I don’t know why I keep coming back to this book — one I originally gave just three stars — but I think this is probably the fourth time I’ve read it. This time, because I saw a copy for three euros in Dublin and just had to, had to, had to; up to now, I didn’t actually have my own copy, which you can imagine was annoying and of course I had to rectify it.
I think the thing is, it’s such a warm story. Mirasol and the Master’s relationship is so tentative, so careful; their attempts to reach out to the land they’re bound to and heal the things that have happened are so conscientious, untutored, sometimes even desperate, and yet they never give up. And I love all the domestic details: the honey, the woodrights, all the sensory stuff that comes with the honey… And the idea of the Chalice, both the office and the object, her duty to bind the Circle and all the little details of how to do that.
I also think it’s a very hopeful book, in the same sort of way as The Goblin Emperor or Uprooted, other books I’ve liked more recently. Okay, there is a conflict, but the outcome is almost totally positive, and the main characters seek as much as they can to avoid conflict. It’s gentle, calm, and thus calming.
I imagine I’ll reread it again sometime in the future.