Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier
Series: Blackthorn & Grim #1
Published by Roc
Published on: November 4 2014
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Award-winning author Juliet Marillier “weaves magic, mythology, and folklore into every sentence on the page” (The Book Smugglers). Now she begins an all-new and 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 know I mentioned that I’m a longtime fan of Juliet Marillier in the not too distant past. How I kept reading Shadowfell despite it’s lackluster beginning, and how Raven Flight renewed my faith in her abilities.
There are many reasons for that faith, but the simplest way to explain it is that in fantasy there is a not-quite-stock character that I’m going to call the Storyteller (original, I know). This character is often a grandparent figure, a leader in an unofficial, but easily recognizable capacity, and is universally revered. They tell their stories both to entertain and to guide, and when they rule the pages of the book I’m reading, I become absolutely enthralled.
Juliet Marillier is a Storyteller made flesh, and DREAMER’S POOL is her most recent tale.
Blackthorn is a woman with the knowledge and ability to heal.
But she is not the typical peace-loving woman who lives in the forest with a beautiful garden of strange and wondrous growing things. No, she is not. She is a woman who has been rotting in a prison cell for nearly a year, and she is a woman who thirsts for vengeance to the exclusion of almost everything else.
So when one of the fey folk visits her—just after she’s learned that the man who imprisoned her, the man upon whom she dreams to avenge herself, has arranged for her to be killed rather than having her case heard—and offers her freedom, but at a price: she must swear not to seek the revenge she so desperately desires for no less than seven years . . .
She almost refuses.
But she is, thankfully, not that blinded by hate, and when part of the dank underground prison suddenly collapses, Blackthorn knows it’s her chance.
She doesn’t escape alone.
A giant of a man called Grim also escapes, and the two of them make their way to where Blackthorn promised the fey she’d go . . . together.
Oran is a most unprincely prince. According to his mother, anyway. He is a Romantic who has been avoiding the business of finding a wife, b/c he doesn’t want it to be business.
And it’s seems his wish is granted in the lovely Lady Flidais, but when she arrives . . . he finds her shockingly dissimilar to the woman with whom he’d been corresponding, and he becomes convinced that something nefarious is afoot.
But is that simply wishful thinking?
DREAMER’S POOL flawlessly intertwines these two separate stories so that the whole is much greater than the parts. The slow but sure development of a real partnership between the emotionally vacant Blackthorn and the haunted-by-some-unknown-past Grim is heart-wrenching to witness, as is watching Oran’s dreams seemingly crumble to dust. But there are strange things happening in Oran’s kingdom, and they can all be traced back to a pool in a fey wood.
Will they discover the truth before Oran finds himself wed to a woman he neither likes nor respects?
Read it and find out. Highly recommended.
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Ok, this one has been added to the wish list because of course once you highly recommend it and it has a woman bent on revenge but embroiled with the fey and the two stories intertwined… it’s definitely Pili bait!
I’m not buying it right away because my car just got its battery replaced and that’s an extra expense I wasn’t counting on at all!
Pili recently posted…Mystery Twitter Theater!!
My reaction after reading each sentence of your review was, “How have I not read this yet?” The book’s synopsis had previously put this on my wish list, but your review has sent it to the top of my most wanted. Great review!
E.J. Stevens recently posted…Q+A with Lori Sjoberg
Wow, a year fave? I haven’t heard much about this one but sounds good
I know exactly what you mean about the storyteller, kind of like in the Book Thief or Princess Bride, you can’t help but be fascinated by the narrator as much as you are with the actual story and plot line!
Wonderful review and I love the cover on this. I think I would pick it up for that alone.
kindlemom1 recently posted…Release Day Review: Hunted by Liz Long
A fave of mine as well, most memorable and one of my best reads of 2014. Amazing, considering how many books I read last year. I can’t believe it took me so long to read Juliet Marillier, but she definitely shot to the top of my favorite authors list right after I finished this.
Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell
Oooo… this sounds like a fantasy read that I’d enjoy. I didn’t like Shadowfell, so I haven’t read Raven Flight. I might give that one a chance as well. Lovely review, Jessica!
Kris recently posted…DNF Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Dunno really. Every single one of her books have made me depressed
blodeuedd recently posted…Bayou Blues – Sierra Dean
LOL I kinda felt like this was one you’d love when I saw the name of the author. 🙂 And man, that cover is gorgeous! I’m going to have to break down and give Marillier a whirl, Jessica. But I may wait until I’ve exhausted all my KA options. 😉 Oh, and your co-blogger, Carmel, is twisting my arm to read Anne Bishop as well. 🙂 *sigh* Sooo many books…
Hope you’re doing well, my dear! Have you made a decision on RT? *wink-wink*
Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Release Blitz & Giveaway ~ Coda ~ CD Reiss
I think I remember starting this read, but ”not feeling” the writing, if you know what I mean. Some writing styles, for me (perhaps because English is my 3rd language) confuses me, and this was one of them. But, at the same time, I did not read much. Just one pages and then closed the book… haha. Maybe I overreacted, since you obviously loved it. 🙂 Great review, Jessica!!
Lola recently posted…Review: Confess by Colleen Hoover
I tried the 7 waters series and didn’t enjoy it. But, your review has definitely made me want to try this author out again! Argh, I should stop reading your reviews, every time I do I add a new book to my tbr mountain. ;] Brilliant review Jessica! :]
So, here’s another book I added to my TBR list. Your review literally made me want to open the book and read it straightaway. I hope I’ll enjoy it as much as you did! Great Review!
Sarah H recently posted…The Arcana Chronicles #1: Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
A 2015 Fave? wow! I’m definitely eager to read this now – the cover is gorgeous!
A lovely review Jessica!
Sharon – Obsession with Books recently posted…What are your thoughts? Reviewing / Blogging can be daunting!
You make me want to drop everything and pick this one up Jess! I have two of Juliet Marillier’s books on my shelves, and I met her last year to get them signed. I wish I could have read her books beforehand though, and your description of the plot here makes me really intrigued! I really should read them soon. Great review Jess!
Jeann recently posted…Indulgence Insider #24 – I LOVE TWITTER
This book was great. I always love the characters Marillier creates and I thought she did a great job with Blackthorn. She is such a broken person, I can’t wait to see her development.
Mel recently posted…Burn, rewrite or re-read tag.
This one sounds like something I would enjoy. I also like the cover… Yes, I know… I’m a book cover whore… To my TBR it goes.
BookaholicCat recently posted…Movie Trailer: The Transporter Refueled
YAY I’m so glad you liked this one, Jessica! Good call with the Storyteller figure, I wouldn’t have thought of that but it’s true. Marillier really does have a gift. Evil Flidais freaked me the heck out, not gonna lie. I knew something was up but I had no idea what the twist was. I am also endlessly fascinated with the backstories of Grim and – to a lesser extent – Blackthorn. Can’t wait to learn more about them in the sequel!
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