Reflections on LJ Smith
Name: Cassie Blake
Book or Trilogy: The Secret Circle
Special Abilities: A witch, she can perform a variety of spells and call on fire.
Soul Mate or Love Interest: Adam Conant
Largest Defining Moment During Book: Hiding Adam in the boat.
Cassie Blake is a deceptively simple main character. I say deceptively because, though she can appear on the surface to be the typical shy girl turned powerful priestess thatís used, in variations, in a variety of fiction, Cassie has some extra complexities that make her more human and more interesting.
Cassieís shy. Sheís a dreamer. The two often go hand in hand. Itís one of the first things you notice about her as she sits on the beach with Portia Bainbridge, afraid to voice her own opinions, to stand up for herself or for Adam. Cassie doesnít live her life for herself when the books start. She lives it for other people, even people she doesnít like very much. And yet, thereís a part of her even then that wants to come out. This is the part that causes her to raise her head to Adam and to later help him by hiding him in the boat. The first is an automatic response and a sign. The second is a conscious decision and while itís not the biggest decision she has to make, it is one of the most important. For the first time Cassie is showing a defiance. Sheís showing that there are things that are more important to her than making people like her. She has no idea what Logan and Jordan will do to her. Itís an act of bravery in an otherwise passive existence. When Cassie orders Adam to hide, almost pushing him onto the dock, itís foreshadowing into the strong person and leader she will later become.
Arriving in New Salem, Cassie reverts a lot toward her former self, once again becoming shy and inhibited, but she never forgets the day with Adam, a holding on I believe of what she witnessed in herself as much as of the connection between them. This bravery reappears in spurts throughout the trilogy, the consequences becoming more and more dangerous and yet Cassie continues, saving Sally from Faye and eventually facing Black John. Cassie is immensely loyal, trying always to be true to Diana and swearing a blood oath when she finds herself straying.
Cassie has her faults as well, many which cause conflict with her high ideals of friendship and morality. Cassie may have sworn her oath, but she continues to be jealous of Diana and to tempt Adam at the dance. Her excuse is a common one. Her ideal is of not being jealous of Diana (something she canít control) and since she canít hold up to it, she figures sheíll go the opposite way and cast a spell on Adam (something she can control.) It actually goes along with Cassie's bravery attempts, the few times sheís acting aggressively in her life, even if the outcome and the cause are not the same. This is important because I think itís the basic equation to understanding Cassie. Except in rare, usually impulsive circumstances, aggressive equals bad/risk. Passivity equals safety. The events at New Salem are Cassieís training ground as she learns to take control of her life and it makes sense that she will flounder, a lot, before getting her footing right. When she leads the coven to Number Thirteen Crowhaven Road, Cassie is taking the ultimate risk and facing her ultimate nightmare, acting aggressively, going in on her own and facing a consequence of possible death. The real test is before the coven comes in behind her, and she passed with flying colors. This is why Cassie can take the position of a leader in the end. Although it will take time for her change to be complete, Cassie has taken the first step and the largest, out of her shell and into the world. Sheís become an active participant, exploring the world and not simply writing poetry about it.