It is 700 BCE. We are in what is now Hallstadt in what will become Austria. We are in a wealthy village of weapon-makers, traders who acquire luxury goods from what is now Tuscany in Italy, and tall women with yellow hair who walk around, their heads held high, and contribute to the discussion.
We are, in short, amongst the Celts (Keltoi). THE HORSE GODDESS is a YA novel told from the point of view of a teenaged girl named Epona, who has powers. However, she doesn’t want to use them, certainly not in the service of Chief Priest and Shape-Shifter Cernunnos, whose very presence makes her skin crawl.
So she escapes…into a totally different culture.
I have never read anything by Morgan Llywelyn before, and I am awed by the amount of research she has done to dramatize a time in history when the Celts (the ancestors of most Northern Europeans) acquired horses from the Scythians (a loose group of nomadic tribes) who roamed the grasslands of the Steppes.
If you need something different to distract your teen (or tween), maybe some truly ancient history is in order. Five stars.