I finally read Chalice. It was recommended to me about five thousand years ago and I finally bought it about six months ago, so I figured it was probably about time to read it. I liked it, I guess. Here’s my thing with Robin. She’s the author I find myself most able to get lost in. I love Damar, I named my car after Constantine from Sunshine (that beast owns me till I’m 30, so it’s more of a commitment than it sounds), but Chalice just didn’t grab me. It’s not very long, at a mere 265 pages and I really feel I could have supported another 30 if she’d fleshed out the world more. I long ago accepted that Robin McKinley builds a world, writes a story in it and then walks away. Unlike every other fantasy author on earth who builds a world with their first novel and then live in it until they die (and some of them even groom replacements so the world they build will outlive them). Chalice was plopped down in a magic kingdom of indeterminate size with an untraditional ruling hierarchy that never quite got explained and some type of religion that is important to the story, but again is never fleshed out. I have I willing suspension of disbelief that is probably unparalleled by any living person, but even I couldn’t see past the lack of knowledge the reader is given about the willowlands. I liked so many things about the book but just never managed to get lost in it the way each of Robin McKinley’s other books have trapped me. I will however say that reading this book did sort of make me feel warm and cozy, like I was Curled in a comfy arm chair in front of a fire, and sometimes the feeling a book invokes is more important than the glaring holes in the plot.