The Firelight of Maalda: A story that unites the real with the fantastical and turns science into magic …
Chalice and her group leave Barenthren to travel to Portalis. There she and her friends discover the beautiful city, its people, its history, and its secret that has been kept hidden for thousands of years. During their stay, they learn that Dar’Maalda has the Firestone and that he plans to use it.
What is the Firestone and what does Dar’Maalda plan to do with it? What are the Naezzi? What does the title, The Firelight of Maalda, really mean? And … what is the secret of Portalis, the secret that has been guarded so jealously for so long – so jealously, that many have given their lives to protect it?
In The Firelight of Maalda, the second novel of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie’Chaelia, you find out. It is a tale of intrigue and wonder where two opposite worlds collide in an explosive journey that leads Chalice and her friends to the dark islands lurking just beyond the horizon of Ielieria, where the Firelight of Maalda sits … and waits.
The Firelight of Maalda takes off where The Raie'Chaelia leaves off and it keeps going at a brisk pace that is slow enough to keep the reader interested but not too fast as to lose the reader completely. I enjoyed this book even more than its predecessor, presumably because a majority of the back stories of characters and places involved have already been discussed so there is no need to re-hash anything. Chalice is maturing in leaps and bounds as she proceeds to unfold parts of her past, even as malevolent forces seek to stop her.
As with the first book, I found myself easily visualizing the scenes in this book. Melissa Douthit continued to create such vivid images of people and places, keeping the magic from The Raie'Chaelia present in The Firelight of Maalda.
The relationship between Jeremiah and Chalice has grown deeper, though thankfully it doesn't eclipse the real story, the Chalice's quest for knowledge and the return to her rightful place as ruler. Even though The Firelight of Maalda has a darker tone than its predecessor, there's still humor to be found. Chalice's sarcastic with and dry humor makes for some interesting dialogue at times, making her one of my favorite characters in the series.
Douthit has created an almost perfect heroine in Chalice, brave, smart, resourceful, kind but also stubborn, impulsive, and she's afraid. She's not cocky about being special amongst her rag tag group, she knows inside that it means she will, if not already, have the weight of the world on her shoulders IF she succeeds in finding out all there is to know. Through it all, she has the ever present Jeremiah by her side. He doesn't fill the empty spaces with inane chatter, he's the strong and silent type, perfect for Chalice.
Though aimed at the young adult audience, The Firelight of Maalda is written in such a way that adults such as myself can enjoy it as well. If you're looking for an adventure without the romantic entanglements of adult romance novels, then I highly suggest this book. However, be sure to read the first book in the series beforehand so that you'll be able to breeze through The Firelight of Maalda with no problem.
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Thank you to Melissa Douthit for giving me the opportunity to read and review both The Raie'Chaelia and The Firelight of Maalda.