Review by Riley
Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.
Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.
As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.
Review of Tower of Thorns
The best part of Tower of Thorns is the great leading characters. I really like Blackthorn. She is smart, tough, emotional, not young, and very, very flawed. I love Grim, who desperately loves Blackthorn even more that he realizes. I appreciate that Grim is much smarter that people give him credit for. As a pair, Blackthorn and Grim are underestimated and therefore, the best at solving mysteries.
In Tower of Thorns, the mystery is the tower itself. And the creature in the tower. Blackthorn sets out to determine how to break the curse. Breaking the curse should appease the creature and bring peace to the land. Blackthorn tries to unravel what everyone in the district, including some taciturn fae, have told her (or not told her) about the legend associated with the tower. Meanwhile, Grim watches from the background in his own unassuming way, collecting his own important clues. This unlikely partnership is currently my favorite pair of fictional detectives.
Even though I absolutely knew that there was information being withheld and Blackthorn did not have all the details; even though I was expecting a horrible realization when the truth was revealed; there was an audible gasp from me the moment that it happened. I LOVE surprises.
The three-narrator audiobook version makes the story even more amazing. With separate narrators (Natalie Gold, Nick Sullivan and Susannah Jones) for three different points of view – Blackthorn, Grim and Geiléis, the story comes alive and is very difficult to turn off.
Juliett Marillier is an amazing storyteller. The Blackthorn & Grim series has truly captured my imagination. Tower of Thorns is for the person who enjoys characters with depth, a multi-faceted story with surprises and a very satisfying ending.
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