Thursday, August 5, 2010

In Case You Missed It ....

Author: P C Cast
Released: Originally Dec. 2004, released Sept. 2009
Publisher: Luna/Harlequin Teen
# Pages: 426
Copy Provided By: Library
Summary: Goodreads

I was marked from birth as belonging to the Goddess Epona--but that didn't make my life easy. Because of my "blessings," I was set apart, worshipped, unable to make real connections with others. Then came the Feeling, and with it a glimpse of my destiny. It led me to the MacCallen castle of legend, deserted since the terrible Fomorian war.
I followed the wordless call to breathe new life into a place long dead, but I didn't realize there were dark remnants of the war lingering in the nearby forest--victims and survivors who remained hidden. Others marked as different, powerful. Feared.
My choice was now twofold. I could keep to the happiness and safety of my newfound home, or I could choose a path that led to something more terrible, more dangerous, more thrilling than anything I'd ever expected.
And in that future I might never be alone again...

Elphame's Choice is a love story. It tells the tale of Elphame and Lochlan, and Cuchulain and Brenna. It made me cry, both tears of happiness and sadness - and that's a bit embarrassing at 7:30 in the morning. What a great start to the day.

Elphame has been touched by the Goddess, and as she gets older she decides to follow her destiny and rebuild Castle MacCallen. There she meets Lochlan - and you'll have to read the book to find out more. I'm not giving away the story. Ms Cast's writing is lyrical and tender, descriptive and exciting, and I finished the story in 24 hours. I was immediately enfolded in the world of Partholon and found everything believable and satisfying. The mythology is loosely based on Irish legend and she uses some wonderful Irish names - Cuchulain (pronounced Cuhulin - I had to look it up)is just one of them. Her cast of characters is varied and interesting, if somewhat startling, and I loved all of them. Are you getting the idea that I enjoyed this book. You'd be right.

Readers will remember P C Cast as the author of the very popular 'House of Night' series, written with her daughter Kristen. My understanding is that Harlequin decided to reissue this story as part of the new Harlequin Teen imprint. I don't think it was originally published as a YA novel, but other than one notable exception it fits nicely as a YA. The exception is one beautifully written, but none-the-less explicit, love scene, and this does make the story unsuitable for younger teens.

The follow-up to this tale is 'Brighid's Quest', which I haven't read yet, but plan on doing so immediately. Romance lovers, if you missed it first time around, do yourself a favour and hunt out a copy of Elphame's Choice. You won't be disappointed.

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