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The Horse Goddess [Mass Market Paperback]

Morgan Llywelyn
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 15 1998
Troy is in crumbling ruin and Athens is rising far to the south. It is a time when mortal men and women are becoming gods and goddesses as news of their extraordinary adventures sweeps across the land. In this world, Epona, a woman whose life is celebrated in legend, meets Kazhak, a Scythian warrior and prince. Their stormy love affair sends them sweeping across eighth-century Europe, pursued from the Alps to the Ukraine by Kernunnos--a mysterious Druid priest known as the "Shapechanger."

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Review

"What a marvelous novel!"--South Bend Tribune

"Great feeling and towering imagination....An outstanding work."--Liverpool Daily Post

"Llywelyn's The Horse Goddess is a vivid time trip, weaving a spell that is hard to shake off."--The Arizona Daily Star

About the Author

Since 1980 Morgan Llywelyn has created an entire body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. her critically acclaimed novels, both of history and of mythology, have been translated into many languages. She is an Irish citizen and lives in Dublin.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story of the Origins of Epona Jan. 30 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Horse Goddess" starts with young Epona coming to age in her tribe in ancient Ireland. Epona is, in Celtic mythology, the horse goddess. Morgan Llywelyn takes the story of Epona and expands it and tells the story of how a regular young woman could come to be revered as a goddess. The story isn't written in the traditional sweeping fantasy manner. Rather, "The Horse Goddess" reads like listening to a story. I can just imagine sitting around a fire listening to the village wise woman telling this story and the children sitting at her feet, listening with wide eyes. Epona has begun to exhibit magical abilities and the village's Druid priest, Kernunnos, desires to teach her. But something in Epona makes her rebel against Kernunnos and his unnatural ability for shape-changing. Kernunnos is obsessed with Epona and her powers, and when she flees her tribe rather than submit to becoming a Druid, he follows her all the way to the Scythians, which is where she finally ends. She exhibits an unusual ability of being able to communicate with animals, notable horses. The Scythians are a very horse-centered tribe, and Epona creates a place for herself in a society where women are little more than property.
Llywelyn's story of Epona is a must read for people that are interested in Celtic mythology and ancient Ireland. Llywelyn is an amazing talent, and being interested in the ancient Celts and Ireland, I plan on reading many more of her books. She brings ancient Ireland to life, and adds depth and detail to Celtic myths.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Reality Behind The Myths Sept. 6 2000
By Konrei
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In THE HORSE GODDESS, Morgan Llywelyn creates a real-life basis for mythology, by reducing the gods and goddesses of the Celtic pantheon to human dimensions.
The fictionalized young Epona (who was historically the goddess of horses and one of the most widely worshipped European deities) has her coming-of-age in the early Hallstatt Celtic era. Refusing to accept the limitations of her life, she flees her home village and travels with Kazakh the Scythian. While in his company, she demonstrates psychic abilities allowing her to tame and communicate with animals, particularly the horses of the Scythians (a tribe who are generally considered to have domesticated the horse some 5,000-8,000 years ago).
When her "magical" abilities become manifest, she is pursued by the shaman Kernunnos of her own tribe, who wishes to force her to return home. Kernunnos is obsessed with using Epona's powers to best benefit her own tribe. (The mythological Kernunnos was the Celtic god of the hunt, and here, his fictional namesake follows Epona from the modern-day Austria to the modern-day Ukraine.)
Ms. Llywelyn's writing is crisp, detailed, and shows a fine appreciation for and understanding of the symbolical universe which her characters inhabit. The book brings these almost-forgotten myths to life, and leaves the reader just about convinced that perhaps it really did happen this way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Crude but colorful storytelling July 19 2000
By Leanne
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The thing I liked about this book was its raw quality. The story telling is by no means raw...it's sparkling. It's the material and the way Llywelyn presents it that gives it this intriguing quality.
This book is the typical epic adventure found so often in fantasy. Yet the author finds a way to infuse it with good original elements. I found myself feeling the very breath of characters as they spoke.
As good as this book's story telling was, however, there was somthing about the plot that wasn't quite as fulfilling...this is why "The Horse Goddess" does not get all five stars. Maybe it was some of the cruder elements in the storyline or maybe it was the typical tried and true adventure through different lands, but the plot was the only unsatisfying thing about this book. Otherwise, I would recommend this book to anyone who asked but wouldn't present it as *the* book to read to anyone who was asking for suggestions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good Jan. 20 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am an avid fan of Morgan Llywelyn's books, and I've not yet read one that disappointed me. Her stories are exciting and her characters live and breathe and truly draw you in. THE HORSE GODDESS is no exception. Still, there is something missing from this novel that makes me rate it a step below works like DRUIDS (the best!!) and BARD. It may be the odd rhythm of speech she gives the Scythians, no matter what language they are supposed to be using. It may be the one sidedness of the story; Llywelyn usually weaves several plots and points of view into one grand tale, but in THE HORSE GODDESS, she sticks to a single narrator's vision of a single chain of events. It leaves the story a little bit flat in the literary sense, but no less exciting for all that. Like her other books, I read THE HORSE GODDESS straight through in a day, carried away into an adventurous past by Llywelyn's incredible talent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book was absolutely spellbinding!!! Oct. 9 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book when I was 15 and could NOT put it down! The characters and their struggles and triumphs were so unforgetable that I finally bought a new copy (I lost my original), and once again got caught up in all of the history, mysticism, and romance of the characters and the time period! A MUST READ for anyone!!! Anyone who reads this would agree that Epona and Kazhak are two of the most absorbing characters ever set to paper. Highly recommended!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Was this the first book in a series?
The reason I ask is that when I finished it, I got the feeling that I missed something. It seemed like the author was setting up storylines and plotpoints along the way that could... Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2003 by Heather H.
4.0 out of 5 stars A book worth remembering
I am so excited I found this book again! I read it in the 9th grade (over 20 years ago), and I have never forgotten it. The story is amazing - whoever knew that much about salt? Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2003 by S. Khrystyne Keane
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware
Since finding Bard, I'll read anything Llywelyn writes, including this book I found with a gold cover trying to sell itself as a romance novel (ugh). Read more
Published on April 28 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story
Morgan Llywellyn, if you're out there and you are reading this, you are amazing!I want to have your child. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2001 by Jean Felipe Teotonio
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotizing
This is one of those books,I find myself looking forward to reading because it is so good. At work this book was what I thought about most of time. Read more
Published on March 31 2001 by L. Kolosky
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant book from Llywelyn!
Morgan Llywelyn has done it again with this wonderful book. This book is set in the great celtic days of ancient lore. Read more
Published on March 20 2001 by Traveling Irishman
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative
This is the second book I have read by this author (Druids was the other) and I really enjoyed it. The depictions of early Celtic and Scythian life were very interesting and the... Read more
Published on Sept. 5 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Stays with you for days...
This is a book I could not put down! I read it from beginning to end in one sitting, it was that good. I love all of Ms. Llywelyn's books but this is a particular favorite. Read more
Published on Dec 24 1998 by K. Bennett
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