P. C. Cast: Goddess of the Sea
P. C. Cast: Goddess of Spring
of the Sea
Berkley Sensation (Paperback), ISBN 0-425-19279-2
In Goddess of the Sea, Air Force Sergeant Christine "CC" Canady wants a little magic in her life. Her 25th birthday proves to be a big disappointment, however. Drunk on champagne, she performs an impromptu ritual under the full moon, and the Goddess grants her wish for adventure.
On a flight to Iraq the following day, her plane goes down and she comes close to drowning. A beautiful mermaid, Undine, appears before her, offering to switch bodies to save CC's life. In a panic, CC agrees, only to wake up moments later in medieval times as the target of a rape attempt by her brother, Sarpedon. After being rescuing by Gaea, CC agrees to a deal for her safety -- she will become mortal until Sarpedon can be dealt with, but she must return to the sea every three nights or face death. To make the ruse plausible, CC nearly drowns again only to wind up in the arms of a gorgeous merman, Dylan, who carries her to the shore.
Her life on land ends up more complicated than anticipated. Andus, a knight, "rescues" her from the sea and takes her to a nearby monastery. The abbot and the era's, er, medieval attitudes toward women make her life difficult. Not to mention the fact that Andus clearly wants to wed her. But Sarpedon finds a way to try and possess her, even though she resides on land. And she can't stop thinking about Dylan. She must find her true love to complete the posing-as-a-mortal spell.
In Goddess of Spring, 43-year-old baker Lina Santoro finds herself in hot water with the IRS. Although her bakery thrives on a wonderful reputation and loyal clientele, the bookkeeper she hired messed things up and now she owes the IRS. A lot.
Frustrated and more than a little scared, she tackles the problem, deciding to expand the menu at Pani del Goddess. Digging through some cookbooks, she comes across one with a few spells in it. She gives it a shot and finds herself pulled into the realm of the Greek gods, taking Persephone's place for the descent in to the Underworld.
Lina finds that Demeter's description of Hades -- boring, asexual, morose -- does him an injustice. In addition to a bit of a temper, she discovers his compassion for the dead, his warmth and humor, a bit of awkwardness. In sum, he proves to be one very sexy Batman-esque deity. Also, the beauty of his realm astounds her.
Similar qualities in her draw Hades out of his shell, and the pair fall in love. But Lina fears that he loves Persephone's body, not her soul, and telling him devastates their love. In the meantime, Persephone manages to turn Pani del Goddess around and finds herself reluctant to leave the mortal realm.
Although quick plot summaries makes these books look convoluted, actually they read rather easily. P.C. Cast creates rich and vibrant characters whose emotions and actions enhance their depth. Lots of action and romance fill the plots, as well as more than a bit of tragedy. But Cast's greatest strength lies in her realistic portrayals of Goddess-inspired rituals and spells, but the magical abilities stretch reality just a bit.
Mythology and location turned out to be one odd part of Goddess of Spring. Lina frequently refers to her Italian heritage and grandmother. She studied baking in Florence, and she curses quite fluently in Italian. However, Cast uses the Greek names for the deities, when it seems that the Roman names might make more sense. On the whole though, Cast's idea for this series works so far. Although she plans a third book (set in Las Vegas and to be released in April 2005), I'd like to see many more, utilizing the myths of many more cultures.
here to share your