In keeping with my promise-to-self to have a non-school-related book going at all times during this semester, this week I read Robin McKinley’s latest work of fantasy fiction, Chalice. I am still waiting patiently for a sequel to Sunshine — when Robin when?! — which Chalice is not. It is also not as inventive an alternate world as the one found in Dragonhaven(which I discussed here). However, Chalice harkens back to many of her gentle fairy tale stories collected in Door in the Hedge or Knot in the Grain. It is the story of a young beekeeper, Mirasol, who is unexpectedly called from her home to become “Chalice,” one of the Circle of mages who protect her homeland; and the story of the unexpected friendship she forms with the new Master mage, a fire priest who is no longer quite human. It was just the thing for a relentlessly rainy weekend at the end of September.