Sonderbooks Book Review of

The Cup and the Crown

by Diane Stanley

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The Cup and the Crown

by Diane Stanley

Review posted June 18, 2013.
Harper, 2012. 344 pages.

Molly's back! The Molly who saved the kingdom in The Silver Bowl with the help of her strange powers, seeing visions in a silver bowl, has now been made a Lady. But the king has a commission for her. She is to go find a Loving Cup, made by her grandfather, with the power to bind two people together. He needs it for an important alliance. And since Molly has been having nightly visions about such a cup, she agrees to go.

In this volume, we find out much more about the source of Molly's magic and her family history. I think you could read it without having read the first book, but I almost want to say you shouldn't read it without reading whatever's coming next. I'll simply say about the ending that it annoyed me. I'm hoping Diane Stanley can write a third book that will reconcile me to those events.

But right up until the annoying ending (and that may be a personal quirk that I didn't like it), I thoroughly enjoyed this journey. I was a little disappointed to discover Molly has noble blood -- it was refreshing to have a character in a medieval fantasy who was a commoner -- but I don't think that's a flaw. And it did emphasize her strong magical gift.

I like the slowly blooming romance between Molly and Tobias, and what they were willing to do for each other. Yet we still have a certain amount of doubt that they will really end up together (because of that annoying ending. I'll say no more).

What started with a very unusual magical world -- with magical visions in a silver bowl -- has become unusual in other ways, including a secret kingdom where magic is revered. Only can Molly and Tobias ever get out again?