Elphame's Choice

Elphame's Choice

4.3 92
by P. C. Cast
     
 

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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, worshiped, unable to make real connections with others. Then came the Feeling, and with it a glimpse of my destiny. It led me to the MacCallan castle of legend, deserted since the terrible Fomorian war.

I followed the

Overview

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, worshiped, unable to make real connections with others. Then came the Feeling, and with it a glimpse of my destiny. It led me to the MacCallan 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….

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426842603
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Series:
Partholon , #1
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
140,674
File size:
387 KB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Elphame's Choice


By P.C. Cast

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-80213-7


Chapter One

That day had started with deceptive normalcy.

The dawn offering to Epona had been particularly moving. The Goddess had filled Etain so completely that afterward she carried the glow of Her presence throughout the morning, and for once she was allowed some time alone - temporarily freed from the duties of Goddess Incarnate.

The contractions began as a vague sense of unease. She couldn't find a comfortable place on her well-cushioned chaise longue. She snapped with uncharacteristic impatience at the enthusiastic servant who checked to make sure her mistress didn't need a refill of hot water.

Not even the thought of a long soak in the mineral springs bathing pool seemed appealing.

Etain hoped a stroll through her magnificent flower garden would ease what she thought was just a little difficulty digesting the strawberries from lunch. The walk appeared to be helping - until she paused to sniff a brilliant crimson blossom and her water broke violently all over the Goddess Incarnate's silk-lined slippers.

Normalcy had also been broken.

"Isn't that always the way of it?" She grimaced and clenched her teeth as another wave of pain blanketed her body. Bending at the waist she leaned heavily against the woman whose arm was linked through her own.

"Sssh,Etain." Fiona spoke soothingly in her light, melodic brogue. "Donna speak, my friend. Just concentrate on your breathing."

Etain jerked her head in a sharp imitation of nodding agreement and tried to match her panting gasps to Fiona's calm, deep breaths. The contraction peaked and receded.

A flurry of activity ensued. The Goddess Incarnate's clothes were changed by her bevy of attendants, who then began notifying the Wise Women who lived in the villages closest to Epona's Temple. Wrapping her arm around Fiona's waist, and using her sturdy presence from which to draw strength, Etain continued her stroll through the temple gardens. The Chosen One's friend and advisor had assured her that walking would aid in the child's birth.

As the day crawled methodically past, the image of Etain's oasis of tranquility dissipated, but the residue of Epona's morning possession calmed her - as always, Epona's Chosen drew upon the familiar thread that bound her to the Goddess and found strength and comfort.

Fiona smiled encouragement and the two women turned around, heading back toward the floor-to-ceiling windows that led from Etain's bedchamber to her private garden. Gauzy curtains the color of liquid gold fluttered from within the open leaded glass panes that served as door and windows. The Goddess Incarnate breathed deeply, trying to steady the racing of her heart and ready herself for the inevitable next contraction.

"I think that really is the worst part." As always, she spoke her mind aloud to Fiona.

"What?" She looked thoughtfully at her friend and mistress.

"The inevitability of what's happening. I can't stop it. I can't pause it. I can't really affect it at all. The truth is that I'd like to say, 'This has been interesting, but I'm ready for it to cease now. I want to bathe, eat a lovely meal and get a good night's rest. We'll just begin from here tomorrow, shall we?'" Fiona's expression of polite curiosity changed to bubbling laughter.

"That would be nice."

"Nice?" She grimaced in a very ungoddess-like manner. "It would be wonderful."

Etain took another deep breath, appreciating the intoxicating sweetness of the voraciously blooming lilacs that framed that part of the walk. The path curved to the left and the lilacs gave way to a profusion of violet-colored roses, which were in full bloom. The delicate drapes billowed from the entryway, and fluttered like the wings of giant butterflies over the tips of the roses. They paused a few feet from the bedchamber that had housed Partholon's Beloved of Epona for countless generations. The breeze carried the enchanting sound of women singing praises.

"We are the flow of water The ebb and tide The rush of knowing All truth inside"

The words were woven together in a harmony of pitch; the underlying beat was hypnotic. It beckoned to Epona's Chosen and soothed her frayed nerves. Slowly, her swollen body relaxed as she was filled with the women's greeting song.

"We are the sound of growing A Goddess root Stretched strong and knowing An endless shoot"

The words propelled Etain forward so that she eagerly entered her bedchamber. The Wise Women filled the room. At the Goddess Incarnate's appearance, the tempo of the song increased. Spinning gracefully they seemed to float around the room until Etain and Fiona formed the center of their joyous circle.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

P.C. Cast was born in the Midwest, and grew up between Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology (at about the same time). After high school she joined the United States Air Force. After her tour in the USAF, she taught high school before writing full time. Ms. Cast is a New York Times Best-Selling author and a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Ms. Cast lives in Oklahoma with her fabulous daughter, her spoil

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Elphame's Choice 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't really know about this book. I guess i could just never get over the fact that she had a goat lower half. It just ruined my entire envisioning of the book throughout. Other than that it was wonderful, filled to the brim with adventure and love. But if you're one to make a movie in your head with a book make sure you can take a heroine that is not fully human looking.
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
I titled my review undecided because that is how i feel. I picked up the Book Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast and thought it was going to be like the House of Night series. First off, this is for the new Harlequin Teen series and at times I didnt see how this book could fit into the teen category. There were more than a few veiled references to sex, or excitement in this book so I wouldnt recommend it to anyone under 15. The hardest part for me was really understanding the whole fantasy realm she lays out in the book. I normally am not into the whole fantasy romance category, but I had high hopes for something by one of the Cast's. Putting that aside, it does grip you, and make you want to finish the book, and there is enough of a teaser at the end to make you want to pick up the next book in the series next year. If this genre is your fave, then by all means get it because it will hit all the right places. If you think this is some more vampire hotness from the Cast's....sadly that has to wait till the new House of Night hits the shelves this week.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I adore this book and the author P.C. Cast. This book offers Romance, adventure, loyalty, family love, fantasy, and a beautifully delivered romance plot. If you love Romance that will leave you breathless and in shock, i suggest you read this book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Ephame is the offspring of a mating between a human and a centaur; from the waist up she is human, but from the waist down she is covered with brown hair and has cloven hoofs. Her genes make her stronger and faster than her human counterparts. Although she loves her mother, she needs to make a life for herself. She intends to return Castle MacCallan to its former glory and become the new clan chieftain. Centaurs and humans welcome her as the rightful owner.---- Ephame meets the half-human half Fomonian Lachlan; they fall in love even though their races are enemies ever since his invaded Parthelon, destroyed Castle MacCallan, and kidnapped human women because their own are sterile. Lachlan believes that Ephame is the person that the prophecy foretold would lift the curse of the hybrids and allow the evil Fomonian side to vanish. He also fears the cost to his beloved is too high, but his race plans to insure the fulfillment of the prophecy.---- EPHAME'S CHOICE is a beautiful adult fantasy about two ¿Romeo and Juliet¿ hybrids falling in love with the backdrop of cross species hatred to keep them apart. Ephame always felt like the odd person although her neighbors and family respect her. When she strikes out on her own she gains the self confidence that she lacked and quickly becomes a leader worthy of ruling. Her mate is her equal prepared to ostracize himself amidst his people to help his beloved. Together they cast the keeper shelf spell on readers.---- Harriet Klausner
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book about ten times and i am only twelve. If you think i am too young thats your problem. I have read this book, and all of their other books, already. I thought this was a fantastic read. It is def. good for a half, kind of speed reader like me. If you do choose to speed read, you will still get the whole concept. I did both, and loved it all the more. I hope my reveiw has inspired you to read this wonderdul, and amazing book.
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Very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast and easy read.
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cindylb More than 1 year ago
Good book
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I thought it was ok. Not the worst but not the best. I hoped it would be like the house of night series but i was wrong. But it was ok
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