The Black Chalice

by Marie Jakober | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1894063007 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winggypsysmomwing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 10/5/2008
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winggypsysmomwing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, October 05, 2008
Back in July, just after the Canada Day challenge was finishing, I signed up to take part in the Alberta Arts Day release challenge put forward by celticoracle. The challenge was to wild release books by Alberta authors anywhere in Alberta. Since we were going to Kananaskis for part of our summer holidays I figured I could release a few books. I ended up releasing three and one of them was Since Daisy Creek by W. O. Mitchell. It deals with an English professor who was mauled by a grizzly and we actually saw grizzlies when we were in Kananaskis. So I released that book there and the Alberta Arts Day group decided it was the best themed release. I received a big box with this book and 4 others as well as 5 CDs and some cool pins as my prize.

Journal Entry 2 by winggypsysmomwing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, June 03, 2011
Although I read a lot of science fiction I steer away from fantasy usually. The magic and beautiful women and heroic men just seem too over the top for me. So I wasn't expecting to like this book too much but I was surprised. This book is much more like historical fiction than most fantasy. I was transported to the Middle Ages in Germany and I resented coming back to 21st century Canada.

Brother Paul has been a monk for 20 years but before he became a monk he was close to two men who fought for the right to rule Germany. He has been asked by the Pope to write an account of what he witnessed. He was a young boy when he first laid eyes on Karelian Brandeis and that was in Acre just after the Crusaders seized Jerusalem. He became Karelian's page and a close ally. However he is devoutly Christian and he is worried by some of the doubts about Christianity that Karelian professes. He is even more shocked when Karelian takes up with the beautiful sorceress, Raven. At a tournament he is convinced that Gottfried von Heyden, another Crusader, is more worthy of his devotion. When he overhears Gottfried telling Karelian that he is descended from Jesus and he seems to have a relic to prove it he decides to switch allegiances. Gottfried probably arranges for the current German King to be murdered but he accuses the King's son, Konrad, of the murder. Civil war ensues and both Karelian and Gottfried make use of sorcery to win battles. Finally it comes down to a joust to the death between the two men.

Marie Jakober is clear that this is a work of fiction but it does rely on historical underpinnings and her careful research shows. It wasn't news to me that men espousing Christian beliefs could justify murder and rape but this book had me shaking my head about what was done in the name of Christianity. Even though Karelian loses his Christian faith his life is much more exemplary than Gottfried's. That should give you an idea who I was rooting for at the end.

I'm going to reserve this book for the 2011 Canada Day release challenge.

Journal Entry 3 by winggypsysmomwing at Ominnik Marsh in Wasagaming, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (7/2/2011 UTC) at Ominnik Marsh in Wasagaming, Manitoba Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book on a bench at the Trailhead. This release is for the 2011 Canada Day release challenge and for the 2011 52 Towns in 52 Weeks release challenge.

I hope you enjoy this excellent Canadian work of speculative fiction. Please tell us what you thought of the book and what plans you have for it.

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