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The Black Chalice
Award Winning Novel...
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 women, judged the world.
Now, against his will, an entirely different story begins to emerge.
About Marie Jakober
Marie Jakober graduated from Carleton University (Ottawa) with distinction. Her work is, in one way or another, about power. When time allows, she enjoys great music, good ethnic food, challenging conversations, and yes, believe it or not, hockey. [MORE]
A Message to My Readers
I grew up in a world where there were six months of winter, bad roads, few neighbors, and no schools. Books were everything. I lived in them, and in large measure I still do. And whether I'm reading them or writing them, I'm still fascinated by the same questions-what and why? At the heart of everything which happens in the human world lie ideas about how the world works-or how it ought to work-ideas about power and authority, male and female, love and sex, truth and divinity. And I always wonder what would happen if some of those ideas were changed-not just the ones we think are changeable, but more especially, the ones we think are not.
I've loved many books which explored such questions, extrapolating into the far future, or building alternative worlds. But somehow when I write my own, I generally find myself tackling the questions here, in our own world, our own past, with our own beliefs and history on the drawing board.
I am, I suppose, someone who's never been scared of a good scrap.
The Independent Publisher Book Award
Fantasy and science fiction category.
First annual Sunburst Award.
Book of the Year Award
ForeWord Magazine's annual Award.
- Marketing Archaic Lands and Magical Crusaders -Candi Lace, Writer's Market
- University of Calgary Gazette -Robyn Herrington
"I just wanted to tell you how much I loved your novel."
"Congratulations to Ms. Jakober for her splendid novel."
-Anne I. McCaffrey
"A book like this deserves to be cherished, whatever the readers' personal faith or lack of it. "
"This is a first-rate piece of writing. It has all the elements a fantasy lover could want, in an interesting and well done story. This book runs rings around most of what is packaged as fantasy in the local chain bookstore."
-Paul Lappen, reviewer
"The Black Chalice is about Karelian, Count of Lys, knight of the Rhinemark. On his way back from the Crusades he meets Raven, priestess of the black chalice of the story's title. Having seen horrors abundantly in Jerusalem, it is easy to convince him to join in Paganism. What follows is a closely studied plot of intrigue and conflict. It is a beautifully crafted work. On almost every page there is some turn of phrase, some insight into the human condition, some act of description that makes you stop and take notice.."
-D Jason Cooper
"Jakober puts our sympathies firmly with Karelian, but it is Pauli's blind, rigid faith that the story tackles. The Black Chalice will leave you thinking and wanting more."
-Renee Stern, reviewer
"Historically based on the church vs. state struggle of 11th century Germany, Jakober spins a fascinating fantasy yarn (particularly for this reader as I am an avid reader of religious based material). 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
"The work's originality and its more profound attractions lie in the way the tale is told."
-Christopher Cobb, Strange Horizons
"I recently finished your book The Black Chalice. I was really impressed by it; so much so, I am using it as the basis of my paper for a fantasy class that I am taking at Fort Hays State University (Hays, Kansas) this summer. I am trying to finish my master's degree."