REVIEW: A Chalice of Wind by Cate Tiernan

REVIEW: A Chalice of Wind by Cate TiernanA Chalice of Wind (Balefire #1) by Cate Tiernan
Published: Razorbill (2005), Paperback, 250pg
Genres: Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction
Source: Bought


After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she's ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible: an identical twin, Clio.Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into. Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.

Buy on Amazon | Goodreads


I picked this up last year during a sale at It sounded interesting, and I was hoping it wasn’t complete malarkey. Luckily it wasn’t, and it had enough things I could snark over to make up for any bad bits.

So, yeah, this is COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE. I mean, c’mon: twins, separated at birth, in possession of magical powers? It’s nearly as common as the seventh son of a seventh son being awesomely powerful. However, like every other time I’ve run into a cliche, I’ve forced myself to get through it and, hopefully, find the good stuff, whatever it is.

For A Chalice of Wind, the stuff that kept me reading was the ridiculously melodramatic love scenes between the twins and their Twu Luv. I hate when characters get smushy with one another, especially if one character happens to be a witch who “just knows” things, including that she and her boo are going be TOGETHER FUR EVAR and that that boo is PERFACT IN EVARY WAY. God, so annoying. And the other twin is just as bad! She’s all HE SO PERFECT AND UNDERSTANDING AND WONDERFUL. He really LISTENS to me, you know? And he’s perfect!

That kind of stuff seriously and truly irritates the every-loving crap outta me. It’s like diarrhea for my soul. Which is why, later on when they got burned? Yeah, I laughed. And that laughter is what kept me reading. Mostly. There was some genuinely good things, too.

Besides the ridiculous love stuff, the rest of the book is pretty decent. It’s not too badly written, and there’s some other interesting characters to make up for the Banal Twins of Doom. The plot isn’t so bad; there’s enough mystery and neat magic stuff to keep me reading, and it was seriously fun to watch Thais go OMG WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN when underagers were caught drinking alcohol. Also when she cried into her pastry. Heh.

It does end on a cliffhanger (kinda), but it was the kind of cliffhanger that amps you up for the next book, not wish the author had added just one more chapter PLEASE. Or, er, something.

I do want to read at least the next book, but I don’t necessarily think I’ll fork out cash for it. If I can get it from the library or from BookMooch, though, I’m there.

Read: February 2009

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