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Elphame's Choice - P.C. Cast

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      10.05.2014 11:46
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      I love P.C Cast

      "Part human part centaur, Elphame has always been different. OK make that very different. The hundreds of shimmering butterflies sent by the Goddess Etain to mark her birth were only the beginning"

      The story is based around Elphame who is the daughter of the heroine in Divine by mistake. Her mother is human and her farther is a centaur ( also a master shaman who can sheep shift into human form for anyone questioning the biology ).Elphame lives in the castle with the rest of royalty and has a privileged existence but she wants to find meaning in her life. She gets the chance when she is asked to set off and restore McCallen Castle a long lost home of her ancestors that had been previously destroyed by evil Formorians generations ago .
      Elphame goes through a really good deal of personal development through the book and discovers her in we strength and leadership skills as well a level of womanhood and sensuality that she never knew she had .
      She faces a new evil and hasto decide weather to go in guns blazing or show a level if compassion that most would find extremely difficult to muster because at the end if the day the destinction between good and evil isn''t as clear as you may think .

      There is great depth to this book and many layers. It has the fantastic good vs evil / or are they evil dilemma which is something that P.C Cast does very well. It has some fantastic love stories in it and not just with the main characters, in fact one of the side characters has one of the sweetest and unpredictable love stories that I have read in a while (I can''t say much without giving to much away). True to much of P.C casts earlier books there are some quite explicit sex scenes which I have read a lot of people complaints about. As a P C Cast fan I don''t understand, everybook she has written ( and I have pretty much read them all) except for the house of night series have sex scenes in them( even house of night has mild ones ). It seems that since HON came out everyone expects her to only write kids books . But saying that this book has been seen in the kids and teen section of waterstones and WHSmiths which is rediculous. I think these companies only started stocking Cast after HON became popular and didn''t bother doing their research so to clarify this book if 100% not suitable for children and probably not for teens either.
      The mythology is really interesting and even though to soneone who studies Celtic mythology seriously might find it inaccurate, to the general mythology dabbler there is a good deal of interesting information and depth of detail which is one of the main thing I like about P.C Casts books.

      Overall this is a great book, great characters, I depth storyline, and an unusual plot, great baddies, and good vs evil battles. Raunchy and sweet love stories that really suck you in and a generous helping of mythology. Another fantastic installment by Cast.

      This review is also on my ciao account under shellyjaneo

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      21.09.2010 22:41

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      overall well written book just lacked appeal for me

      This is the fourth book in P C casts 'divine by mistake' series set in the magical parrellel world of Parthelon
      the story follows the daughter of Shannon Parker from 'Divine by mistake/ Divine by Choice/ Divine By blood'

      Elphame is a half human half centaur girl upper body of a woman lower body that of a horse. She is considered to be a gift of the goddess Epona and is revered and rarely touched outside of her family.
      With her brother and a group of other people from the temple she journeys to the derelict Castle MAcCallan in order to ressurect it's former glory and create a home for herself away from being a divine gift of the goddess.
      Her romantic interest is the half human half Fomarian (the enemies from earlier books who abducted human women) who has snuck into the nearby area and becomes fascinated by her.

      As a whole i'm sorry there's just sopmething about P C Casts books i don't like. The story is nice and simple, troubles become overturned, the characters have dimensions to them but the world they inhabit is pretty clean and the people are good or bad not bits of each.

      i'd say this book would probably appeal to teens, but anyone wanting a bit of depth or something more than a light read should steer clear.

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      16.09.2010 14:50
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      A welcome return to Partholon

      Elphame's Choice is the continuation of the Goddess of Partholon novels by P.C. Cast, which were about Shannon Parker, a teacher from Oklahoma who was pulled into the alternate world of Partholon, mistaken for a Goddess Incarnate and immersed in the mythology of the world. Elphame's Choice is set over a century after Shannon's arrival, and features her descendants.

      Elphame is the great-granddaughter of Shannon, and daughter of Etain, who is the current Beloved of Epona, the Goddess. Elphame is half human, half centaur - she has two hoofed legs which are covered in hair like a horses. Unable to fit in, she heads off with her brother Cuchulainn to restore MacCallan Castle (which was destroyed by the evil Fomorians in the first novel, Divine by Mistake) and to find her destiny.

      A little background: I really enjoyed Divine by Mistake, which was Shannon's immersion in Partholon, her love for her husband ClanFintan and her bravery in the Fomorian war. The following two books I enjoyed but not so much - Divine by Choice was set largely in Oklahoma and Divine by Blood was mainly about another character. Shannon obviously does not feature in Elphame's Choice, so I was unsure as to what this would be like.

      The story is a slow builder. There is a lot of happiness as Elphame immediately loves MacCallan Castle, some excitement when she is injured, and then a long tension are you wait for the inevitable storm to hit. The Fomorians are back (the blurb gives that away, no spoiler there!), and the reader knows this before Elphame does. This builds tension and uncertainty, as we do not truly know what their intentions are for some time.

      Elphame is a good lead character, but not as endearing as some of the supporting characters. I felt more for her brother Cuchulainn as he progressed through his own mini-story, and the character of Brenna, the Healer, was a fascinating enigma right from the start. Although I did not dislike Elphame, and felt she was a strong character, I felt more empathy for these two than for her.

      A great feature of this novel, in my opinion anyway, is the language used. P.C. Cast often uses a very colloquial style for her main characters, and this is something which I find irritating. In particular, the American teen-speak of her characters in the House of Night series can really grate. Shannon was better, being an adult, but she still tended to speak and narrate in slang or colloquialisms. Elphame's Choice is written in third person, and the characters dialogue is largely in proper English. This meant I found little irritation with the language used.

      There was one irritating feature of the language however. Cast has made some of her characters and regions in Partholon similar to Scotland and Ireland. She made an attempt at written Scots (and Gaelic) in a House of Night novel, which I found annoyingly inaccurate as a Scot. She does the same in Elphame's Choice, with some dialogue appearing to be intended as Scots and some as an Irish brogue. The Scots is inaccurate once again, which really grated.

      I delayed reading this novel as I thought it might be a shade of Divine by Mistake, a thoroughly enjoyable novel. However, I actually think that Elphame's Choice is comparable to Divine by Mistake, although a shorter novel. The characters are different, but there is once again a full immersion in the world of Partholon, there are good characters and a good story, with plenty of tension and excitement. The main difference is that these characters have all grown up with Partholon, so there is no fish-out-of-water effect like we had with Shannon, and later Morrigan (Divine by Blood). That was fun, and a good way to introduce the world to the readers, but those following the series now know Partholon, and so it makes sense to also have a lead character who knows it.

      I was pleasantly surprised by Elphame's Choice, and I have no hesitation in recommending it to those who have read the previous three novels. I would suggest however that it would not be a good starting point: the story relies a lot on events of Divine by Mistake.

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