Thursday, December 31, 2009
I picked up Chalice by Robin McKinley a few days ago at Barnes and Noble. She is known for writing retellings of fairy tales and for her two books about the fictional land of Damar (one is a Newbery winner and the other was Newbery honor). I really like her writing style but I was disappointed with her last book Dragonhaven It was written in first person from the point of view of a teenager and while she pulled this off marvelously, it was really hard to read from that point of view because it was so scatterbrained so I quit after a few chapters (I have this rule that if a book doesn't hook me after a few chapters, I won't continue reading it).
Anyway, Chalice is not a fairy tale and it does not take place in Damar. Chalice is actually a girl named Mirasol. Chalice is actually her title, one of the member of the Circle. The Circle basically rules a region of land and Chalice is second in power only to the Master. The story opens with a new Master coming to power. The previous Chalice and Master died unexpectedly, leaving a vacuum. The position of Master is hereditary and the younger brother of the previous Master had been sent to live with the elemental priests of fire. His training had left him no longer quite human but he had decided to try to become the new Master because to get a new bloodline of Master would throw the land into disarray. To many it seems that he is not quite the best choice for Master.
Mirasol was a beekeeper before she was chosen as Chalice and the bees factor into the story quite a bit.
It is an interesting read. It begins a bit abruptly and doesn't quite fill you in on exactly what Chalice is. You sort of have to piece it together from the plot. However, it is a decent read and has an interesting storyline.