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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brighid's Quest by P.C. Cast

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen/Harlequin
Pages:  544

From the Cover:  "I will go."

Rather than follow her family's restrictive rules, centaur Brighid chose to set out on her own to make friends and form relationships with humans as well as centaurs.

Now she's facing her toughest challenge yet. While helping guide home a grieving human—Cuchulainn, her friend Elphame's brother—Brighid finds herself beginning to care for him. An emotion forbidden by her clan.

To add to her troubles, the Great Goddess has awoken the power of the Shaman within Brighid—the first centaur so blessed in ages. And just as she's torn between taking up a power she never expected and a love she's afraid to admit to, Brighid receives a vision of a tragedy that might destroy everyone she's ever cared about….

Brighid Dhianna of the Dhianna Herd has chosen her own path, away from her manipulative mother, High Shaman of the Herd, but long corrupted by her love of power once bestowed by the Great Goddess, Epona.  Brighid has found her new home with the Clan MacCallan in Partholon, as Centaur Huntress for the Clan.  

Elphame, the Chieftain of the Clan is in turmoil.  Her brother, Cuchulainn, has been lost in sorrow with the death of Brenna, the Clan Healer and his lover at the hands of a mad Formorian, the winged demons from long ago.  Legend and lore says that the demons stole into the Clan stealing and raping the Goddesses Incarnate of the Temple of the Muses.  

Cuchulainn, through his despair, has chosen to travel through the Wasteland to find the home of the winged demons, the Foromians.  He wants to see with his own eyes that these winged demons are no longer infected with the madness, that his sister's sacrifice was not in vain, taking the infected blood into her body to break the madness.  What he finds is hard for his eyes to believe.  It is Cu's Quest to find these New Foromians and bring them back to the land of their foremothers, hoping to find a reason to live without his lover, Brenna.  

It is Brighid's Quest to find Cuchulainn and bring him back to the Clan.  In leading the winged New Foromians back to their homeland, she discovers Cu's soul has been shattered, he no longer feels the desire for life, and if she is to save him, she will have to journey into the Spirit Realm, seek out his soul, and heal the pieces for life to begin again.

Brighid's Quest by P.C. Cast is pure fantasy at it's best.  Our feisty heroine, Brighid, has set her own path.  Her mother is mad with power and has been trying for years to corrupt her children as well.  To save her sanity and her life, Brighid has chosen to leave Centaur Plains and lead the solitary life of the Huntress.  Our hero, Cuchulainn, must find a way passed the pain of losing his love, Brenna.  But to do it, he has to confront the very creatures who have brought her death.  His discovery of their true nature brings him to meet his destiny, either death or healing.  He chooses to heal, to find peace within his soul.  Brighid is his only hope to help find the shattered pieces of his soul and make him whole again.  His mother, Goddess Incarnate, Etain, could do it or Elphame, the Clan's Chieftain, but only can Brighid can do what mother and sister cannot, bring life and love back to the warriror, bridge the Spirit Realm to find Cu's soul and let life begin again.  But can Brighid face what she has so long denied?  Will Cu be able to live without Brenna at his side?

Brighid's Quest is a mythical fantasy, full of magic and mystery.  P.C. Cast weaves an excellent world to be explored; Partholon's legend of the Centaurs, the Clan MacCallan, and of the Great Goddess, Epona.  In this world, the Great Goddess Epona blesses her chosen ones with great power, but with that power comes free will.  The right to choose their own path.  Some choose the path that leads to madness and murder.  Some choose the path that brings enlightenment, leadership, and love.  But those who receive the power must make their own decisions, because the blessing of power can lead to disaster.  Brighid's Quest was a fun read and as with most fantasies, not a quick read.  There is much to be explored and learned about the world within the Centaur Plains and the Clan MacCallan, all of Partholon to be explored.  Fantasy is quickly becoming another favorite for me.  I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy read and recommend it to other fantasy lovers.  Brighid's Quest is book two in this series, Elphame's Choice is book one and though I usually read a series in order, enough background is given in this book that I had no trouble following the storyline.  If you enjoy good fantasy, great story telling, and excellent world building, give the Brighid's Quest a try.  I'm certainly glad I did.

I received this book in ebook format from Harlequin and Net Galley for review.  All opinions expressed are my own. 


Blodeuedd said...

Nice review
Sounds like some good YA she is a horse, I mean the legs?

Unknown said...

Hi B!

Brighid is a Centaur which is a woman's torso and head but a equine's (horse's) body. I know, it sounds strange, lol. Elphame, the Chieftain of the Clan, is a human with Centaur legs (her father is a Centaur). Now, Elphame's brother Cu, is all human even though his father is a Centaur. So if Brighid and Cu are destined to be together, she has to embrace her Shaman heritage so that she'll gain shifting abilities. She can shift into a completely human female and then Cu and she can ummm.... you know.... LOL. My innocence prevents me from using the word sex. Oops....


Dottie :)

Michelle Greathouse said...


I've read the first book in the Divine series by Cast - is this book part of that series - or just set in the same place?

Great review.


Lea said...

Hi Dottie:

Great review. This sounds like a lovely teen fantasy and I really love the cover art, it 's beautiful!

Thanks for sharing.


Unknown said...

Hi Michelle!

The Goddess Summoning Series was PC Cast first series. Her second series is the Divine Series, then the third is Partholon Series, both take place in the same world, but a different series. I haven't tried the Divine Series, but I will. I enjoyed Brighid's Quest, fantasy has always been a favorite, but I'm really enjoying a wider range of reading.

Dottie :)

Unknown said...

Hi Lea!

The original cover actually shows Brighid as a Centaur, kind of an image represented in a fanciful way. These covers are more modern, more appealing to teens I would think, definitely not a dated look.

Thanks Lea!

Dottie :)

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