Okay, so this time I read two books by P.C. Cast: Elphame’s Choice and Brighid’s Quest, which takes us back to Ms. Cast’s mystical world of Partholon.
I read her original Partholon books, the Divine books, several years ago, and loved them. They made me laugh. They made me cry. And they made me want to visit Partholon. (Sexy centaurs? Being able to control your own dreams? I’m SO there!) These two YA books kept the same familiar feel of the Divine books, but added another layer to the world.
From Ms Cast’s website:
Worshiped. Set apart. Unable to connect with others.
Though most girls believe they are different, Elphame knows she is. Odd. Strange. Unique. No one in Partholon has her abilities – or her connection to their goddess. And she has a destiny she is about to discover…
A restlessness has infused her, leading her to the other side of her country. There, the remnants of an evil war still linger. Will Elphame be able to redeem both her country and her soul mate, a survivor of that war? The choice she makes now may bring disaster – or a future in which she may never again be alone.
The characters are what I truly love about these books. Elphame was a great character, very easy to relate to, despite her obvious differences. I felt strongly for her, and how she’d always been apart from everyone around her. Then there’s her brother, Cu, who’s a fun-loving rogue, popular with the ladies–until he falls in love. Brenna–the scarred healer who has never allowed herself to be seen. And Brighid, the centaur Huntress who has broken from her family and herd to live her own life.
Both these books are coming-of-age stories, about finding your own path in life and doing what makes YOU happy, no matter what other people think you should do. That’s a hard thing to learn for a lot of young people (and even for those of us not so young anymore), and Ms Cast handles it well, all set against the vivid backdrop of Partholon.