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 received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Recommended Reading: The Blackthorn & Grim Trilogy by Juliet MarillierDreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier
Also by this author: The Harp of Kings
Series: Blackthorn & Grim #1
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on November 3, 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780451467003
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Award-winning author Juliet Marillier "weaves magic, mythology, and folklore into every sentence on the page" (The Book Smugglers). Now she presents the first novel in an enchanting series that will transport readers to a magical vision of ancient Ireland....
In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she'll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.
Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.
With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.

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.


I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Recommended Reading: The Blackthorn & Grim Trilogy by Juliet MarillierTower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
Also by this author: The Harp of Kings
Series: Blackthorn & Grim #2
Published by Penguin on October 4, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 401
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780451467027
Goodreads
four-stars

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.

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.


I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Recommended Reading: The Blackthorn & Grim Trilogy by Juliet MarillierDen of Wolves by Juliet Marillier
Also by this author: The Harp of Kings
Series: Blackthorn & Grim #3
Published by Penguin on October 3, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 433
Format: Paperback, eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780451467041
Goodreads
five-stars

The enchanting fantasy series from the award-winning author of the Sevenwaters novels continues, as embittered healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, struggle to fulfill the rules of her bond to the fey. . . .
Despite her personal struggles, Blackthorn agrees to help take care of a troubled young girl who has recently been brought to court, while Grim is sent to the girl's home at Wolf Glen to aid her wealthy father with a strange task--repairing a broken-down house deep in the woods. It doesn't take Grim long to realize that everything in Wolf Glen is not as it seems--the place is full of perilous secrets and deadly lies. . . .
Back at Winterfalls, the evil touch of Blackthorn's sworn enemy reopens old wounds and fuels her long-simmering passion for justice. With danger on two fronts, Blackthorn and Grim are faced with a heartbreaking choice--to stand once again by each other's side or to fight their battles alone.

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.


four-half-stars
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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.

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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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