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The Initiation
Publication Information
  • HarperCollins
Release Date
  • 1992
  • 320
Followed By

The Initiation is the first book in The Secret Circle series written by L. J. Smith. It was originally published in 1992 by HarperCollins, then reissued in 2008 as an omnibus edition with The Captive.


The Circle's Power has Lured Her Home . . .

Cassie must confront a shattering challenge: an ordeal that could cost her life or gain her more than she's ever imagined . . .

Charmed by the Secret Circle, she's initiated into the mysterious "in crowd," a coven of young witches whose power has controlled New Salem for three hundred years.

Hopelessly in love with the coven leader's boyfriend, Cassie risks falling prey to dark powers in order to have him. But if she does, her endless love could destroy the coven, New Salem, and her!

. . . And She Will Emerge the Leader or Perish!


A chance encounter brings sixteen-year-old Cassie Blake to fall for the mysterious Adam Conant. After meeting him, she rids herself of the idea of a relationship with him because she thinks they’ll never see each other again. Cassie and her mother move to New Salem, and, much to her surprise, Adam is there. At her new high school, Cassie encounters a strange group of students who rule the student population. In time, she meets Diana, the fair-haired beauty, whom Cassie comes to love like a sister. Faye Chamberlain, the voluptuous and dark puppet master, desires to turn Cassie into her plaything. After her encounters with the group of students, Cassie learns that she, along with the other students, is a witch. Cassie later finds that the boy she feels sparks with, is actually the boyfriend of Diana, leader of the coven and Cassie’s best friend.

The Characters


Cassie Blake

Cassie is shy and withdrawn, until she meets Adam. As the main protagonist of the novel, Cassie’s journey involves the sticky situation of falling in love with her best friend’s boyfriend. She finds out that she is a witch, and is later initiated into the coven. She is described as having light-brown soft wavy hair with hidden colors woven through it, blue-silver eyes and a slight build. Her birthday is July 23rd. She lives in a Georgian Postrevolutionary that belonged to her maternal grandparents Maeve Howard and her late husband at 12 Crowhaven Road, New Salem MA. Her parents are Alexandra Blake (née Howard) and John Blake aka Black John. She has a half sister named Scarlett Forthyse from her father. Her working crystal is a Hematite. The master tool she uses is a bracelet. She is connected to her soulmate Adam by a silver cord. Cassie has an affinity for fire and can have her mind read by Adam, no matter the distance. She drives a Volkswagen Rabbit, that formerly belonged to Maeve.

Faye Chamberlain

Faye, the antagonist, pushes her friends, and first cousin, Diana, around a lot because she enjoys the thrill of it. Faye longs for the rush of power that magic brings her. She believes that magic should be used to benefit those who can wield it. 16 at the start of The Initiation she turns 17 alongside Diana on November 10th. She has long black hair, honey gold eyes and overtly sensual mannerisms. She lives at number 6 Crowhaven Road. Her mother is a widow, her father Grant Chamberlain having died 16 years before the start of the story. She passes her time by flirting with Nick Armstrong whom she had an 'arrangement' of sorts before the start of the series and making mischief with her friends Susan Whittier, Deborah Armstrong, Chris and Doug Henderson. She had a crush on an outsider Jeffery Lovegood and on witch hunter Max Boylan who turned out to be using her.

Diana Meade

Diana, is Cassie’s best friend and 'adoptive' sister and Faye’s first cousin, is the leader of the coven of witches. As the embodiment of everything light and good in the world, Diana believes that magic should be harnessed for positive purposes.16 at the start of the series she turns 17 alongside Faye on November 10th. She has long, silky blonde hair that's described as moonlight and sunlight woven together, emerald green eyes and impossibly flawless skin. Her working crystal is quartz. She lives at number 1 on Crowhaven rd in a yellow Victorian. Her dad's a lawyer whom she often makes dinner for. Her mom passed away 16 years before the start of the series. Her book of shadows was one of the first they found. She and Adam Conant were childhood sweethearts but later breakup due to Diana giving Cassie the Chalcedony Rose. She later finds her soulmate in Max Boylan, reformed witch hunter.

Melanie Glaser

With an above average knowledge of crystals, Melanie is an expert on the mysterious crystals in the coven of witches. She becomes fast friends with Cassie. Melanie has a calm and collected personality, and she is a friend to Diana. She believes that magic should be used for good.

Adam Conant

Adam practices good magic and is the all-around boy next-door type. His girlfriend is Diana, but he quickly falls for Cassie after their chance meeting. He is friends with Faye, Melanie, and Nick.

Nick Armstrong

Nick is very mysterious and quiet, but over time becomes more outgoing. He is a member of the coven, he has a rivalry with Adam.


  • Cape Cod
  • New Salem
    • Crowhaven Road
    • New Salem High School


  • The main characters are introduced
  • The Circle is completed
  • Cassie and Adam are revealed to be soulmates
  • The existence of witches is revealed.

Body Count


  • At the end of the book, it is stated that Faye's mother is dead, but in later books, it is her father who is dead, while her mother is an alcoholic.




See Also