I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...
Title: Towern of Thorns
Author: Juliet Marillier
Series: Blackthorn & Grim #2
Publication Date: October 3rd 2015
Synopsis: "Award-winning author Juliet Marillier's Blackthorn & Grim series continues as a mysterious creature holds an enchanted and imperiled ancient Ireland in thrall.
Lady Geleis, 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, the mysterious presence threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby.
As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together, it becomes clear that a powerful adversary is at work. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle - where even the closest of friends can find themselves entangled in intrigue."
My thoughts: It is not secret that Juliet Marillier is my favourite author, I just find her books so amazing - they all have a mystical quality and such fantastic characters. Tower of Thorns is no different, and I am loving the Blackthorn and Grim series so far.
[I am in love with these covers, by the way.]
The new story was something of a fairytale, something of the fae, and also something of a mystery. It was a really interesting combination and I found myself really being drawn in and wondering what was being hidden, what was not being said. I worried about our main characters and I got irritated at times with new characters like Lady Geleis, who definitely seemed to be more than what she said. It was mysterious and at times a little spooky, but always engrossing.
I also loved that the stories of Blackthorn and Grim's pasts were also part of the story, and we could continue getting to know these characters. Reading newer characters' opinions on Blackthorn or Grim made me want to defend them, so they have already earned a place in my heart, even after just two books. I find the relationship between the two really interesting, and I find Blackthorn, in particular, to be a complex and interesting character. She is grumpy and irritated at the best of times, but she is also extremely intelligent, wonderfully talented as a wise woman, and even occasionally a little sly. Grim, on the other hand, is quiet, but comes across as extremely kind to those he cares for or feels are good people, and he is a character that has easily made a place in my heart as a favourite.
I don't want to give away any spoilers here, but I will say that the ending has left me wanting the next book ASAP, and has been the catalyst for me deciding that this is going to be the year that I read everything of Marillier's that I haven't read already (there isn't a lot, but I desperately want to be up to date, and I adore being lost in the worlds she has created). I cannot recommend Marillier enough, and I think the Blackthorn & Grim series would be a great place for people to start if they haven't read her before - though I think the Sevenwaters series is a great place to start, too!
I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book from Pan Macmillan - thank you so much!
You would like this book if: you enjoy mystical fantasy worlds; you like fae stories that have been retold.
Tea to drink while reading this book: I would recommend a herbal brew to go with the brews that Blackthorn and Grim make - specifically something with Chamomile and Mint if you can! I almost exclusively drank T2's Gone Surfing while reading this book.
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