Saturday, October 25, 2008

Book Review: Chalice by Robin McKinley

After a disaster which kills the master and chalice of the Willowlands, beekeeper Mirasol is appointed new chalice and the master’s brother is recalled from the priests of fire and asked to assume master duties in a world he has mostly forgotten. With no training, Mirasol struggles to find her way as chalice and to bind the land and people to a strange new master, one whose very touch can burn human flesh to the bone.

Although Chalice takes place in a fantasy world, the political maneuverings of those in power are very much reminiscent of our own world. Every action, or inaction, on Mirasol and the new master’s part is scrutinized and judged by the ruling circle and the common people alike. And Mirasol’s own inexperience in her role leads to a showdown which could tear the Willowlands apart. It’s a quiet and contemplative sort of novel (in addition to all the politics there is a lot of talk about honey), but the patient reader will be charmed by this story of the power of love to heal.

17 comments:

Dar said...

This sounds good and I'm certainly taken in by the beautiful cover.

Jena said...

oh, I'm so happy that someone's finally posted about this one! I had the release marked on my calendar, but I haven't gotten it yet (for complicated and boring reasons).

Lenore said...

Dar - The cover is very lovely indeed.

Jena - Glad you're looking foward to it. It's definitely worth the read.

Carrie said...

I love McKinley but haven't read this one. Actually I haven't read very much of her at all-- but have loved those I have read. This one looks curious. Thanks for posting your review of it!

ibeeeg said...

I really enjoy books by Robin McKinley. I think I will give this one a go.
Thanks for the review.

Darla D said...

I just checked this one out of the library - now I'm looking forward to reading it even more. Thanks for the review!

Chelsea said...

This one sounds so great. :) Nice review!

Jeane said...

I find it hard to imagine a novel that combines political struggle with beekeeping, but I enjoy reading McKinley, so maybe I'll look out for this one.

Allison said...

This sounds a bit different from books I normally read....good review!

Alyce said...

I like fantasy novels, and this one sounds like it's good!

cuileann said...

Interesting - I had no idea that "chalice" was a position in this book...

Gwendolyn B. said...

I've read several of McKinley's books and really enjoy them -- and I have a particular fondness for honey and bees. This one is going on my TBR list!

Ladytink_534 said...

Not sure how I missed this! I loved her book Sunshine but I haven't read anything else by her.

Wrighty - said...

I enjoy fantasy stories and how creative they are. I'm also a sap for the love theme. I look forward to reading this one. It reminds me of old fairy tales.

katayoun said...

sounds very good and a good review, though i must admit that as a mckinley fan, i don't need good reviews to lust after books! :)

Bookish Ruth said...

The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I love fantasy books that can incorporate politics that are relevant to today's events.

Darla D said...

I LOVED this book! Thanks again for the review - I hadn't realized it was out yet. What a great read. :-)