Genre: Fantasy/Fairy tales
Length: 448 pages, or 15 hours and 54 minutes on audiobook
Goodreads | Shelfari
Synopsis: Award-winning author Juliet Marillier’s “lavishly detailed”* Blackthorn & Grim series continues as a mysterious creature holds an enchanted and imperiled 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 out Blackthorn and Grim. Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim. As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.
.....For it being not as impressive as the first book, but still good.
My Thoughts:Hmmmm...I'm not entirely sure of what I want to say here. I mean, I enjoyed it and all, but I guess I was expecting more.
The first book (Dreamer's Pool) was highly enjoyable. I even read it a second time in order to prepare for this story, and it still held up as an entertaining fantasy/mystery/fairy tale. I especially loved the duo of Blackthorn and Grimm: 2 intelligent people with traumatic pasts who needed each other as friends, not as lovers (I really appreciated the non-lovers part).
This second book in this intriguing series continues the same relationship between Blackthorn and Grimm, although we learn more about Grimm's past this time around. They solve another magic-related mystery as we saw previously, and you end the story knowing there are still some things left to learn, so you're certain of a follow-up book (pssst. I think I know who Conmael is!). All in all, it seems to follow the same template as the previous book.
This book feels different, however. It feels slower, with fewer parts to the mystery. I didn't feel as interested to this tale, and I didn't feel quite as satisfied with the ending as I did with the last book. It just felt a little flatter than it's predecessor. It's still a good story, though, and I do plan on reading it again when the next book comes out. I have a hunch that I'll like it a little better upon re-reading it, since I feel like I might have missed something on this go-around. Juliet Marillier fans will still enjoy this book, so feel free to take a look! Just don't expect it to be as amazing as Dreamer's Pool.