The first thing I did this morning was to check the tracking number of the ARC of Chalice that was on its way to me. It had been loaded onto a delivery truck in Fall River, and at 11am, it was in my hot little hands. I was at work, and I intended to be Strong, and wait till I got home to read it. This did not last long. At ten minutes past 11, I went to the cafe across the street and bought a chocolate chip cookie, and took a few hours off work...
Chalice, coming in September from Putnam, is a delight. A land of troubled magic, bee-keeping, and a strong and book savvy heroine combine in a captivating story. Mirasol, the young and untrained Chalice of Willowlands, must bind the land itself together, and must bind herself and the Circle to the new Master. But the new Master, the leader of the Circle, was sent to the priests of Fire as a young man, and has been drawn back to human kind terribly changed--his very touch burns, and beneath his cloak, his body roils with fire. And the Overlord of the Willowlands and its neighboring demesnes plans to replace him with an Heir of his own choosing, who will throw the land into chaos unless Mirasol can stop him. http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif
Happy sigh. Great characters, great story, magical honey, and a strong love of place that all of us who tend our own pieces of land can understand. Not to mention the bits of romance, understated but intense. A great read for anyone 10 years or so and up.
Thank you to kind person who had an extra ARC, and kindly shared with me! But although not everyone is as lucky as me (and I feel very lucky indeed), Robin has put a large chunk of the beginning of Chalice up on her blog.