A desmense must always have a Master and a Chalice to maintain the harmony of the land but then the previous Master brought down turmoil to his desmense and his Chalice did not curb him and when they both died without true heirs, difficult decisions had to be made and acted upon quickly. Thus Beekeeper Mirasol was chosen by the divining rods as the new Chalice but as one who already knew her place in life and with no training, she has had to teach herself and work to trust her instincts. The new Master has finally arrived, the younger brother of the previous Master but one who was sent to the Elemental Priests to become a Fire Priest. He has obtained the third rank and no one has ever come back to a normal life from that point but he is determined to try for the sake of his land and people but first he must remember how to be human again. The two of them have a hard struggle before them to try and make the land whole once again but the Overlord has other ideas and is not an easy man to deny.
I haven't read any of Ms. McKinley's books before and I definitely plan to go searching others out as I did like this one. I enjoyed the world she created and her take on a traditional fairy tale as this is most definitely Beauty and the Beast done in her own world. My chief complaint was the amount of repetition and self-doubt the Chalice exhibited and how it seemed that we were not expected to remember what was said about her abilities or what had happened to the previous master after a chapter or two. This book is less than 300 pages, I don't feel that this level of repetition is necessary in 1000p books and definitely not in one less than 300p that moves quickly. However, the rest of the book was delightful and the interactions between people flowed well and never seemed forced or ridiculous. I've heard from many that this is one of her weakest books and if that is the case, I really can't wait to read some more.
Page count: 284p/3,335p ytd/218,269p lifetime