National bestselling author Juliet Marillier revisits the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast in this “engaging Gaelic fantasy romance staring two fascinating reluctant souls”(Genre Go Round Reviews).
Whistling Tor is a place of secrets, a mysterious, wooded hill housing the crumbling fortress belonging to Anluan—a chieftain whose name is spoken throughout the region in tones of revulsion and bitterness. A curse lies over Anluan’s family and his people, and the woods themselves hold a perilous force whose every whisper threatens doom.
Then the young scribe Caitrin appears in Anluan’s garden, admiring the rare plant known as heart’s blood. Retained to sort through entangled family documents, Caitrin brings about unexpected changes in the household, casting a hopeful light against the despairing shadows.
But even as Caitrin brings solace to Anluan, and the promise of something more between them, he remains in thrall to the darkness surrounding Whistling Tor. To free Anluan’s burdened soul, Caitrin must unravel the web of sorcery woven by his ancestors before it claims his life—and their love...
Wearing her influences openly and simply, Marillier (Heir to Sevenwaters) incorporates familiar elements of mystery, fantasy and Irish history into a strong tale of very human romance. Trained by her father as a scribe, 18-year-old Caitrin yearns to practice her craft, but she must first escape a forced marriage to a brutal man. Her flight takes her to Whistling Tor, where the crippled, cursed chieftain Anluan rules over a wasteland of horrors. Against the odds, Caitrin makes a place for herself in a household of ghosts and in Anluan's heart, but when the Norman conquerors arrive, violence once again threatens to destroy everything she holds dear. Not innovative but eminently readable, Caitrin and Anluan's love story is bittersweetly realistic, best suited to romance readers who like a bit of fantasy rather than fantasy readers who like a bit of romance.
HOPING FOR A SEQUEL!
I really liked this book, and found it as intriguing and fascinating as the author herself. I'm hoping Miss Juliet writes a follow up story soon!