Tower of Thorns (by Juliet Marillier)


Blackthorn has lost everything. All she has left is a small cottage on the edge of an enchanted forest, her companion Grim and a promise made to the Fae to never turn away someone who asks for her help. So when Lady Geiléis approaches the prince with a tale about an enchanted tower Blackthorn does everything she can to avoid being asked for help.

Then an old friend shows up, a friend from the time before, the time she was a different woman and she finds herself agreeing to help Lady Geiléis despite her misgivings. But as she travels north to the Tower of Thorns her misgivings turn into suspicions that all is not as it seems.

The only person she can trust –– the only person who can save her is Grim, but in order to complete the task she will need to push him away.

Tower of Thorns is in no way an easy book. It’s a great book but definitely not easy. The story builds slowly and requires a commitment from the reader, but for those who have the patience it’s all worth it. Blackthorn and Grim are at the top of my list of favorite fictional characters and I just love these books.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 9.12.41 pmMany thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Orange, Red, Yellow. What it means: red-orange-yellow-guide

Dreamer’s Pool (by Juliet Marillier)


Blackthorn has been languishing in a dungeon after exposing the brutal crimes committed by her chieftain. While in prison she has lived for the day when she will be able to stand up and tell her story. But on the very eve of her day, she learns she is to be killed before she can talk.

A Fae visits her during the night and offers her a deal. He will help her escape but in return she must travel north to Dalriada, to use her powers as a healer only to help and she must never refuse a plea for help.

When one of her fellow prisoners, Grim joins her, she wants nothing to do with him, until she realises his following her is a plea from someone who is every bit as damaged as she. So Blackthorn and Grim travel north and settle into a derelict cottage on the edge of an enchanted forest.  Despite her obvious bitterness and anger, Blackthorn soon find herself helping the poor folk of the area with their ailments while Grim works odd jobs as a farm labourer.

But when the Prince of Dalriada asks for Blackthorn’s help, she struggles with her antipathy for men in general and especially men in positions of power.

Dreamer’s Pool is pretty good fantasy. I love the story. I love Blackthorn and Grim. I love the town’s folk.  I struggled with the multiple points of view. They really weren’t working. If it was just Grim and Blackthorn it might have worked, but having that third POV of Prince Oran made the story just a little unwieldy.  That said, I still enjoyed the book and look forward to seeing the series progress.

Oh. Just one more thing. The official synopsis for this book has a fairly major spoiler.  Someone at the publisher really needs a lesson in not giving stuff away.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 8.51.33 pmYellow, Orange, Red –– what it means: