Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
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.
Tower of Thorns is the second installment in Juliet Marillier's Blackthorn and Grim series. This is series is set to the backdrop of Celtic Mythology, and medieval Ireland. Marillier once again weaves her story through several different narratives which gives readers more depth to the story. It also puts yourself in the other characters mindset. For those who may be interested in this series, this book picks up months after the ending of Dreamer's Pool.
In this installment, Blackthorn & Grim once again face a difficult & deadly challenge when Lady Geileis, a noblewoman from the north, requests Prince Oram's assistance in expelling a creature that has taken up residence in an old tower called the Tower of Thorns. Said creature has put a blight on the entire district, and the only person that is capable of solving this mystery, may be Blackthorn and Grim.
What's most curious about Lady Geileis arrival, is that comes on the heels of someone from Blackthorn's not so happy past. You know I have always stated that there is no such thing as coincidences. With Flannan's arrival, Blackthorn finds herself struggling with either staying with Lady Flidais, who is now pregnant, or traveling north and breaking her covenant with the Fey Conmael by crossing over the border and going after her nemesis Mathuin.
Blackthorn & Grim are two of the most broken characters that you will find. They both spent time as prisoner's of Mathuin of Laos who nearly broke the both of them before they escaped with the help of Conmael and his bargain with Blackthorn. While we had glimpses into Blackthorn's brutal past in the previous book, Grim's gets the attention this time out.
I absolutely love Grim. He's faithful & loyal. He's her guardian. He's her friend. He's really good with his hands even though some people may not take him serious because of his stature. But, after reading this book, I think that readers will open up even more to Grim. Grim reminds readers that the person on the outside, doesn't matter as long as that person is genuine and decent and caring.
"That's what is is to be a hero,' Riordan says. "It's fighting on even when you're hopelessly outnumbered. It's seeing your friends dying all around you, witnessing the most chocking cruelty you could imagine, and still finding the courage to to go on. It's going the very best you can."
Lady Geileis holds a whole lot of secrets, and they come together when she tells the story of a couple who found each other, and then were ripped apart by a jealous and overbearing Fey female. With the Lady being secretive with the facts that can help or hurt Blackthorn, I found myself biting my nails through the most trying scene in the entire novel.
Wrapping up this review, although I like Blackthorn, I really wish she would put her issues behind her before they come back and hurt someone she loves. Her desire for revenge has taken a whole lot of story line. So much so, that when someone comes along and claims they have a way to make it possible for her to get revenge on her nemesis, she makes wrong choices. This isn't the first time she's done so, but hopefully she'll learn quickly after this.