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Review: Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier (@jessicadhaluska)

Review: Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier (@jessicadhaluska)
Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
Series: Blackthorn & Grim #2
Published by Roc
Published on: November 3 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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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.

2015 nomnom fantasy wellwritten HEARTBREAKING

Last year in DREAMER’S POOL we met Blackthorn and Grim, who quickly became two of my new favorite characters.

They were both woefully broken, but that mutual brokenness (aided by a promise made to one of the folk) was what made them so compatible.

As friends, as cohorts, as travel companions.

Blackthorn, fueled by her implacable hatred of the man who took everything from her, quickly stole the spotlight—not only is she a healer, a position regarded with respect, she is more forthright. She may be surly and taciturn, but if something needs to be said, Blackthorn is the one one to say it.

Grim was a strong back for lifting heavy objects. He took odd jobs, performing manual labor for various townspeople, and when he spoke, he used as few words as possible.

Obviously, there was more to him than that, but he was firmly established in Blackthorn’s background.

And he’s perfectly happy there. Or as happy as a man like him is capable.

This time around, Grim, still silent, still steady, burrowed so deeply into my heart that he’s still there, months after I first read this book.

I can’t think of him without a corresponding ache.

Marillier so brilliantly captured his patience, his selflessness, his calm acceptance of his perceived lack of any real usefulness and the inevitability of his belief that one day—it’s only a matter of time—Blackthorn will get tired of him and send him on his way, worthless sod that he is.

It hurts. Ye gods, it hurts.

But it hurts the way it hurts to look at Chihuly glass in the sunlight or heathered fields in Virginia. It hurts b/c it’s so damn beautiful.

In TOWER OF THORNS, Blackthorn and Grim are once more thrust into the strangeness that goes hand-in-hand with fey creatures and practitioners of magic.

A woman has come to court, begging Prince Oran for assistance. Her land and her people are plagued by a creature in a tower. It howls in agony from sunup to sundown every, single day. The tower is surrounded by impenetrable thorns, and all attempts to get through them result in injury and death.

Marillier spins her story so deftly that you wonder if you’ve heard it before, but, no, that’s not possible—you have no idea what’s going to happen, and yet . . . it feels so familiar. B/c it is the quintessential fairy tale. There are secrets and selfishness, harsh truths and consequences.

But there is also peace and forgiveness and a road on a sunnier path.

You only have to step out of the darkness.

TOWER OF THORNS by Juliet Mariller is bloody fantastic. As much as I loved DREAMER’S POOL—and I did love it—this second installment of BLACKTHORN AND GRIM has taken up residence inside me, it’s now part of me, and I will make a nuisance of myself, pushing it on everyone b/c you NEED to experience it for yourself.

Tied with Uprooted by Naomi Novik for my favorite book of 2015.

Blackthorn and Grim:

My Review

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



  1. Pretty cover and they go together well, creating a brand for the series. I am always curious how much input the author has in the final product. Great review!
    sherry fundin recently posted…FREE Zombies – Mutation Z by Marilyn Peake @marilynpeake

  2. I have not read a single one of hers that did not depress me, so I am weary
    blodeuedd recently posted…Early Review: Night Moves – Sierra Dean

  3. this series sounds so very emotional and well written o.o I don’t know what I am waiting for /sigh wish I had more time to read
    Lily B recently posted…Walk Through Fire + Giveaway

  4. Oh dear god yes, this was insanely good. I want to give Grim a nice big hug.
    Mogsy recently posted…Novella Review: The Builders by Daniel Polansky

  5. JESSICA!! Book buying ban here, you cannot go and recommend a book like this when I am in a book buying ban for very good reasons!!
    Pili recently posted…Saturday Pages: Mini Reviews for Maxon and Portia by Christina Bauer!

  6. I just got the first book and I’m so excited to read it. Everyone is raving over this series!

    Karen @For What It’s Worth