Review: Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier
Series: Blackthorn & Grim #3
Also by this author: Dreamer's Pool
on November 1st 2016
Also in this series: Dreamer's Pool
The “powerful and emotionally-charged” fantasy series from the author of the Sevenwaters novels continues, as Blackthorn and Grim face haunting secrets and old adversaries...
Feather bright and feather fine, None shall harm this child of mine...
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 justice to the man who ruined her life.
Despite her personal struggles, Blackthorn agrees to help the princess of Dalriada in taking care of a troubled young girl who has recently been brought to court, while Grim is sent to the girl’s home at Wolf Glen to aid her wealthy father with a strange task—repairing 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 by each other’s side or to fight their battles alone...
Den of Wolves was a wonderful conclusion to the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy. If you read the first two, you can expect more of Marillier’s fluid prose, that quickly brings emotional connections to characters in a way that just feels simple and natural. The style of her writing just flows, and I honestly can’t pinpoint how it works so much better than other authors, but the end result is characters and events just feel like an honest folktale, and as I reader, I find myself engaged immediately.
In this book, we have a new character and plot that is central, and again, Blackthorn and Grim have their developing story ongoing as well. They have established a life in Winterfalls, Blackthorn treating people as a wise woman, Grim doing whatever needs doing, odd jobs, etc. A young girl, Cara, is sent to court and the princess of Dalriada requests Blackthorn to help the girl who has lived a rather simple and isolated life. At the same time, Grim is given a job to help build a structure for the girl’s father. It’s a very odd job in that the father requests secrecy about it and lays down many rules for Grim regarding not just how to build it, but also keeping everything about it private. Of course, this instantly raises a thousand questions as to the nature of the building, as well as about the one person he has employed who knows how to build it.
Now, I have to say, I don’t always like to pick favorites, but if I were pressed, I would have to admit that I don’t think this is my favorite of the series. There were certain things that just felt quite predictable, which isn’t necessarily bad, but does break suspense a bit, and also can be frustrating when the characters can’t see it coming. But its not a real complaint, just something that maybe makes me rate it slightly below the other two in the series. I felt like there was supposed to be some level of mystery around Cara, but I also felt like it was presented in a way that lead me to believe it should have been more of a mystery than I felt it was. Nothing that is much of a problem, just a nit-pick really. And partially since I felt like this was not as mysterious as I wanted it to be, I am hesitant to give any details in my review (for fear of further breaking any suspense/mystery).
Overall, though, this was a wonderful and enjoyable read with an ending that is incredibly well done. So, even if I nit-pick a tiny bit, I still highly recommend this book and series. I mean, it’s Blackthorn and Grim, how could I not. Reading these stories is just a joy.
And while this is the final ending of the trilogy with a nice clean ending, I heard a rumor there are plans for more Blackthorn & Grim books, which makes me very happy! I will always look forward to reading more about these two complex characters that manage to find goodness and hope despite being somewhat broken. It is hard to not feel good after reading their story.
Again, these are some of my favorite audiobooks. The narrators just absolutely nail the characters’ personalities and the general atmosphere of the story. Highly recommend the format for those that look for audiobooks.