I just finished the second book in “The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia” trilogy, rightfully named “The Firelight of Maalda.” The book picks off right where “The Raie’Chaelia” (first book in the series) left off. Chalice and her group make their way to Portalis, the city ruled by the Terravaillian. As Chalice begins to learn about the history of this secret city, she clashes with the rules and social customs of her new surroundings. Butting heads with many of her advisors and guards, she discovers the heavily guarded secrets that reside within the library and archives of Portalis.
Along the way, Chalice learns that Dar’Maalda possesses the Firestone, the black obsidian stone stolen from her in the previous book. While he doesn’t know how to unlock its secrets, both him and Chalice know its importance. Practicing her skills and connecting more with her daeioden, she begins to harness her powers and truly evolve into the Raie’Chaelia D’Ielieria. Also gaining speed is her romance with Jeremiah, when Chalice must defend her feelings to the Terravailians of Portalis.
I must say that I blazed through this book in about three days. Motivated by the unanswered questions of the first novel, Melissa Douthit cleverly enticed me to read her second creation. With even more adventure and danger than the first novel, “The Firelight of Maalda” brings new, fantastical creatures to life (such as the mysterious Naezzi) and delves deeper into the detailed world of the Terravailian and the Naeon. Bringing back favorites, such as Bunejab, Ben, and Ardenne, the reader can dive right into this magical world. Chalice continues to impress readers with her dedication to morals and bravery even though those around her disagree with her every move. Not only does she embody an independent woman, she continually puts herself in dangerous situations for the good of her people. Her selflessness sets her apart from other characters, and quite honestly makes the reader wonder what she will try next.
So what exactly does the Firestone do? What are the Naezzi? And more importantly, what is Portalis hiding behind its doors? These questions and more will be answered in the second installment of this trilogy. But don’t expect for every mystery to be solved. Douthit leaves the reader hungry for more and, much like the first novel, ends “The Firelight of Maalda” on a cliffhanger. Her third novel, “The Return,” is not released until August 2012, so you will have plenty of time to ponder the mysteries of Naeo’Gaea.