Author: Melissa Douthit
Publication Date: March 27th, 2011
Publisher: Lucky Bat Books
Synopsis:When Chalice sets off for Branbury in the middle of the night with her grandfather's instructions, she has no idea of the dangers that await her. The King's men have destroyed her home village of Canton and she is suddenly thrown into a Terravailian world that she does not know. Lost and alone, she is hard pressed to evade the iron grasp of the madman who rules the land. With the help of a friendly Chinuk, an old man, and a book that she discovers along the way, not only does she find true friends and true love, but she also finds her true self and what it means to be the Raie'Chaelia.
My Thoughts: If you are looking for a book that is different from the current trend of premises and is unique in it's story line, characters, and world, then this is the book for you! It's not an edge of your seat thriller, but it does pack the perfect amount of suspense and compelling story-line to keep you turning the pages, as well as a perfect sprinkling of romance, which of course has it's own little twist.
The setting of the story is wonderfully unique one. The idea is very fascinating and creatives so much room for opportunity and further story development. I would describe it as a post-apocalyptic/medieval world.
A very long time ago, there was an ice age that affected, from my guess, us at our present time. This ice age forced what survivors there were to live underground for thousands of years. This caused all races and languages to merge into one. Then years later they felt a great shaking of the Earth, which caused areas of their underground area to collapse, dividing them into three groups. So, upon emerging, they had 3 different races, the Terravaillain, the Naeon, and the Lost Ones. They also discovered that they now had two moons, and the suns path had reversed. These people were left with little to no knowledge of what humans were like before the ice age. They are simply described as 'having a form of knowledge that aided them in survival and development', and as 'great thinkers'.
The main character in this story is a teenage girl named Chalice. She lives with her Grandparents, without any real knowledge of who her parents were and what her past is. Her Grandfather had promised to tell her the details when the time was right, but now that their home village is under attack, and he is sending her away to protect her, it doesn't look like she will get to find out any time soon. She is a very gentle, sweet girl. I almost want to describe her as soft, although she really isn't soft, she is trained to fight and protect herself, which she can do very well!
Chalice carries a very significant birthmark on her shoulder that she has pondered the meaning of her whole life. While she was running from her village with a letter from her Grandfather she comes upon a creature called a Chinuk, which I could best describe as a big teddy bear, and he drops a curious book while running from her. Towards the end of this book is a poem, with her birthmark at the end of it. This poem happens to be a prophecy, and it speaks of her. The prophecy essentially says she is the one who will return the rightful king. Currently the world is ruled by a usurper, before him all were ruled by a great, kind king, who disapeared suddenly only to be replaced by this tyrant named Dar'maalda. With this shocking new piece of information, and the possibility to finally learn about her past she sets out to discover where this path leads. Making good friends, and great enemies along the way, and also discovering love, sadly, a love that may not be possible.
For the rest of the story we get to follow Chalice on her adventures; great and horrifying. Along the way she slowly discovers more and more about herself, where she comes from, and who she is destined to be. The story itself is so wonderfully descriptive. Douthit creates amazingly vivid imagery, seemingly, with ease. She paints beautiful pictures in your mind that you are guaranteed to fall in love with. You will be picturing spectacular scenery, characters, and everything in-between that she has created for us in such a way that you feel you are right there, enveloped in her awesomely unique and breath-takingly beautiful world.
This is the first book of a trilogy, and I am very anxious to carry on to the second of the three!
I also wanted to add this little quote from the book that really stood out to me, and I think also is a great line to pull from the story to almost describe it's theme.
"Logic knew nothing of human emotion. It could not tell you anything about your heart."