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17 August 2011

The Raie’Chaelia - my review and Giveaway 1

 Just before her eighteenth birthday, Chalice's  grandfather insists that she leaves her family and rides off alone, over the mountains, away from all she has known. Her previously simple life is about to change for ever. She is supposed  to meet a man, Nathaniel Maehbeck, at Branbury, but when she arrives at the village it is plain things are not right, the streets and shops are deserted. The Maehbecks' farm is likewise strangely quiet and empty, save for Jeremiah Maehbeck, Nathaniel's son, her old childhood friend, who returns home after a hunting trip, to find her there alone.

The Terravalian World was formerly  ruled by a good and just king, who was overthrown by one who is evil and cruel.  He has destroyed Chalice's village, and taken the residents prisoner, along with her grandparents, and Jeremiah's parents. 

An old book reveals a startling fact that forces Chalice to reflect on who she is and all she had believed about herself. She and Jeremiah set off together, to the fortress at Chainbridge, where the prisoners have been taken.  Along the way they are joined by a  Chinook -  a cute and clever little creature called Bunejab, and the mysterious stranger, Ben.

Their journey is fraught with danger and unforeseen threats.  Who can they trust - and who will turn out to be traitor? As they meet new challenges and acquaintances, Chalice learns the meaning of true friendship, and of love, and has to face up to the truth about her parentage and destiny, and to accept who she really is.


I really  enjoyed this book, it did what any good  fantasy story  should do, it drew me into its world and made me care about its characters, who for me were one of the strong points of the book.  Chalice is charming, strong, courageous and feisty, as well as beautiful, but not unbearably perfect, she makes mistakes and unwise decisions. Jeremiah is a perfect hero, handsome, strong and brave but caring and sensitive, and the supporting characters are diverse and well drawn. I could relate very easily to them, and I feel the story would appeal as much to older lovers of fantasy, such as myself, as to young adults.

The world building and beautiful descriptions of the countryside and interiors give the story an almost 'Tolkeinesque' atmosphere, and Bunejab reminded me a little of a hobbit, in some ways, but this story is in no way another version of 'Lord Of The Rings', it is a highly original tale which keeps the reader guessing. Some of the language and back story is a bit hard to absorb to start with, but it adds depth and realism to the story. The vivid way the landscape and locations are painted made me feel I was right there.  A slight niggle is that at times I felt a little editing would have helped avoid the occasional awkward phrasing or sudden POV switch, and multiple exclamation marks at the end of a sentence, and would have added the finishing 'polish' to what is already a wonderful read, but on the whole I love the writer's 'voice' and the story gripped me until the end - and that's my major criticism. It ended rather abruptly and  now I just HAVE to read the next book 'The Firelight of Maalda', which is scheduled to be released towards the end of this year. 

A great  read with an 'epic' feel.  I can recommend it to all fantasy lovers.

I received an e-book from Teddy at Premier Virtual Author Book Tours, but this in no way influenced, or was intended to influence, the outcome of the review. 
Thank you, Teddy, and thank you Melissa, for providing the copy, I'm really pleased to have had to opportunity to read this book.

 Twitter: @melissadouthit

The first novel in the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia,  is available in electronic format on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Smashwords for the promotional price of $2.99.
Purchase Melissa's books on KINDLE

Everyone who comments today and tomorrow will be entered into a draw to win a download of Melissa's book
Tomorrow, Melissa will share her guest post on this blog.
along with another giveaway, so stay tuned!
at the end of that post, you will find the details of her contest with the chance to win a FREE E-READER or $100 Gift Certificate!

Don't miss it, just pop back tomorrow.

Check out the blog tour schedule and find more reviews, interviews [I], guest posts [GP] and giveaways [G]:
Aug 1, Maria @ Bookchilla [GP, G]
Aug 3, Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read [GP, G]
Aug 5, Myranda @ My{reads}da [G]
Aug 8, Sabrina, Suzanne & Ashi @ Cup of Tea Reviews [G & I]
Aug 10, Darlene @ Peeking Between the Pages [G & GP]
Aug 11, Tessa @ From The Bookshelf of T.B. [G & I]
Aug 12, Cindy @ oodles of books [G]
Aug 15, Cierra @ Books Ahoy [G & I ]
Aug 17, Lyn @ Hywela Lyn [G & GP]
Aug 19, Rebecca @ Everything to Do With Books [G]
Aug 22, LiLi @ ChicaReader [G & GP]
Aug 24, Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic [G & I]
Aug 29, Julie @ Manga Maniac Cafe [G & I]
Aug 30, Ariel @ The Librarian’s Bookshelf  [G]
Aug 31, Rida @ Raindrop Reflections