Tuesday, 24 April 2012
The Raie'Chaelia - Melissa Douthit
This three-part fantasy tale tells of a young girl named Chalice who has to leave the home of her grandparents as her village (Canton) is about to be attacked. Instructed to travel to Branbury she reunites with her childhood friend Jeremiah - whose own town is deserted of people including his family.
Together they realize that the evil king is looking for them - destroying towns and killing people in the process. But a book dropped by a creature called a Chinuka (that she met on the way to Jeremiah's father's farm) and The Delphaline explain a birth mark that is on Chalice - one that talks of a prophecy. This discovery answers some questions but raises so many others such as who were her parents and why would King Dar'Maalda wish her dead?
As the story continues Chalice and Jeremiah, who she realizes she's in love with, are made to understand that the prophecy speaks of one who will return the rightful king. With this knowledge Chalice sets out to discover what her 'gift' is and destined path may be, knowing that her decision is whether to follow the path of love or duty.
This is a very good story. The author's description of a far away land filled with lovable creatures and villainous rouges is excellent and the names of people and places will definitely make you re-read them! Chalice is a great role-model for young adults - strong beliefs in family, friends and loyalty. The writing is so vivid and very creative that the reader will get lost easily in this far away world.
Whilst I'm not a fan of fantasy and struggled a little at the beginning, I did find the story a page-turner and I easily got caught up in the drama. I really enjoyed the imagery and the author's ability to describe things like a tap as a weird and wonderful invention. However, Douthit does end the book on a cliffhanger, so be prepared to invest time in this trilogy - which if you're a fan of this genre will not be a problem as this is a compelling tale.
A recommended read.