Perennial favorite McKinley's prose is rich and wonderfully eloquent, and in this case she breaks her story into four parts rather than chapters. Regrettably,
a lack of interaction between characters and a comparatively thin plot are exacerbated by the book's leisurely pace.
The demesne of Willowlands is in trouble. In a double tragedy, the people have lost their master and chalice. For the land and people to thrive they must have both. The previous master's younger brother was sent away to become a priest of fire and has been recalled in hopes of making him the
new master. But previously, no one has returned fully human after being a fire priest. Young Mirasol is happy with making honey and her extraordinary connection to the bees, so when the powers select her as the new chalice she is not thrilled. Can an inexperienced Mirasol find a way to help the new master bind together the land and its people? (PUTNAM, Sep., 272 pp., $18.99)