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The Crystal Chalice

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by Sandra Brandenburg and Debora Hill
 

Self-publishing is the greatest gift since Gutenberg but this novel illustrates the fact that without more proofreaders in this new world it can be self-destructive. This work rates an A+ for creativity but, at best, an incomplete in readiness for publication. The latter is because there are far too many typos. An error-free publication in today’s world is rare. When the reader must stop his "train of thought" to sort them out for meaning, it becomes unacceptable.

This allegorical story is a fantasy of time and multi-culture travel. The action is intriguing, enticing and exhausting. The description is fortunately well done because the mythological time travel introduces the usual reader to so much that can only be related to via imagination. This makes description quite functional rather than tedious. The writers are masters of suspense with a colorful imagination. For those readers who, like this reviewer, are not fans of frigid climates it is amazing at how bright and pleasant the authors make severe cold. Absent is the typical drab and motionless monotony of gray overcast chilliness. Even the wind is given the warmth of meteoric speed rather than its usual bone piercing cold. Stockholm is a land of shimmering islands with crystals of snow reflecting the northern lights rather than mere ice locked glacier scrapings.


ISBN 1929374445
FireMountain Press, 2006
264pp, paperback
Retail price $19.95 (10.16)

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My knowledge of mythology is too atrophied to appreciate any perhaps intended distinctions between the uses of familiar, varied demonic names of western literature upon first reading. The authors’ "agenda" regarding sexual liberation, both male and female, is obvious. One American female reader was perplexed to decide if the fictional women were coming to make a sacrifice or an escape. That in turn deals with the sexual politics of reproductive rights. At times there is a hint of more encompassing politics in the allegory but whether of International or European unity, it is difficult to say. If not, the identity of DearHeart as Great Britain was a lost but golden opportunity.

A delightfully creative and thought provoking novel!

Open Book

Review by Nan Seal