The Crystal Chalice
by Deborah Hill © 2006
Fire Mountain Press
Reviewed by: Mike Gleason
Once more Marshall, Lilly, Valaura and Evan cross the dimensional veil. This time it is intentional, if not exactly anticipated by each of them. Upon their arrival, this time in King Lucifer’s City of the Cup (each in their separate location, each with their own unique garb and circumstances to deal with) they find themselves dealing with a time lapse they had not anticipated. They have been gone a year of our time, but 20 years have passed since their “deaths” among the Anjeles and Daemona and that, among other things, causes some misunderstandings.
There is less physical violence in this volume, which is to be expected as the chalice represents emotions. The conflicts which occur within the individual dimension travelers and within their groups interactions are not fully resolved by the end of this novel, and again I expected this. Emotional growth and turmoil are seldom neatly dealt with, there are often things which linger and must dealt with over an extended period of time.
The two authors work well together and their separate contributions mesh well together. It is rare for jointly written works to appear so seamless, but they pull it off nicely.
The next volume in this series (The Sword and the Scabbard) will obviously deal with the third magical “weapon” (sword) and the fourth and concluding volume (The Pentacular) will be associated with the pentacle. I would expect that The Sword and the Scabbard will once again have a higher level of physical conflict. Unfortunately, we must wait until 2009 for the saga to continue, as that is the anticipated publication date for the third volume.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable series of books. It is Pagan-themed and friendly (the four elemental lands; the characters derived from myth and legend; and the overall feel) without being threatening to the non-Pagan reader. It may cause the occasional double-take (the reversal of preconceived relationship of names and characters) but there is nothing wrong with that, and it keeps the reader on their mental toes.
I look forward to the concluding half of this cycle of books, and have no hesitation recommending it to one and all.