Recommended Reading: The Blackthorn & Grim Trilogy by Juliet Marillier

I think this slow down in books coming to my door has been so beneficial in that I have been able to read books off my shelves that have been there for years. I kick myself a little bit because I had waited so long to read some excellent books. Juliet Marillier’s Blackthorn & Grim trilogy is the type of fantasy series I love, where the focus is on problem solving and cleverness, not so much swinging a sword. Read on to see what I thought of the trilogy.


I feel like you could call Dreamer’s Pool old school Juliet Marillier, given that it was published seven years ago. I am so glad that the two sequel books are already published and that I have them on hand to read now that I have torn through Dreamer’s Pool. Marillier truly is a master when it comes to writing fantasy that I feel caters to me as a woman. There are no annoying battles to skim through, rather, this book, relies on problem solving skills and I just loved it.

Dreamer’s Pool opens with main characters Blackthorn and Grim sitting in prison. Blackthorn’s day of reckoning is just about upon us – where she will be able to tell her story of why she is in jail and face her accusers. Unfortunately, her accuser plans to kill her before she gets the chance. However, Blackthorn is visited by a fey who helps her escape in exchange for a promise. Along the way, Blackthorn and her friend from prison, Grim, end up in Winterfalls where Blackthorn will serve as the local wise woman. Meanwhile, Price Oran is eagerly awaiting his bride, Lady Flidais. Unfortunately, the Lady Flidais who arrives is much different from what her letters lead Oran to believe she would be like.

Blackthorn and Grim build up a bit of a reputation for figuring out puzzles and so they are enlisted by the prince for help uncovering just what the deal with Flidais is. I’ll say this story is kind of long and it takes a good while to get into the rhythm. It pays off though. I felt like the characters were perfectly developed. The morsels we received as to character were perfectly doled out. And oh man, Blackthorn’s backstory hit me like a ton of bricks. I find myself nervous for finding out Grim’s backstory which wasn’t this book but I imagine will be in one of the two sequels.

Dreamer’s Pool is light on romance – heavy on folklore and setting. I can just imagine Winterfalls and the layout of Dreamer’s Pool and Valley. I loved the stories woven within. The stories within the story were so interesting. This book is captivating and absolutely made me feel whisked away while reading. I am so looking forward to the next two books and more morsels of Blackthorn and Grim as characters.

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Tower Of Thorns is the second book in Juliet Marillier’s Blackthorn & Grim trilogy – and quite an immersive story. This book sees Blackthorn and Grim traveling to a place called Bann to help a young woman named Geiléis get rid of this howling creature who lives in a tower. Not a ton of time has passed between this book and Dreamer’s Pool – making this book ideal to pick up right after Dreamer’s Pool.

So, I did not read Tower Of Thorns quite as quickly as Dreamer’s Pool. Chalk it up to stress and also seeing some tea being spilled about America’s Next Top Model and me being sucked into rewatching season one instead of reading this book. I honestly found Geiléis to be a bit off putting and didn’t care all that much for her chapters. She was a bit self centered and not a great caretaker of the land that she owned and the people who lived on it. However, the chapters that were from Grim’s point of view were captivating. I loved that we finally got his backstory in this book.

Overall, I have no regrets about diving into Tower Of Thorns. I just wish that my attention span was a little bit more devoted while reading. I am going to try to pick up a few quick paced books before picking up the final book in the series, but given that they’ll be read relatively close together, I am excited to pick up Den Of Wolves and see how it all comes to an end and wraps up.

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It’s time to bid adieu to Blackthorn and Grim. What a journey it has been. I am glad to have read this series and to have read it mostly one book after another. Den Of Wolves by Juliet Marillier wraps up a trilogy that feels different from typical fantasy. After all, there isn’t immediate romance between the two main characters. Blackthorn is a bit older – she’s absolutely not in her early twenties. Grim does not come across as boisterous or in your face clever. Instead, he seems big and dull but as we come to know, that’s not the case.

Den Of Wolves is a trilogy that concludes with a story that involves a child stolen many years ago, a house that will confer blessings upon it’s owner and finally with justice that will be done. Blackthorn and Grim are separated for much of this book as Grim goes to work on building a house in Wolves Glen. Blackthorn is helping with Cara who is staying at Prince Oran’s household. Cara keeps wanting to go back to Wolves Glen, but for some reason her father does not want her there during the building of the house. It’s about to get real tense.

Now that I have finished up this trilogy, I do have to say I appreciate Marillier’s slow build. I liked how the morsels she doled out through the other two books culminated in answers in Den Of Wolves. These books need to be read in order and read together. And, ugh, how it all plays out is just so perfect and lovely. There were times when I felt like the pacing was slow, but eventually there was payoff there. The healing and growth experienced by both Blackthorn and Grim is inspiring. I really appreciate it and that these aren’t the typical normal fantasy characters – there’s not really any fighting or ass kicking scenes. It’s just thoughtfulness and collaboration and problem solving. Read these books if you are someone who goes in for character development.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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