Mirasol was trained as a Beekeeper. She recently was declared the Chalice--an important member of the Master's Circle. She is responsible for binding together the Circle and the land. She is at a serious disadvantage in her new role as she has received no training. The land and Circle are in turmoil after the bad management and death of the last Master. Mirasol must unite the new Master and the land before it is too late.
I am usually a fan of Robin Mckinley's books, and was very excited to read one of her original works that I had never heard of before. Although, it could be argued this is another retelling of Beauty and the Beast from her. I was disappointed in this book. It was very slow getting into the plot. It was also confusing the way the background information was inserted mid sentence or thought, and would suddenly pick up where it left off in the present paragraphs later.
This would have been a great story if it had been edited better, and was told in a clearer way. This should not stop readers from trying some of McKinley's other books. I would recommend starting with Beauty, Spindle's End, or Sunshine. Maybe try reading this one after you have read some of her other books.