Tuesday, October 26

Phil Rickman: The Chalice

When a young aristocrat feels she is being ‘called’ home to Glastonbury she breaks her engagement and returns with a convoy of New Age companions. But the town isn’t the same sacred place she remembers. Tensions between the locals and the ‘pilgrims’ have escalated to fever pitch. A creeping darkness is engulfing the town in violence and death. Even her hitherto easy going New Age companions have embraced the dark side.
For her this all points to the reactivation of the legendary anti-Grail. A dark chalice rumoured to be hidden somewhere within the town’s confines and a source of untold power and wealth for whosoever should claim it.
Together a rag-tag bunch of friends must face both physical and spiritual attack in order to prevent the dark chalice from seeing the light of day and unleashing untold evil upon the village and eventually, the world.
This is one of Rickman’s earlier works and like all his books this one has a much deeper and more complex plot than I could summarise here. It is as much a story of small town politics as anything else yet the supernatural overlay fits perfectly. There are a number of plot threads running concurrently but each disparate element is slowly woven into the fabric of the story until the final picture is revealed.
The characters are wonderfully drawn, each with an integrity that brings them to life. And all are completely believable, from the psychologically fragile heroine to the visitor’s three legged dog.
Needless to say I enjoyed The Chalice very much and would not hesitate to recommend it-Lynn

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