Title: Once a Goddess (The Brigid Series, #1)
Author: Sheila R. Lamb
Genres: Fantasy | Historical Fiction | Paranormal | Romance
Length: 320 pages | 4593 locations
This is the story of Brigid and what it means to be a Túatha dé Danann. It is a story of love and sacrifice with Celtic roots.
I was pleasantly surprised by Once a Goddess. Seeing the cover, I thought it was children literature, but it isn’t.
The story revolves around a strong but not flawless main character. Even though she is technically not really human due to her supernatural powers, she is easy to relate to. She has emotions and desires just like everyone but is forced to let go of her own happiness for the sake of her people’s survival.
There were a few things in the beginning that caused me to not get into the story straight away, mainly the fact that the powers of her people were listed instead of gradually presented to the reader and I just did not get why they allowed their magical people to be massacred, if they had the means to stop that from happening. Besides, they were in an island, not like anyone could live to tell others of their secret powers.
I liked the description of a people in direct link to Earth, and how acts everyone else considers mundane were profane, like carving a well or extracting ore. This communion with the Earth goddess Danu, as well as with each other, and the notion of anam cara were my favourite things of the book. Unfortunately, the first of these aspects was somewhat put in the background as the narrative developed. I really wanted to see more of this connection to Danu and the acts which harmed her. For example, building a moat – I am sure that was considered an aggression towards her, right?
There were things I wished had been handled differently or more developed, like Brigid’s relationship with her son. Instead, I felt the story focused too much on Adraic and Brigid’s sacrifice. I wondered if she knew Ruadan at all.
At times, I had trouble realizing transitions in place and time. It seemed several years went by without much happening.
Some plot twists did not bring me much closure, I was actually pretty confused and ended up with a lot of questions.
I did not get why Lia Fail chose Bres in the first place, or the whole thing between Dagda and Morrigan, and the so-called spell she placed on him (how could she perform magic in the first place??).
When it is said Bres planned it all long, is it really since the beginning, as in, from the moment they married? What about the revelation about his mother, did he know that then? If not, why did it not affect his plan?
And why were the Danann dying in the first place? Why did their magic wither? Why did half-bloods manage to develop skills the pure breed could not?
Again, why did they not use their weapons, if they were really that powerful and could have prevented so much death? What were those weapons? What did they do?
And I would have liked to see the wedding ceremony between Brigid and Adraic, because she made the whole ritual sound so special when she was getting married to Bres. I wanted to see the effect of the right words being pronounced. I suppose I wanted more magic.
There were several other things, but I was unable to take further notes.
Despite the unanswered questions and underdeveloped storylines, the fact is Once a Goddess carried me a way. There was plenty of excitement, a relatable main character, beautiful sceneries and an interesting magical concept. The book is well written and I recommend it to fantasy and myth fans.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Aug 07 to Aug 09, 2015