Friday Faves: Blackthorn & Grim Series by Juliet Marillier

Friday Faves: Blackthorn & Grim Series by Juliet Marillier

Dreamer's Pool

The Blackthorn & Grim Series - Book 1
by Juliet Marillier
Genre: Fantasy
Print Length: 466 pages
Publication Date: November 4, 2014

What if you were locked up awaiting execution and a stranger offered you a bargain that would set you free? What if accepting bound you to certain rules of behaviour for seven years, rules you knew you were likely to break within days? And what if the penalty for breaking them was to find yourself back where you started, eaten up with bitterness and waiting to die?

Blackthorn chooses life, even though she must promise not to seek vengeance against her arch-enemy, Lord Mathuin. In company with a cell-mate, the hulking, silent Grim, the one-time healer and wise woman flees north to Winterfalls, where she settles on the fringe of the mysterious Dreamer’s Wood. Blackthorn has promised her benefactor, the fey nobleman Conmael, that she will use her gifts only for good. But she and Grim are both scarred by the past, and the embittered healer finds her promise increasingly hard to keep.

At Winterfalls, Prince Oran of Dalriada has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of his bride, Lady Flidais. Her portrait and letters have convinced him she is his perfect match. But letters can lie, and Oran finds himself trapped in an untenable situation. When he asks Blackthorn and Grim for help, they are swept up in a mystery that will require all their resources to solve: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and a readiness to accept the uncanny. Hardest of all will be grappling with their own demons. 

The Blackthorn & Grim books are set in early medieval Ireland. They are for adult readers.


Tower of Thorns

The Blackthorn & Grim Series - Book 2
by Juliet Marillier
Genre: Fantasy
Print Length: 439 pages
Publication Date: November 3, 2015

After the strange events of last autumn, healer Blackthorn and her companion Grim have settled back into their everyday life at Winterfalls. But trouble has a way of seeking these two out.

Lady Geiléis of Bann, a noblewoman from the western border, petitions Prince Oran for help. A creature has taken up residence in an old tower on her land. Its constant howling scrambles the thoughts and threatens the sanity of all who live nearby. With the tower situated on an island in the river and surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns, there is no easy solution. The prince asks Blackthorn for advice.

Blackthorn is reluctant to offer practical assistance, since travel to the border could be dangerous for her. But the unexpected arrival of an old friend changes her mind. In company with the scholar Flannan, Blackthorn and Grim accompany Lady Geiléis to Bann.

At the Tower of Thorns, Blackthorn and Grim find a puzzle with many parts. It seems the story Geiléis has told them may not be the whole truth. But the local people are curiously reluctant to talk. While Blackthorn wrestles with the personal dilemma Flannan has brought with him, Grim finds himself face to face with the demons of the past. As they start to put the pieces together, the quest becomes a life and death struggle – a struggle in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.

Den of Wolves

The Blackthorn & Grim Series - Book 3
by Juliet Marillier
Genre: Fantasy
Print Length: 445 pages
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

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.

About Juliet Marillier

Juliet has been a full-time writer for about twelve years, after working as a music teacher and public servant. She was born in Dunedin, New Zealand – the most Scottish city outside Scotland itself – but now lives in Western Australia. Juliet’s novels combine historical fiction, folkloric fantasy, romance and family drama. The strong elements of history and folklore in her work reflect her lifelong interest in both fields. However, her stories focus above all on human relationships and the personal journeys of the characters.

Juliet is currently working on the Blackthorn & Grim series of historical fantasy/mysteries for adult readers. Her earlier books include the Sevenwaters series, set in early medieval Ireland, the Viking Duology Saga of the Light Isles, the Bridei Chronicles, set in the kingdom of the Picts, and two series for young adults, the Wildwood books and the Shadowfell books. She has also written a stand-alone novel, Heart’s Blood, based on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, and a collection of short fiction, Prickle Moon.

Juliet has won many awards for her writing, including five Aurealis Awards and four Sir Julius Vogel Awards, as well as the American Library Association’s Alex Award and the Prix Imaginales.

She is active in her local writing community, mentoring aspiring writers, giving workshops, and serving on the Literary Board of the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre. She is a regular contributor to genre writing blog Writer Unboxed.

Juliet is a member of the druid order OBOD (The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids) and her spiritual values are often reflected in her work – the human characters’ relationship with the natural world plays a significant part, as does the power of storytelling to teach and to heal.

When not writing, Juliet is active in the field of animal rescue, and she shares her home with a small pack of rescue dogs. She has four adult children and seven grandchildren.


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