Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#Review - Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier #Fantasy #Historical @AceRocBooks

Series: Blackthorn & Grim # 3
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: ROC
Source: Publisher
Genre: Fantasy

Healer Blackthorn knows all too well the rules of her bond to the fey: seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good. But after the recent ordeal she and her companion, Grim, have suffered, she knows she cannot let go of her quest to bring to justice the man who ruined her life.

Despite her personal struggles, Blackthorn agrees to help Lady Flidais take care of a troubled young girl, Cara, while Grim is sent to Cara’s home at Wolf Glen to aid her wealthy father with a strange task—rebuilding a broken-down house deep in the woods. It doesn’t take Grim long to realize that everything in Wolf Glen is not as it seems—the place is full of perilous secrets and deadly lies…

Back at Winterfalls, the evil touch of Blackthorn’s sworn enemy reopens old wounds and fuels her long-simmering passion for justice. With danger on two fronts, Blackthorn and Grim are faced with a heartbreaking choice—to stand once again side by side or to fight their battles alone.

Den of Wolves is the third installment in author Juliet Marillier's Blackthorn and Grim series. It is a series that is set in medieval Ireland. Healer/Wise woman Blackthorn and her trusty companion Grim have made a life at Winterfalls since arriving 2 years ago. They've become a focal points for those who need help with ailments, or those who need Grim's help in various jobs. Blackthorn has an apprentice healer (Emer) that she's trying to guide, and even though she's slipped once, or twice, she's worked hard not to violate her agreement with Fae Lord Conmael who helped her, and Grim escape a brutal prison where they would have died. 

A seven year contract binds Blackthorn's actions in gaining revenge on the man, Lord Mathuin, who destroyed her life, and took everything that mattered from her. Blackthorn promised Conmael that she will use her skills for good only. That she won't try to run away and find Mathuin. That she will not refuse to help anyone who needs her help. She and Grim have dealt with the unusual in Dreamer's Pool, and Tower of Thorns Grim did something remarkably unselfish to save Blackthorn from losing herself.

In Den of Wolves, we meet new characters in Bardan, and 15-year old Cara who truly steals the show. Blackthorn and Grim finds themselves going in different directions in this book. But, no worries. By the time you reach the final stretch, you will love how much these two genuinely care for each other. Grim is hired for a job in Wolf Glen to build a special heartwood house that is said to bring the owner good luck. Here, Grim meets the Wild Man known as Bardan and some deep, dark secrets. Bardan looks wild, talks strangely, and his hands are so badly broken that he is of no real use except to teach Grim how to build the home.

Meanwhile, Blackthorn continues her tutelage of Emer, while also coming across Cara who is a bit of an odd duck, in a fun way. Cara is sent to spend time with Blackthorn, and things get pretty interesting. Cara has a calling of sorts. She has a connection with the woods. She has a connection to birds. She becomes something of an interesting challenge for Blackthorn to try to get through while also attempting to understand what makes her so special. Cara has no use of learning comportment, or social graces when she is more herself in the woods, than around stuffy royalty. 

Den of Wolves is told in alternating narratives by Bardan, Cara, Blackthorn, and Grim. I love Blackthorn and Grim. I love that they will do anything to save the other from being harmed. I love that Blackthorn is rather blunt, but loyal to all those that she's come to meet like Prince Oran, Lady Flidais, Emer, and others she's helped along the way. I love that Grim, while a big man, has a heart of gold, and cares so much for Blackthorn, that sometimes it hurts to read about his feelings. 

Grim is a character who we've learned so much about over the past 2 books, and he continues to grow while helping out Bardan who was lost for 15 years. The only complaint I had was how the last chapters played out. I do wish that we would have had more time for it to play out, especially since Blackthorn and Grim have spent so much time on the issue. Loved the addition of the Swan Island Warriors. Definitely some characters who you don't want to mess with.  I am unsure whether or not this is the final installment in the series. I have heard that it was a planned trilogy, but I am hopeful that maybe there will be more in the near future

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