Finished! This series is off to an interesting start 🙂
Goddess Born kept me riveted. It pushed so many of my gotta-read-this buttons–it’s a historical set in the colonial period–yay! There’s a supernatural angle, AND it’s based on mythology–double fun! There are Quakers (what can I say, I find them fascinating. I wouldn’t want to be one, but they’re just so interesting to read about–and it’s nice to read a colonial-period novel that doesn’t feature Puritans…) Plus, there’s the possibility that a character might be accused of witchcraft, which always makes for an interesting–in a thank-god-it’s-not-me kind of way–twist.
It didn’t disappoint.
I really liked both Selah and Henry–great characters! Selah, a descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, has the power to heal as her mother and grandmother did before her. She can’t reveal the extent of her abilities for fear of being accused of witchcraft, but everyone in the village knows that she’s the go-to person when someone is hurt or sick. The rules of her ability say that if someone asks for her help, she has to give it–but her sense of self-preservation says that sometimes she has to lie about the extent of what she’s actually done–curing acute lockjaw becomes pulling a rotten tooth, for example. She’s spent her life hiding the truth of who she is from everyone but her family, so she’s always known that when the time comes for her to marry her intended has to be a member of her extended family.
Unfortunately, her fiance–a cousin from Ireland–dies during his Atlantic voyage. Slight problem.
Enter Henry, who was on the same ship–as an indentured servant. Selah, still reeling from the double news of her cousin’s and her father’s deaths, finds herself drawn to the tall, handsome man. When she realizes that the less-than-savory gentleman who’s bidding for his contract probably has a disturbing ulterior motive, she hatches a desperate plan–purchase his indenture herself, and convince him to “marry” her.
Yes. A colonial historical set in a Quaker town with a fake marriage. Awesome with a side of awesome sauce.
Plus, naturally Henry’s got a protective streak a mile wide, is hiding a doozy of a secret, and has mad sword fighting skills. Really, there’s not much more we could ask for here. (Except to see him a little more in the book–he’s fairly absent for large portions. But I’ve got high hopes for him to play a bigger part in the other two books in the series…)
There were a few niggling little issues–for one, I’m not sure they had “sofas” in colonial Pennsylvania. That detail, coupled with a smattering phrases that seemed far too modern, gave me a moment’s pause, but didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the story. Selah was very quick to make assumptions about Henry and what his reaction to things would be–without actually giving Henry a chance to react first. That also bothered me, though it’s not outside the norm behavior for an eighteen-year old; it’s just frustrating to read. Fortunately, Henry was perfectly capable of standing up for himself and making her listen to him when necessary.
The story isn’t complete at the book’s end, but it’s really a cliffhanger either. There’s a “content at the moment and hopeful for the future” vibe here, and book two looks to be going in a very interesting direction. It’ll definitely be going on my TBR!
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.