Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Artemis Rising by Cheri Lasota

   Eva is a 15-year-old girl who has a Catholic father and a pagan mother who worships the goddess Artemis.  Eva's father doesn't know of this, but has heard the rumors among the people in town and is suspicious.  He is a brutal man and won't tolerate them to be anything other than Catholic.  When he does find out, he lashes out at his wife and they leave for a new place.  On the way a dreadful storm wrecks the ship and Eva, who has now taken the name Arethusa after taking her vow to Artemis, is found by a boy that is about her age named Tristao.  When he sees her, he vows to never let anyone hurt her again.  Arethusa had hand and finger marks on her neck suggesting someone had tried to kill her.  At first it was her assumption that it was her father, but the truth is soon revealed that it was another.
   While on board the ship with her parents, there was a young man who Arethusa's mother believed to be her Alpheus.  It was Arethusa's destiny to eventually be with him.  But she isn't so sure he is the one.  The vision she saw was a young man with blue eyes.  Diogo (supposedly Alpheus) has very dark eyes and wants Arethusa, but she is unwilling to give herself to him.  After the wreck, she is taken to an orphanage where she recovers, but cannot speak because of the damage done to her neck.  All the while, Tristao watches over her until Diogo tells everyone her religion.  All of the other children are afraid of her, and Tristao, who she had started having feelings for, suddenly starts avoiding her.  Diogo will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it hurts Arethusa in the process.  Because of his now savage nature, she has to wonder how he could possibly be her Alpheus.
   In time Arethusa and Tristao are adopted by the padre's brother.  He took a keen interest in the two after meeting them and felt that this was the path he should take.  The two go to live with him and his sour acting wife for the next few years.  Thankfully it is a reprieve for them both from Diogo.  The Conde Fernando Estrela becomes a second father to Arethusa and a father to Tristao, who takes the name Tristan.  Both of them have now taken names that are ill-fated according to the old legends.  Tristan's is the story of he and Isolde the Fair.  Arethusa's fate is supposed to be with Alpheus.  And unfortunately, Diogo shows back up, determined to make her his wife.  He has even more tricks up his sleeve this time.  It always ends up with Arethusa getting hurt or being in danger from this crazy guy.  She and Tristan can only wonder if this is just their fate, and if they can change it.

   A story based on two old tales, this was a well written piece about two young adults who are convinced that the names they take are the fates that will be for them.  Unfortunately, they fall for each other and start to wonder if there is a way to change fate.  The padre in the story doesn't believe any of the stories and all that about them being fated to such ill endings.  He is pretty much the only one who feels this way during the book.  Even the Conde has his own Tristan and Isolde story that ties very closely to Arethusa.  Much closer than she would ever think to be possible.  He is the man with many answers to her life.  At the same time, only she can make her mind up about her fate.  However, this is a concept that she has a hard time grasping and struggles with it throughout the book.  Tristan is much the same.  Diogo believes himself to be a god now.  That goes to his head and he gets crazy and dangerous.  Some men don't do well when power is given to them.  He is one of these men.  A man of wealth and connections, he has ways of getting what he wants.  All in all, it brings one question to mind:  What is in a name?

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