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The Cup of the World by John Dickinson

The Cup of the World (2004)

by John Dickinson

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A beautiful book! One of my favorites! ( )
  briannad84 | Mar 6, 2011 |
Phaedra, only child of the Warden of Trant, refuses all suitors, both for fear of dying in childbirth and for love of a man she has met only in dreams. When the king's son courts her, her dream-lover comes to take her away, and proves to be the mysterious and ill-famed lord of the province across the inland sea. Her elopement is the trigger for war, and she hardly knows who to trust, who will betray her, or who she must betray next.
Not an ordinary fantasy. The world setup is nothing unusual - a continent with an inland sea, ringed with provinces & city-states, unstable politics and a king holding on by the fingernails. But the rulers came in ships, and there were aboriginal people, so there's a conflict rarely examined. The hillmen (shades of Kipling perhaps?) have a mythology involving a Great Mother, quite different from the near-Christianity of Phaedra's people. Phaedra is not an entirely sympathetic character, somewhat cold and self-centred (also only 15 in the first chapter) but with an inner core of toughness and endurance. What really stands out is how much of the story is what happens at home while the battles and raids and treaties are happening elsewhere, and how much of the intrigue and discovery is Phaedra's story and coming of age.
  bmlg | Feb 24, 2011 |
An epic fantasy novel about a spirited girl who elopes with a mysterious man. Turns out he wants to conquer the known kingdoms and will stop at nothing to do so. Magic and mayhem ensue. A very sad and elegant book with many layers of meaning and allegory. ( )
1 vote insomniel | Jul 13, 2007 |
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Phaedra did not know the way, in the unlit corridors of the King's house.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385750250, Hardcover)

FILLED WITH IMMENSE characters, this thrilling medieval fantasy filled with moral complexity and vision announces the arrival of a special new writing talent.

Phaedra, the beautiful daughter of a baron, has been visited in dreams by an elusive knight for almost as long as she can remember. And when his presence becomes a reality, she is forced to choose him and a new life over her home and her father. But this sets off a chain of events that she could not have foreseen—a battle between good and evil, which is in turn violent and psychologically compelling. This stunning novel grapples with the huge themes of life, and turns the reader’s expectations upside down again and again, with one vertiginious plunge after another.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:55 -0400)

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When Phaedra, a willful daughter of a baron, decides to marry for love, she sets off an unforseeable chain of events and a battle between good and evil.

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