As the newly appointed Chalice, Mirasol is the most important member of the Masters Circle. It is her duty to bind the Circle, the land and its people together with their new Master. But the new Master of Willowlands is a Priest of Fire, only drawn back into the human world by the sudden death of his brother. No one knows if it is even possible for him to live amongst his people. Mirasol wants the Master to have his chance, but her only training is as a beekeeper. How can she help settle their demesne during these troubled times and bind it to a Priest of Fire, the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone?
Robin McKinley weaves a captivating tale that reveals the healing power of duty and honor, love and honey.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This beautiful story is almost a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with the exception of the Beast being a Fire Elemental Master who was a good person punished by his older brother to become a fire priest.
Mirasol is a quiet and reserved character that slowly develops a back bone. She is unsure that Willowland made the right decision by choosing her as the new chalice. Her doubt, though, slowly disappears and creates a wonderful internal dialogue as she discovers the truth of it all. I personally love how this character develops, where she has to make a major decision and that is... *Spoilers darling, I promise for no spoilers. :)
There is a lot of back story, and sometimes you forget that you are reading a flashback, but overall, this is a wonderful book. Just don't read it while doing other stuff, or you will get lost!!!!
Highly recommend this book!