In “The Raie’Chaelia,” the first book of “The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia” trilogy, the reader meets Chalice, a stubborn, strong young woman. She suddenly flees her hometown of Canton in the middle of the night per her grandfather’s instructions. On horseback, she makes her way to a farm in Branbury and finds her friend Jeremiah alone in a ghost town. Both piece together pieces of the puzzle and realize that the King’s men are looking for them, destroying towns and killing many people in the process. Meeting up with a friendly Chinuk (the cutest teddy bear creature) and an older man, Ben, the two begin to realize that there is more to this journey than they realize.
Chalice has no knowledge of her parents and has grown up with her grandparents in Canton for the entirety of her seventeen-year-old life. Possessing only a strange birthmark, she finds this marking in a book dropped by the Chinuk. As she slowly discovers facts about her true identity, Melissa Douthit examines the concept of self-identity and choosing between duty and love.
I found this book slow toward the beginning, but it certainly picked up the pace toward the third chapter and suddenly I became hooked! Any woman will find a role model in Chalice as she refuses to bend to anyone’s will but her own and stands to fight for her beliefs, family, and friends. The chapters are long, twenty to over thirty pages at times, and the names will certainly send your tongue into a tailspin. That being said, this book is packed full of adventure, mystery, and danger. Douthit ends this first book on a cliffhanger, so be prepared for unanswered questions. I certainly will be reading the next two books in this trilogy!
**To read my review of the second book in the series, "The Firelight of Maalda" click here.