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Divine By Mistake    by P. C. Cast order for
Divine By Mistake
by P. C. Cast
Order:  USA  Can
Luna, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

For teacher Shannon Parker, there is no more exciting time of the year than the month of June, when summer vacation stretches out before her. To celebrate her freedom, she treats herself to a shopping spree, driving out to an estate sale filled with the promise of exceptional antiques. Shannon has a passion for ancient items, so when she spots an unusual vase carved with the likeness of the Celtic goddess Epona on its surface, she's instantly smitten. She's even more enthralled with the object when she realizes that she bears a striking resemblance to the goddess, right down to a scar they both share.

But taking the vase home isn't routine as she expects. A fierce storm unlike any she's ever encountered before sweeps her off her feet ... literally. Next thing Shannon knows, she's no longer in Oklahoma, but in the Partholon, surrounded by fantasy creatures. To make matters worse, she's no longer Shannon Parker, but Lady Rhiannon, High Priestess of the Goddess Epona. Just when she thinks events couldn't possibly get any stranger, she learns that she's to be wed to a centaur ... and she may be the only person who can save the people of the Partholon from a terrifying evil.

In Divine By Mistake, Cast takes us into a world where myth and reality combine to make the impossible possible, where centaurs and nymphs live side by side, and where a modern-day woman finds that there's much more to life than she anticipated. The book is written in the first-person point of view, so we're privy to Shannon's innermost thoughts as she travels through the Partholon and comes to terms with her new surroundings. Although she adjusts to her new life very quickly, the heroine's witty quips and genuine comparisons between reality and the myth-world she's stepped into (lamenting a lack of toilet paper, for example) add a believable quality to this whimsical tale.

This is a thoroughly humorous novel, though it is sprinkled with serious insights and emotional episodes as it progresses. Fans of mythological stories should be delighted with Cast's take on gods and goddesses, centaurs and vampire-like creatures of darkness. The really enjoyable thing about this book, however, is the myriad of surprises Cast throws in the reader's path. Just when I thought I was certain of the direction the author was taking with the story, I found myself dazzled by yet another skillful turn of events. Filled with clever dialogue, witty writing and genuinely insightful characterization, Divine by Mistake is an engaging read.

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