The Cup

The Madigan Chronicles Book 4

Fiction - Magic/Wizardry
326 Pages
Reviewed on 03/06/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Marieke Lexmond reads tarot cards, loves food, photography, and travel. She has three sassy little dogs that she likes to take everywhere and even have their own Instagram account @urbandogsquad. Her background in filmmaking enabled her to travel and live around the globe. Storytelling is in her blood, from saving her allowance from a very young age to buy books to her master's degree from the Dutch Film Academy. Fantasy and science fiction are her favorite genres. She prefers to write fun and mystical stories. Her attraction to nature and places with a magical history brought her to New Orleans and the West Coast of Ireland. As a pagan, she felt an instant connection to the land; it feeds her imagination and has become the inspiration for the Madigan Chronicles.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

The magic continues in The Madigan Chronicles series by Marieke Lexmond, who has delivered book four in The Cup. Lexmond has a flair for cinematic landscape no matter what world[s] the characters inhabit. The Cup traverses London, Boston, New Orleans, the land of Fairy, and the gossamer of Between Space and Time. We now also follow Lucy into Greenland where she conjures the general location of the Cup of Plenty, also coveted by the Queen of Fairy via a deal struck with Mara, Lucy's granddaughter, who finds herself between a rock and a very cold place. Lucy has already killed one Guardian; the Guardian of the Dagger of Consciousness. Can Freya and Luna Madigan, Guardians of the Wand of Wisdom, get to Snowflake, a distant relative and Guardian of the Cup of Plenty, before their aunt? And will a Guardian of the Cup even listen?

“Oh, man. You witches have gotten to me.” That statement by Tom roundly sums up how I feel about The Madigan Chronicles and The Cup in particular. The water element out of the four powers needed to have some true time dedicated to it and author and tarot pro Marieke Lexmond came through for us. Readers who missed out on the other books and are not up to date could find it on the slightly difficult side to grasp what is happening. Lexmond drops breadcrumbs of backstory but there are a lot of places, many point-of-view characters, and about eleventy bajillion things that can be going on at any given time. Paintings that suck non-consenting participants into mass orgies are a thing and so are working shell phones. That's not a typo. It's a shell phone. The dynamics between parents and children, partners and spouses, and family, in general, are further fleshed out for the cast. I like the ribbing between Crone and Mother, elevated when one gets to tell the other she told them so. Coincidentally, I tell people that too when they come back and say they are new Marieke Lexmond fans...and the interspersed art by Nicole Ruijgrok is the icing.

Pikasho Deka

The Cup is the fourth book in The Madigan Chronicles by Marieke Lexmond and continues the story from the previous installment, The Wand. Bridget and her twin sister Maeve grow into their powers as the new Guardians of the Wand and the Dagger respectively, with some help from their witch aunts. Meanwhile, after failing to get her hands on the Wand, Lucy Lockwood is desperate to become the Guardian of the Cup of Plenty and attain mastery over the element of water. But she isn't the only one after the Cup. Mab, the Queen of Fairies, sends Lucy's granddaughter Mara to claim the Cup for herself. While Lucy teams up with Mara and locates the Cup in Greenland, Luna and Freya are on their way to warn the Berthelsen family. Can the Madigans help protect the Cup?

The Madigan Chronicles is a family drama series spanning generations with fantastical overtones. The Cup is yet another enthralling installment about family power dynamics, betrayal, and the search for identity, love, and duty. Marieke Lexmond has built a sprawling world featuring witches, fairies, and demons with a keen eye for detail that makes it feel intricate and believable. The Madigan family is quite large, and I constantly found myself referring to the cast of characters to understand the relationship dynamics between the family members. This only made the reading experience all the more immersive. This is the second book I've read in the series so far, and I've thoroughly enjoyed both. This is a rich world for fantasy lovers to delve into.

Asher Syed

The Cup by Marieke Lexmond is a sorcery fantasy novel and the fourth book in The Madigan Chronicles, preceded by The Dagger, The Magic Tarot Deck, and The Wand. The series as a whole revolves around the self-governing legacy of a family that holds the power of the elements in four powerful and sacred vestiges. Each elemental power is contained within an artifact independently encompassing Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. United in an ancestry that preserved the integrity of the magic, the books have woven ancient rites into the lives of a mostly modern Madigan family who balance between the human world and those of Lexmond's creation. The splintering of family ties continues to put the Madigan women and the magic relics in danger; the sisters must once more protect a vestige, this time the Cup of Plenty, from their own estranged Lucy and the Queen of Fairy, Mab.

I went into The Madigan Chronicles by Marieke Lexmond with this fourth installment, The Cup, and while it was not terribly difficult to understand what was unfolding I now wish I had started at the beginning. But here I am, still grateful for the spectacular armchair tour Lexmond provided of Greenland, a place I'd hardly given a moment's thought to before her novel. Lexmond's skill for breathing life into a place that actually exists in 'real life' feels as fresh as the world-building that continues as readers penetrate the lands of Fairy. I think what I enjoy most about the human setting is that it is contemporary. Witch magic in literature tends to veer away from the mod-cons that Lexmond readily employs like motor boats and text messages, and I have never fully understood why. Her writing is engrossing and the philosophy behind the ever-growing expansion of magic and what is experienced is super rich. “To be one and yet in a million pieces is something a human brain can't process.” Engaging, well-written, and wonderfully creative. Very highly recommended.