THE RETURN BY MELISSA DOUTHIT – PART 3 OF THE RAIE’CHAELIA TRILOGY

96-THE RETURN MELISSA DOUTHITTAfter a fall  from the Maaldan cliff (for anyone else, it would have been fatal), Chalice rejoins her friends. The time has come to finish what they began. Chalice is coming into her full power, her potential is being realized. The degree of power she is able to summon is awe-inspiring. Terrifying not only to her enemies, but to herself and her friends.

She is young and angry, has little experience of life. Not enough to guide the decisions she needs to make — on which the fate of the world depends. Her powers exceed her control. Her temper is hot, abrupt. She makes mistakes, finds it hard to stick to plans. Or think clearly if her emotions are involved. Worse, she cannot (literally) tell Jeremiah — or anyone — the whole truth. Jeremiah has his own secrets. Many secrets, many people.

Now that she reunited with her friends on a journey that takes them to the coastline of Ielieria. Led by Chalice, who has gained knowledge from her father by traveling into a strange dream world, they sail the seas. There will be war. They need to prepare.

And then, there’s her father. What will happen when she returns him to the throne? What he learns some of the things she has done, by mistake and on purpose?

Meanwhile, Lucca hates Chalice with his entire being. His obsession to find and destroy her is his one vulnerability. As he searches the kingdom for Chalice,  she must lure him out, ultimately let him find her. It’s a potentially lethal game of cat and mouse. The prize? Everyone’s freedom and the future of the realm … not to mention life and death for the rebels and their sympathizers.

This is a fun book and a good read. Lots of action — magic, young love, battles and war — and one amazing horse. Don’t underestimate the horse; she’s a major character. If you love horses (I do), it’s a great addition. There’s a lot to like, memorable and sympathetic heroes and heroines. Plus some very sinister bad guys.

This is a young book, aimed at a youthful audience though suitable for adults too. Chalice and all her compatriots are kids and act like it, so you can’t blame them for doing stuff kids do. If you think it’s unrealistic, it’s not. Throughout history, the very young have led armies. Princes in their teens, generals barely ready to shave. Only in recent centuries as life expectancy increased has leadership transferred to older generations.

I read the entire trilogy from the first through this, the third and final book, without a break. For all practical purposes, it’s one book broken into three parts … like Lord of the Rings. I don’t suggest reading this as a stand-alone. If you haven’t read the first two books, read them before you read this.

Prequels

The Journey Begins: A novella prequel. Chalice’ story before the first book begins.
The Vanishing: A novella prequel. Jeremiah’s story before the first book begins.

The Trilogy

The Raie’Chaelia: Book One.
The Firelight of Maalda: Book Two.
The Return: Book Three.

Available from Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

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