(This review may contain spoilers).
In the first book of this series, it was well-established that Rhiannon was… not a nice person. I wouldn’t say she was a nice person in this book, but by the time I got to the end, I felt able to understand her a bit better. I didn’t feel she was protected by Epona in the way she should have been and I had quite a hard time reconciling Epona being a benevolent goddess with how Rhiannon’s Ascension Ceremony had gone. In fact, there was quite a bit I found hard to read about this book.
It was interesting to see Shannon have to get used to being back on Earth and how everything was muted… almost like a pale imitation copy of Partholon. And since I’d read the first book, I knew the mirrors of the characters in Partholon… though I still felt this book had too much in the way of information dumping.
I liked the fact there was magic when Shannon returned to Earth, even though it wasn’t quite the same as it had been in her home. And it was really good to see the way she connected to the trees and how they had their own personalities… to the point one particular ‘young’ tree came across as very childlike in its enthusiasm.
I also liked being able to see Shannon’s interactions with her father, though I would have liked to see a bit more in the way Rhiannon had affected parts of Shannon’s life. Perhaps my biggest issue with this book came with the way Shannon interacted with Clint. I felt their ‘relationship’ was glossed over and I was disappointed in how quickly Shannon seemed to forget about her husband. Mirror image or not… I was disappointed in the way she seemed to take on some of Rhiannon’s characteristics. And for that reason and others, I found this book harder to read than the previous one in this series.
I did feel Epona didn’t have the compassion in this book that she’d had in the previous one. There’s more that’s sketchy about this book and if you read the first one, I would suggest you go into this one prepared for Shannon’s speech about faithfulness to be completely disregarded in this book.