You'll love the Adventure, Romance and Riveting Paranormal influences this book offers. And, where, unlike Game of Thrones, not everyone dies!
A bloody, dark, sensual novel about pagan mysteries and the corruption of the Church in medieval Germany. One of the finest and most provocative historical fantasy novels you are ever likely to encounter.
"Jakober's narrative vision is strong; she offers vivid scenes of battle, romance, political scheming, wild magic, religious conflict and love." - Douglas Barbour, reviewer
"Historically based on the church vs. state struggle of 11th century Germany, Jakober spins a fascinating fantasy yarn. Her style is direct and easily accessible, and her descriptive talents make the scenes jump off the pages. ... Highly recommended." - R.F. Briggs, Yet Another Book Review Site
"A book like this deserves to be cherished, whatever the readers' personal faith or lack of it. " - Publishers Weekly
ABOUT THE BOOK:
It's 1134. In a bleak monastery somewhere in Germany, Paul of Ardiun begins the chronicle he has been ordered by his religious superiors to write: the story of the knight Karelian Brandeis, for whom Paul once served as squire, who fell prey to the evil wiles of a seductive sorceress, thereby precipitating civil war and the downfall of a king.
But before Paul can set down more than a sentence or two of this cautionary tale, the sorceress herself magically appears to him. He is a liar, she tells him, and always has been. She lays a spell on him: from this moment, he will only be able to write the truth.
But what is the truth?
All his life he has rearranged his memories to suit his faith. He has judged Karelian, judged the sorceress, judged the world.
Now, against his will, an entirely different story begins to emerge.
"I am not in the habit of hyping other people's books, but this one is exceptional... Jakober wields pagan myth as surely as Tolkien ever did, and cites Christian beliefs in a way even C.S. Lewis would never dare... There's plenty of action for repressed adolescents like me-magic, jousting, tender romance and gruesome brutality. She creates superbly subtle characters, men and women both. Best of all is her evocation of the atmosphere of Dark Age Northern Europe-nasty, brutish, and haunted." -Dave Duncan, author
The Black Chalice is an award winning and must-read epic fantasy novel similar in tone to the likes of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon and Guy Gavriel Kay's A Song for Arbonne.
In this irritating, brilliant novel, a young knight, Karelian of Lys, returns from the Crusades to his home in 12th-century Germany, having witnessed enough to undermine his faith in God and himself. Besides being torn by political intrigues, the country is deeply divided between Christian and pagan, civilized and barbaric. Though he craves peace, Karelian soon becomes the lover of a half-human witch queen and the enemy of a nobleman who claims to be a direct descendant of Christ and thus the destined king of Earth. Karelian must use all his combat skills, intelligence and empathy to fight his way through the tangle of duty and passion in which he's caught. The author stresses repeatedly that most men prefer violence to sex, domination to love and pride to self-understanding. According to her, such men call themselves good Christians to help rationalize their systematic debasement of women. This reiteration becomes tiresome after a while as being preached at usually does. Fortunately, Jakober is more storyteller than ideologue. Her writing is crisp and clear, and the setting is strange enough to be intriguing. Elves peer warily at knights on horseback, while dark sorcery is as likely in a medieval cathedral as in a primeval forest. But the book's strongest point is its unusually sympathetic characterization. We understand and sympathize even with the villains as they make terrible, self-destructive choices. We also watch as other characters grow into larger, more whole human beings. A book like this deserves to be cherished, whatever readers' personal faith or lack of it.