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This is the follow up to divine by choice and the final book in the divine trilogy by P.C Cast .
It is set many years after the end if book 2 and follows Morrigan Christine Parker who is the child of the disgraced Rhiannon MacCallam who betrayed her goddess Epona and swore her aligence to the dark god Pryden. When she had Morrigan she regretted her choice and handed her baby over to the care of Epina and to Shannon's ( her double and new replacement in Eponas good graces) parents.
When Morrigan turns 18 she begins to learn more about her heritage and the powers she possesses over stones and crystals. While on a day trip to the Alabaster caverns state park she unexpectedly gets transported to Partholon where she must find Shabnon and fulfil her destiny.
There are lots of doubles/ doppelgängers in this novel which can get a little but confusing. Obviously we know that Shsnnon and Rhiannon were mirrors of each other from book 1 and 2 but it almost seems like every mortal has a mirror in Partholon ( a much more interesting magical mirror). This can be a bit confusing but is a really interesting concept.
It was a shame Shannon wasn't in this book as much as she was a really good character but this book wasnt really about her. Morrigan herself is a really interesting character as she can hear the whispers of both Epona (good) and Pryden (evil) so there is done torment there. She is also very young so there is a good element of her finding herself in this book .
The main problem with the characters in this book is that there are loads introduced and there stories are never explained and as it is the last book in the series we will never know what happened to them. Hopefully there will be some side series eventually .
Overall this was a good hook but it did have its flaws . P.C Cast does have a habit of everyone living helpfully ever after no matter what has happened before and sometimes her endings are so far fetched it is annoying even in the fantasy genre. But I guess everyone wants a happy ending really .
After reading and thoroughly enjoying what I thought to be the entire series of books within author P C Cast's series "divine", I was surprised to find another book from said series lurking at the bottom of my to read pile, hence this review!
The book in question is "Divine by blood" and should have followed on from "Divine by choice", though thankfully didn't stop me from reading and thoroughly enjoying the latter two books within the series!
Rhiannon knows that she is not dead, but she is far from being alive too. Entombed within a tree when her task of returning to Parthalon backfired, and the father of her child now dead, sacrificing himself to seal her into the tree in the human world, she knows she may never be freed, but the voice that has whispered into her ears since her childhood has returned, and now the evil that is known simply as "Pryderi" has returned to claim his goddess to allow him and her access back into the magical world.
After he releases her from her tomb she soon finds that labour waits for no-one, goddess or not and soon starts to deliver her child, a daughter whom she calls Morrigan, but as she nears her end she finds that actually she doesn't want this evil hanging over her child's head, and denounces Pryderi, but evil doesn't give up so easily..........
It's actually quite difficult to explain the synopsis of this book as so much has happened in the two previous books!
Parthalon is a supposed magical place of Muses and goddess's, with Rhiannon swapping herself for her mirror image in the human world Shannon (who now resides as Rhiannon in Parthalon), but is now desperate to get back, but unable to do so.
So Morrigan is brought up by Shannon's parents in the human world, but soon finds that she has goddess given powers that are needed within Parthalon, so soon, once again the two worlds collide.
I loved this series of books, not only does it contain fantasy, but also romance, all done with a pinch of ironic humour, making this a fun book to read.
This is of course always going to be a book for the select few, centaurs' and goddess's are not for everyone, but for the lovers of fantasy worlds and true romantics this would be the ideal book, though reading he first two books would slide you in nicely to the concept!
This does sound like the ideal book for younger readers, but due to the (at times) quite graphic sex scene's, this is of course not the case, but does an extra layer to my reading enjoyment!
Price wise this has a RRP of £6.99, but can be found for less via www.amazon.co.uk
Thanks for reading x
Divine By Blood is the third novel in the Goddess of Partholon series by P.C. Cast, who is better known for her House of Night series.
The first two novels follow Shannon Parker as she is taken to the world of Partholon in place of her mirror image Rhiannon to be the Chosen of the Goddess Epona. In Divine by Blood, we are now on the story of Rhiannon's daughter, Morrigan, who is brought up in Oklahoma but finds her way to Partholon aged 18 where she begins to learn and understand her power.
I really enjoyed Divine by Mistake, the first novel, which brought to life the mythical style world of Partholon through Shannon's eyes. Divine by Choice I also enjoyed, but not so much as most of it took place in Oklahoma - I was as desparate as Shannon to get back to Partholon.
Divine by Blood largely takes place in Partholon, but in a different and new place, not the places I know from the previous novels. Additionally, I missed the character of Shannon, along with her husband ClanFintan, who were absent most of the novel. P.C. Cast writes in her introduction to each Partholon of how she loves the character of Shannon and the world she lives in, and I've come to realise I do too - I enjoyed reading about Partholon again, but it just wasn't as good as with Shannon at the helm.
The story of Divine by Blood was good, but not as good as the first two novels. Divine by Mistake had an exciting and touching story, and despite being set in Oklahoma, Divine by Choice was gripping. However Divine by Blood doesn't have the same exciting edge to it. The story is good, interesting and enjoyable, but while you can tell it is building up to something, it is fairly gentle. To start it switches between Shannon in Partholon and Morrigan in Oklahoma, then there are dramatic events in both before we only get Morrigan's story in Partholon. From that point the story is quite gentle, until a sudden and swift finale, which is over so quick you won't know what hit you and you'll have to read it again.
Morrigan is a strange character. She is the daughter of Rhiannon who embraced evil, so there is the fear that she will too. Throughout the novel I was never sure if she was going to turn to evil or not - it's hard to tell if the voices she hears are those of good or evil. For this reason I found it hard to warm to her, as she often seemed on the verge of going to the "dark side". Perhaps some would say this makes her more interesting in comparison to Shannon, who we always know is good, but personally I need a heroine I can trust in novels of this type.
One thing I always say about Cast's novels, more so for the House of Night than Partholon series, is that I find the characters narration style irritating. She has them using annoying American colloquialisms and slang all over the place. Oddly, this wasn't the case with Divine by Blood. The slang was there and there were a few repeated irritations, such as Morrigan referring to her grandparents as G-ma and G-pa, but it didn't grate quite so much. I wonder if I'm just getting used to it.
The Partholon novels have a more mature style than the House of Night novels, and seem to be aimed more at an adult audience. Despite its main character being a teenager, Divine by Choice is similar, although perhaps a step down from Divine by Mistake and Divine by Choice.
I really like the fantasy world of Partolon. It seems to be based on myth, with creatures like centaurs running around, and with influence from perhaps Greek mythology in terms of goddesses and temples. It is not however so far removed from reality as to be hard to relate to. The main population is human, and all the buildings and landscapes are well described and easy to picture.
I enjoyed Divine by Blood, but just not as much as the first two novels. Divine by Mistake was my favourite, and the sequels just haven't matched up. But then I thought the House of Night series went downhill and then picked up again, so maybe the Goddess of Partholon series will do the same. There are at least two more novels after this, but I don't think they will feature Shannon - from the preview I read of the next one, Elphame's Choice, it is about Shannon's great-granddaughter. I'll keep reading though, I love the world of Partholon.