Elphame’s Choice by P.C. Cast

I love P.C. Cast, so I was very excited to read this book.  I dove into it as soon as I got a chance (which was about two days after I received it).  I wasn’t immediately entranced, but the book did improve as the story unfolded.  I would say this was almost like a roller coaster.  I wasn’t immediately thrilled, then there were some really good parts, then it dipped to being almost boring, but it ended strong with a sense that I should continue the series.   Here’s a bit about the book:

We begin the book in the head of Epone’s chosen one, Etain, while she is pregnant with her first born daughter.  Etain mated with a centaur, which becomes very important when her daughter is born and is a perfect blend between a human and a centaur.  Elphame, Etain’s daughter, has two legs like a centaur (hair and hooves), but the rest of her body is human.  This marks Elphame as a goddess and makes her feel like she is consistently left out and lonely.

As we skip ahead in Elphame’s life, we find out that she is living her home and setting off to rebuild the MacCallan castle and her own kingdom.  She sets off with her brother Cuchulainn and the adventure begins.  Once Elphame gets to her castle, we begin to meet the other major characters in the story.  Brighid and Brenna become Elphame’s first real friends and something may be stirring between Cuchulainn and Brenna.  When Elphame takes off for a run, an accident happens and she runs into her lifemate, Lochlan.  Lochlan’s a half breed as well.  He is half human and half demon, the same demon race that killed the original MacCallan over a hundred years ago.  The love between Elphame and Lochlan’s is going to be a hard one.  I mean, how would you tell your parents and warrior brother that you were in love with someone that looked like the demons that killed your ancestors and could go insane because of that demon blood and kill you as well?  No spoilers here, so you have to read to find out how our goddess Elphame manages the task of her forbidden love, rebuilding of her castle, and whether or not something happens between the heartthrob Cuchulainn and the sweet Brenna.

As originally stated, I love P.C. Cast.  This is not her greatest work and probably not something that I would read again, but I’d like to continue the series and see how the lives of all the characters end up.  Cast doesn’t necessarily wrap anything up, so there are so many different directions Elphame and all of the supporting characters can take.  I like to see how all of the pieces fall together.  This is a little too sexual for something that I would give my students to read.  There is a scene in the book in which the three best friends are about to bathe together and they take a peek at what the others look like nude.  It’s a little more descriptive than what I would like my eighth graders to take in.  I’m probably being a bit naïve about that one, but in this case, it should be the parent’s decision not the teacher’s.  There are also some sex and masturbation within the book that are described with more detail then I would feel comfortable sharing.  It’s not pornographic in the least, nor romance novelish, but adult in my opinion.

With all that said, as a personal read I would give this a 4/5 stars.  I would recommend it, but I’m not going to reread it.  As a young adult for my classroom read, I would give it a 2.5/5 stars.  I just would not feel comfortable sharing this book with students that were not mature enough to handle some sexual scenes.  I would say this would be more appropriate for older teens.

P.s. I did this as half a read and half an audiobook.  If you listen to the audiobook, the oddly spelled names are much easier to understand.

  1. May 13th, 2010

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