Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier is the second book in the fantasy series Blackthorn and Grim, though it could easily be read as a standalone (and then compel you to go get book one, Dreamer’s Pool, because it rocks!). I continue to absolutely adore this pair of prickly adventurers that are past their prime, but still helping the world when they are needed. The classic fairytale feel of Dreamer’s Pool is back, but with a whole new third character in case you weren’t a fan of Oran ;-).
Note: I listened to Tower of Thorns on audio. Listening to a book impacts my reading experience.
Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
Narrated by Natalie Gold, Nick Sullivan, Susannah Jones
(Blackthorn and Grim #2)
Published by Audible, Roc on Nov. 3rd, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 448 pages
Audio Length: 15 hrs and 59 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
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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.
- I like that each of the books of this series apparently is going to feature a new third perspective to tell the story of the mystery in addition to Blackthorn and Grim’s perspectives. I wasn’t a huge fan of Prince Oran’s character or narration in Dreamer’s Pool, so it was nice to meet a new character and a new narrator!
- Tower of Thorns focuses much more on Grim’s backstory, which is nice since it felt like we knew very little about him. I cried a lot….
- Spooky fae are cool, but adorable little fae folk are possibly better ;-). I enjoyed the appearance of a few of them and their interactions with our main characters since they saw the good in Grim right away!
- The narration of the audiobook is spectacular. I often complain about narrators not succeeding at the opposite gender voices, but all of these narrators do a great job. This is basically a perfect example of how to sound convincing as the opposite gender without being ridiculous, haha.
- I thought that I had figured out how things were going to go at the end there but wow was I wrong! I love how Marillier is still able to surprise me while keeping to a classic fairytale feel for her story.
- The mystery of the Tower of Thorns has a backstory that heavily relies on annoying insta-love. It makes some sense since fairytales generally do that, but it annoyed the crap out of me all the same.
- The plot of this story felt more simplistic than Dreamer’s Pool, or perhaps just more straightforward? There didn’t seem to be as many subplots that overlapped in interesting ways.
- There is definitely a romance brewing, which I guess I saw coming, but I’m still a bit sad that I can’t have just one series where the main characters are friends of opposite gender…. Maybe I can hold out hope?
Tower of Thorns is a great sequel that keeps things fresh with a new mystery for our fearless duo to solve, while sticking to that classic fairytale element that made Dreamer’s Pool so fascinating. I love these characters and loved getting to know them better, especially with great narrators on the audiobook. Can’t wait for book three!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.