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The Sword, the Ring & the Chalice by Deborah Chester
Review by Alleandra
Standard fantasy cast: the Good King betrayed, his son, a bumbling naïve boy brought up in extremely humble fashion and who doesn't know his origins, a haughty and evil (but very handsome) Prince, the Princess and the headstrong girl.
When King Tobeszijian goes on his annual two month hunt, things are not as calm as they appear. Treachery is about, and his kingdom, his family are all targets. The inevitable happens, and Tobeszijian himself is trapped in a place in between life and death. But before being trapped there, he was able to salvage a few precious things, including his son and daughter. Of the children, there is some rumor, but of the sword, the ring and the chalice, there is much speculation.
Dain is by chance taken in by a stern warrior lord who is also fostering the spoiled Prince Gavril. It is here that Dain is able to carve out a place for himself and to eventually learn of his strange origins. Meanwhile, not all the subjects were happy for Tobeszijian's demise. There is a rebel faction, and young Alexeika is very determined not to give up. Somewhere, somehow, both Dain's and Alexeika's paths must cross in order for their destiny's to be fulfilled.
This is very standard fantasy fare. There is nothing unpredictable or remarkable about this series. The characters are the usual suspects for a fantasy novel, and nothing they say or do in the course of the books is original or different. That being said, it was still a nice, little series. It's sort of like settling for sweets that you don't love, but you need to have the sugar. For some reason, I ended up buying and reading all three books in a short while, yet I've been less enthused over books much more superior to these. In all, if you get them for free, give them a try. Maybe, if you see them in the library and have no other ideas of what to read, they would be a good acquisition. Otherwise, I suppose if you really want a pretty well written fantasy containing the usual clichés, you may as well read these, as they are harmless to your health.
Overall grade: 3.25
The Sword - 3.5
The Ring - 3.25
The Chalice - 3.25
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