First Impression Friday: “Grail of the Grimoire”by J. S. Sterling

This is a book I won a free copy of through LibraryThing. (I’d heard it was better for getting free books than GoodReads, and so far I’ve won three in the past week so that seems to be panning out!)

From Amazon:

In the 12th century, Cassandra is likely to be burned at the stake if anyone finds out what she can do. So the only magic she allows herself is used to hustle dice games from unsavory characters too cowardly to fight in the Third Crusade.
When she is kidnapped and brought to the Vatican’s secret library, the Grimoire, Cassandra finds that her place in the world is as the next leader of the Pope’s coven of sorceresses–to be held captive among the books forever.
Her only way out is to retrieve the Holy Grail from Jerusalem before it can be used by Richard the Lionheart or Saladin to create a magical army that could conquer the world. Along with her brainy young tutor and a mysterious Muslim fighter, Cassandra will find much more in the Holy Land than just a cup. Perhaps too much…  

Find yourself immersed in a mythical foundation familiar to fans of Ken Follett, Diana Gabaldon, and V.E. Schwab, during a time that seems as relevant now as it did a millennium ago.

I will admit, when I received the notification that I had won this book, I had already forgotten I had requested it. So far, I’m only a few chapters in but it’s seeming to be shaping up into something interesting. My one complaint is that the summary of the book that I had to look up to remember what it was about has already spoiled the book for me. I’m just now getting to the Grimoire and Cassandra has just learned that there are other magic-users out there like her.

I was interested at first because it seems that “Cassandra” is a very popular name to use for magic users. The most famous sorceress of all time in my own novel is named Cassandra, for example. I think this goes back to Greek mythology, if I’m not mistaken? (I might be. Please correct me.)

All in, I’m hoping for a fun fantasy book, but I don’t know if I expect anything life-changing out of it. Fingers crossed for something a little more!

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