While still reminiscing about Juliet Marillier's truly exquisite Sevenwaters series I discovered earlier this year, I was simply giddy to find in my hands another one of her works, Heart's Blood. I found myself sneaking bits and pieces between classes and then impatiently urging the day forward to night where I could finally, once again open the cover and loose myself in her writing.
Escaping a past full of demons and abuse, Caitrain clings to her fathers craft of scribing. Hoping her gender will be over looked Caitrain finds herself taking a job at the fabled Whistling Tor. Where the villagers curse and shun in fright the whole of Whisting Tor, Caitrain finds exactly what she's looking for.
The dark forest where the disquieted spirits of many roam, the odd household Whistling Tor employs and the frightening Lord Anluan that carries the curse bestowed upon his household and people for generations, would by all means be anyones keep away. But for Caitrin it is her safeguard. The safeguard keeping the very real demons of her past out.
To say this was a good read would be an understatement. There is something so sweet and unrefined, so raw about Juliet Marillier's writing. She creates her characters with such art and dimension they become real and tangible, even her secondary characters are complex and well defined. While this isn't the closest retelling of Beauty and the Beast, indeed I didn't even know it was one until I read some reviews on it, (and I kind of like to think of it as it's own story) it still embodies the same wonderment and magic a fairytale does.
Sucking me in from page one I was tossed and turned by the story Ms Marillier created. I loved all the characters, even the secondary ones. Caitrin was strong and smart. She struggled, she overcame, she failed, and tried again. She was everything I loved in a heroine. The household of Whistling Tor was one of my favorite. Their stories, their history, the lives they took on were each of interest to me. Marillier's writing always holds such depth and history mixed with just the right amount of fiction. She does this so artfully time and time again, the lines between actual history and fictional history blur.
While my favorite of hers belongs to her Sevenwaters series, Heart's Blood will always have a special place on my shelf, and heart. Indeed anything from Ms. Marillier will.
. . . . . And here is where I would put an excerpt. But being so eager to pass on this goodness I unwittingly lent it out before I could write a passage down. So until the book returns. . .
Escape through the pages
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