Hywela's Reviews > The Firelight of Maalda

The Firelight of Maalda by Melissa Douthit
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Feb 01, 12

Read in January, 2012



THE FIRELIGHT OF MAALDA by Melissa Douthit

is the second book in the Raie Chaelia trilogy. (There are also two short 'prequels' and they and Book 1 are available free on Smashwords and Amazon.

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.

This is a YA series for age 13 upwards. Having said that, I'm sure many 'older' readers will enjoy it as much as I did. The story continues the story begun in The RaieChaelia and reveals more of the characters and the wondeful world Melissa Douthit has created. I really enjoyed reading the first book, The Raie Chaelia, as well as the short sequels, but I did think there were a few anomalies which didn't seem to quite fit in with her magical world and seemed to reflect a little too much on her own. In The Firelight of Maalda, these anomalies are touched upon and as I read I realised that these were purely intentional. In fact they serve, I think, to project a subtle, ecological message.

This story continues Chalice's journey to fulfil her destiny, and the growing romance between her and Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah knew each other as children, and meet up again at the beginning of The Raie Chaelia. Their friendship has grown into something deeper and in The Firelight of Maalda both characters, but especially Chalice, have grown and matured emotionally and I found it particularly satisfying that their love is not only acknowledged but their sweet romance seems completely natural and uncontrived. There is a touching tenderness between them, they are both strong characters but neither feels complete without the other and their love and respect for each other shines through even when they are not entirely in agreement.

There is a lot more to this story than romance though, there is plenty of action and suspense. A deadly enemy must be defeated and the fate of a world hangs in the balance. Chalice also has to contend with prejudice and an annoying tendency for people to patronise her and try to control her. There is a large cast of characters, and some of those from the first book make a welcome re-appearance. In addition to the human protagonists, there is a cute little creature called Bunejab who actually has a very important role to play, several horses, including Chalice's beautiful palomino, 'Sunny ', and Jeremiah's 'Banner', as well as the Naezzies who have every reason to hate humankind.

The story moves at a fast pace to the nail biting climax and a cliffhanger of an ending - I'm really glad Melissa gave us a taste of the next book to answer at least one of my questions, and I can't wait for the third in the series.
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