After you’ve made peace with the idea of having her heroine wed to a centaur … which I did after a couple of chapters. I was rather horrified at the hint of bestiality (woman and horse, get it?), but thank goodness the Centaur is a shaman who can assume human form. But still … it took quite a while to accept the angle.
For the unenlightened, Divine casts high school English teacher Shannon Parker across time and space, to switch place with her doppelganger from another lost (?) civilization, Partholon, where Centaurs and humans coexist, along with dark magic and evil beings. As Shannon eases into her role as the Goddess Incarnate of Epona, and enjoys the perks and privileges that come with her elevated status, it seems she must wed the Centaur shaman leader, ClanFintan, to seal an old alliance made between her twin’s father and the old Centaur leader.
At first, she balked at the idea (he’s half horse, half human after all!), but as she accepted ClanFintan, she became drawn to him. Very soon, they both have to work together to save both their clans from the evil vampirish Fomorians. When war threatens, Shannon has to draw courage and trust in Epona to keep her safe and lead her adopted people to safety, even as she discovers supernatural powers she never knew she had.
Sounds intriguing? To get into this tale of Partholon, you really have to suspend belief, and accept the presence of centaurs, vampires and parallel dimensions as reality. This is more than just a time travel romance. It is a lightweight fantasy written in the first person to make it seem as if you’re the heroine.
Apart from that, Cast has fleshed out a resourceful, stout hearted and smart heroine who is as likable as she is funny, so it made the book all the more entertaining. All in all, a hugely enjoyable read … I was laughing at most of he parts. Especially the part when Shannon adapted Loreena McKennit’s The Highway Man for a campfire ballad the way the ancient bards and story-tellers would to great comical effect. The fodder of her imagination didn’t stop at that, of course. Even The Phantom of the Opera received a rewrite at the hands of this creative character.
Now, the hero is likable too in spirit, once you get past the Centaur exterior. I consciously suppressed the mental image of a horse and simply focused on the personality, and that worked for me. Luckily Cast knew where to draw the line, so there weren’t any hot action that could potentially become twisted or ludicrously misinterpreted.
So, just keep an open mind, and you’ll do fine with this book. I’m going to try the sequel, and likely to give this up to Bookcrossing.