Award-winning author Juliet Marillier’s “lavishly detailed”(Publishers Weekly) Blackthorn & Grim series continues as a mysterious creature holds ancient Ireland in thrall...
Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking them out.
A noblewoman asks for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a creature who threatens the safety and sanity of all who live nearby from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.
As Blackthorn and Grim put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest soon becomes a life-and-death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.
Often poignant and always engrossing, Marillier's second Blackthorn and Grim Celtic fantasy (after Dreamer's Pool) takes its wounded central figures on a perilous quest across a fantastical version of Europe. Their trials simultaneously demand physical strength, mental acuity, and emotional courage. Blackthorn is a wise woman traumatized by the arson murders of her husband and baby son. She's bent on taking revenge on their killer, evil King Mathuin of Laois, but a mysterious fey has sentenced her to remain in Dalriada and do nothing but good for seven years. Her ever-faithful companion, Grim, badly scarred by his failed attempt to save his religious community from marauding Norsemen, accompanies her on their attempt to vanquish an eerie monster that's disrupting Lady Geileis's lands and folk by emitting agonized howls and screams from a tower encircled by vicious thorns. The characters fight on, even though they're outnumbered, but are tormented by the thought of losing hope. Interspersing first-person passages told by Blackthorn and Grim with episodes of Geileis's heartbreaking tale of cursed young lovers, Marillier enthrallingly spins out her graceful and mesmerizing tribute to heroes anywhere and anywhen. This immersive fantasy tale can be savored even by those unaware that Marillier's stated goal for the series is to explore PTSD and strategies for coping with its effects, which she admirably achieves.
Adult Fairy Tale
This book delivers the fire and zest of the first novel in the series. A twisted tale of magic, adventure, and what happens when love goes horribly wrong, this book is captivating and real. The characters aren't randomly generated, they are real flesh and blood people with emotions and dreams. From the first chapter and onward, it's easy to lose yourself in a magical land that isn't quite so far away as we might believe.
Such wonderful moments and surprises. Some things I guessed, but still they were better than ever imagined. My favourite author through and through. Read all her books. This one ranks highly