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Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

Heart's BloodCaitrin is running away. With only limited financial means, a change of clothes, and the precious instruments and materials she uses as a scribe—and a past she needs to escape—Caitrin only hopes she’ll be able to find a comfortable place to stay where she can use her skills to provide for herself. Chance leads her to the fortress of Whistling Tor’s chieftain, a man diminished by the crippling effects of a childhood illness and haunted by the evil actions of his ancestors, a man nearly hated by the people he governs. Anluan, the chieftain, hires Caitrin to translate and sort through various family documents. Caitrin stays on despite the strange and dangerous beings that inhabit the surrounding forest and being encouraged to leave by another member of the household. As Caitrin’s work takes her deeper into Anluan’s family’s past, she pieces together the extent of the curse over Whistling Tor. And as her cautious relationship with Anluan turns into something more, Caitrin vows to find a way to reverse the evil sorcery before it destroys them all.

Heart’s Blood is several hundred pages of purely enjoyable fantasy. I was so absorbed in this story, in its characters, the magic, and both physical and emotional trials, that I just could not set it down. It’s easy to tell how much care was put into every chapter, and it clearly paid off with spectacular results. Each main character, especially Caitrin and Anluan, is complex, developed, and believable due to adequate insight into their pasts, thoughts, and innermost emotions. I really felt I got to know these characters, which increased my invested interest in this tale. The rest is pretty much creative and well written fantasy plot with plenty of action, danger, mystical occurrences, and romance to keep even the pickiest reader satisfied. Caitrin and Anluan’s relationship in fact is one of the most swooningly romantic I’ve ever read. I don’t know if Heart’s Blood is classified as adult or young adult fiction, and frankly, I don’t care; this addicting and fantastically written novel will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Heart’s Blood will be enjoyed by fans of good fantasy, including those who liked the Ancient Mirrors series by Jayel Gibson, Fire by Kristin Cashore, and Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. I eagerly look forward to reading more of Marillier’s fantasies.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from publisher Penguin

1 munch(es) :

Chelle said...

I loved this one, too. And I just wanted to comment to say that if you haven't read Marillier's CYBELE'S SECRET, do! It's sooo very good!

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