Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Raie'Chaelia by Melissa Douthit

GENRE: fantasy/adventure

When Chalice sets off for Branbury in the middle of the night with her grandfather’s instructions, she has no idea of the dangers that await her. The King’s men have destroyed her home village of Canton and she is suddenly thrown into a Terravailian world that she does not know. Lost and alone, she is hard pressed to evade the iron grasp of the madman who rules the land. With the help of a friendly Chinuk, an old man, and a book that she discovers along the way, not only does she find true friends and true love, but she also finds her true self and what it means to be the Raie’Chaelia.

The Raie'Chaelia (pronounced rye-kale-ya) is an original fantasy adventure story that provides the reader with a gripping tale, a wonderful and unique setting, and interesting, not to mention engaging characters. It is also a coming-of-age story for Chalice, the novel's brave and heroic protagonist.

Chalice is a girl who was raised as a warrior, for she must be capable of fighting and surviving whatever comes her way in life. Such skills are necessary in the Terravailian world, once ruled by a good king, but which is now ruled by an evil man. Chalice experiences quite a journey when what she’s been preparing for suddenly becomes a reality. Her grandfather wanted her to go on an important quest and at the beginning of the novel, Chalice runs away from her home and from everything she ever knew to go on the quest and complete her mission.

Chalice is a great heroine who is decisive and brave. There are obstacles she must overcome, and she does so with determination. Her story shows her coming-of-age transition into a world of experience and danger, and her inner strength is a great factor during this transition as she fights the dangerous Terraivilians. I was also impressed by the character of Jeremiah, a skilled archer who helps Chalice. He is an intelligent man who values duty and honour beyond anything else. To me, Chalice and Jeremiah made a great pair.

In my opinion, the Terravailian world is at the centre of the novel. It is a beautifully inventive world that offers many novel things, like incredibly sharp obsidian knives, something I had never encountered in literature before. The fantasy setting shows the author’s creativeness. It offers detailed descriptions that give a vivid picture of the place; over the course of the novel, it begins to feel very real. Some readers might be put off by the many insightful descriptions, but I enjoyed them very much, as they created a clear picture. Something that put me off at times was how many new things were introduced over the course of the novel. I had to read carefully to remember them all. Yet I understand that, since this is the first novel in a trilogy, the author had to introduce the reader to a new world, to a new people. I am sure this information will be useful in the following novels and is necessary, as well as interesting.

I am sorry for being a bit vague, but I feel that by saying more, I’d give away information that could be labeled as spoilers. I can say, though, that this is a fantasy novel, set in a new world, which is filled with adventure on almost every page. I don’t read fantasy often, but I dare say that The Raie'Chaelia is a book to be read by fantasy enthusiasts. It's an enjoyable journey.

I received an e-book from Teddy at Premier Virtual Author Book Tours. Thank you, Teddy, and thank you Melissa, for providing the copy.

Tomorrow, Melissa will share her guest post on this post, along with a giveaway, so stay tuned!

: / (3.5 stars)


Blodeuedd said...

This one sounds cute, lol, yes the cover helps ;) I am sure I could enjoy it

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I'm not a big fantasy reader although I consider myself a fantasy fan-weird, right? I like the sound of a book with a great world; lately I've been really into world-building and less intrigued by characters so that might appeal to me.

Unknown said...

This sounds like a fantasy that my students would enjoy. They are always after strong female characters and Chalice sounds like she fits the bill.

Jo K said...

I like strong heroines as Chalice and the fantasy world in this book seems interesting. Great review!