Tag Archives: Pan Macmillan Australia

New Review: Den of Wolves (2016)


Juliet Marillier

Pan Macmillan Australia (2016)

ISBN: 9780451467034

Blackthorn & Grim #3

Blackthorn is under a geis of sorts to alway provide help when asked, a stricture that has become less difficult for her as we have followed her adventures during the preceding two books. So when the princess Flidais requests that Blackthorn help her with a young woman recently brought to court under unusual circumstances, it isn’t really a hardship. However, when Blackthorn’s companion Grim begins a huge job for the girl’s wealthy father, it soon becomes apparent that there are some very odd things happening. Strange enough to be dangerous to everyone involved, which Blackthorn and Grim cannot turn their backs on. And not only is there a weird and perilous mystery afoot, but Blackthorn’s old enemy Mathuin is also on the move, which terrifies and unsettles her beyond reason. The pair must for the first time fight separate battles – but will they be strong enough to overcome if they are not together?

I have absolutely adored this trilogy (if indeed a trilogy it is – I certainly wouldn’t be averse to more instalments…) and was thrilled when the author sent me an advance reading copy of this book. The world Blackthorn and Grim inhabit is fascinating, detailed and raw, with a rich tapestry of characters weaving their stories on the page. Marillier’s writing is sublime, a gorgeously captivating style that draws you in and simply won’t let you go. This has been one of my favourite fantasy series in a long time, and I will admit to more than once having to stop reading this final book to prolong the experience further (and wipe away tears – it’s that darn good!).

You really don’t need me to tell you how wonderful Juliet Marillier’s work is, with her apparently effortless manner of writing that builds on folklore with astonishingly good characterisation and subtle, clever plotting to create beautiful books. She is a stunningly good Australian writer with a well-deserved international reputation. If you haven’t read her work, the Blackthorn and Grim series is a highly recommended starting point, and you should go out and get your hands on them right now.

I previously reviewed Tower of Thorns

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New Review: Tower of Thorns (2015)

Juliet Marillier

Pan Macmillan Australia (2015)

ISBN: 9781743535448

Blackthorn & Grim #2

Healer Blackthorn and her companion Grim seek to help a noblewoman with an eerie problem. It is obvious there is more to Lady Geiléis’ story than first appears, but can Blackthorn overcome her need for vengeance of past wrongs to uncover the answer before it’s too late?

The second instalment of the Blackthorn and Grim series, this could certainly be read as a standalone. The two main characters continue to grow and address their turbulent pasts, but a reader new to the work would comfortably pick up the backstory, as Marillier does an excellent job of seeding relevant information along the way. The prickly Blackthorn and the taciturn Grim continue to fascinate, and learning about them through their actions and the events going on around them is delightful, if heart-wrenching.

Marillier has a gift for writing beautiful prose that makes you want to drown in the words. It’s lyrical and lovely, adding significantly to the feel of the world-building while never detracting from the action or indeed the characters, who are not always beautiful, but never dull.

Tower of Thorns ends wonderfully, a fully encapsulated story with a finite finish, leaving the reader desperate to read the next book, yet not completely bereft and left in limbo until then.


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