marlowe's story. I absolutely loved it!!

This can be read as a standalone because there was enough background information to give an impression of the world the characters lived in. It just wasn’t like a full story and felt more like part of a whole but
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.

Actually, it’s the rather absurd battle and ways in which the characters are able to overcome their difficulties, differences and the dangers ar
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick short story gives a bit of background detail on Kit Marlow.

An escape from certain death into the arms of death (i.e. a vampire)? Gillian only wants to rescue herself and her daughter from the clutches of the Circle. She doesn't want to be in charge, heck she doesn't even have that kind of power - or does she?
A very short story about Kit Marlowe, a new vampire master who is trying to find a witch to help protect the queen. This was a great introduction to the series. It was captivating, exciting, and full of action. I really want to know more about Gillian.
Jennifer  (BTH Reviews)
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this short story! In fact, I liked it better than the book I read in this series. But I can't say it's the best of the series because I haven't read much yet.
Just Josie
Sweet young Kit Marlowe! What a delight ! So different from “future Kit”. Fast paced, fun and lots of action! I really enjoyed it!

Read: 08/05/2018
Will I recommend: Yes
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Cute 😊 Kit Marlowe meets the coven witch, Gillian Urswick, and they escape from the clutches of the Silver Circle.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a free prequel short story to Karen Chance's 'Cassie Palmer' series. It is set in a vaguely medieval England (the time-frame is never actually stated) and centers around a witch named Gillian who has been captured and is being held captive along with her young daughter Elinore.
The story focuses on Gillian's escape attempts and a vampire named Kit Marlowe. Kit needs Gillian's help but she doesn’t trust him to help her escape.

I liked this story a lot. There was a lot of back-story about
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: witches
I have no idea why one would be reading a review for an oft overlooked short story with few ties to the fan favorites of the Cassie Palmer universe. Nor do I really know why one would review them except, in my case, to say somewhere that I absolutely adore this and it's sequel.

This story has it all. Like coven witches (and the related coven vs circle history before we ever hear about it in the Cassie books), and Kit Marlowe fighting a chicken. And... I mean, honestly, after those two things idk
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Karen Chance Fans: The Gauntlet 82 179 Oct 08, 2015 07:21AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Labyrinth
  • Caught Forever Between (Hoodoo, #2.5)
  • Dawn of Avalon (Twilight of Avalon, #0.5)
  • The Vanishing (Return of the Aliens #1)
  • Chicks Kick Butt
  • Life Blood
  • Alinora
  • Cain's Apples
  • A Stroke of Dumb Luck (Colbana Files, #0.5)
  • The Hook (Iron Seas, #0.6)
  • Violet Tendencies (Sabina Kane, #2.5)
  • The First Fall (Incryptid, #0.07)
  • Cat Tales (Jane Yellowrock, #3.5)
  • Lovely
  • Ransom X (A Legacy Mystery #1)
  • My Lord Mayhem (Disenchanted & Co., #0.5)
  • Originally Human (World of Lupi, #1.5)
  • Unfallen
See similar books…
Karen Chance is the author of two New York Times bestselling series, plus a number of novellas and short stories, all set in the Cassandra Palmer universe. A full-time writer since 2008, she was previously a university history teacher, which comes in handy when writing the time-travel aspect of Cassie’s crazy adventures. She loves Las Vegas, the main setting for her novels, but currently lives in ...more

Other books in the series

Cassandra Palmer (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1)
  • Claimed By Shadow (Cassandra Palmer, #2)
  • Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer, #3)
  • Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, #4)
  • Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5)
  • Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6)
  • Reap the Wind (Cassandra Palmer, #7)
  • Ride the Storm (Cassandra Palmer, #8)
  • Brave the Tempest (Cassandra Palmer, #9)
  • Shatter the Earth (Cassandra Palmer, #10)