I finished P.C. Cast’s Divine By Blood this weekend, and I can honestly say I have no intention of ever reading these books again. It wasn’t terrible, truly, I know a lot of people who would probably enjoy it. They’re casual readers, who enjoy light reads and don’t have the same high standards for their books that I do.
If you’ve read my other posts on Divine By Mistake and Divine By Choice, then you’ll know that I’ve had my reservations throughout this entire trilogy (and, even though it is a trilogy, I’ve had a hard time finding an exact name for it). Even though I was hesitant, I was still a little excited about the third book because it was the only one I hadn’t read before. Once I started, though, I had a bit of a hard time getting into it. I made it halfway through and had to stop for the night, and it took about a day for me to convince myself to pick it back up again.
Overall, my concerns with this one mirror my concerns with the others. The main character, Morrigan (grown-up daughter of Rhiannon), experiences extreme changes in a matter of days and has reactions that I don’t think are believable. She was raised in Oklahoma, and found out about Partholon only hours before she gets drug through a cave and into the other world. Despite this, she is perfectly content to stay in Partholon and take up a new role as priestess to a goddess she didn’t even know existed.
She meets Kegan (a centaur High Shaman who is the mirror of her crush, Kyle, from Oklahoma), and in less than 2 days they’re pledging their love for each other and deciding to get married. Seriously. Nobody falls in love in less than 2 days. Lust, yes. Love, no.
These faults aside, my main issue is with the overall structure of the book. It doesn’t simply tell Morrigan’s story. As the last book in the trilogy, it spends time wrapping up Rhiannon’s story, Shannon’s story, introduces and tells part of Shannon’s daughter, Myrna’s, story, in addition to telling a complete story about Morrigan. It’s a lot to juggle, and it’s a bit messy. I feel like these pieces were simply thrown in to wrap everything up in a neat little bow without giving the stories due diligence or attention.
Morrigan’s story also mirrors Shannon’s, almost exactly. Little details are different, but the basic arc is the same. As I already mentioned, Morrigan is pulled through to Partholon to find herself priestess to a goddess she didn’t know existed. She decides to stay and take up this role with no desire or attempt to find her way back home. There’s one character who knows the truth about where she came from (Alanna for Shannon, Birkita for Morrigan), and coaches her through her responsibilities so she can “fake it till she makes it”. She falls almost instantly in love with a centaur High Shaman, seamlessly adjusting to the fact that centaurs exist.
During her whirlwind relationship with Kegan, they share conversations that are nearly identical to conversations had by Shannon and ClanFintan in Divine By Mistake: Centaurs are real. As a High Shaman, they can shape shift into human form, so they’re perfectly capable of mating with human females. Centaurs run hotter and have more stamina than either a man or a regular horse. Shannon/Morrigan is hesitant about touching the centaur, but is won over by their boundless lust. The act of riding the centaur (like a horse) is an act of extreme intimacy, and is used to draw Shannon/Morrigan in close. It makes sense that new characters would need to learn these things, but it’s painful for the reader, who already knows them, to have to reread everything again.
It’s obvious that I’m not impressed with these books, and my opinion of them has steadily gone downhill with each subsequent one. I will still carry fond memories of Divine By Mistake, since it is quite a unique story and I have good memories of my first time reading it. I’m glad to have read all of them, if only to broaden my reading experiences and have books in this category that I actually have negative opinions of. It was a good learning experience.