Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dreamer's Pool (A Blackthorn and Grim Novel) by Juliet Marillier | Fantasy Book Review

Mulluane | Tuesday, November 04, 2014 | 6 Comments so far

Release Day Review!

Award-winning author Juliet Marillier “weaves magic, mythology, and folklore into every sentence on the page” (The Book Smugglers). Now she begins an all-new and enchanting series that will transport readers to a magical vision of ancient Ireland….

In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.

With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.

*Blurb source* Penguin/Roc
Blurb might contain spoilers, toggle to view.
( Toggle may not function in email and some feed readers.)

Historical Fantasy Book Review of Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier, A Blackthorn and Grim Novel

| Source: Publisher
| Author: Juliet Marillier
| Series: A Blackthorn and Grim Novel (Book 1)
| Genre: Historical Fantasy
| Content: Irish Lore, Mystery, Romance
| ISBN-10: 0451466993
| ISBN-13: 9780451466990
| Publisher: Roc Hardcover (November 4, 2014)
| Paperback: 448 pages
| Rating: 5/5 Stars
| Excerpt
| Affiliate Links:
Book Depository Affiliate LinkKindle Affiliate LinkBooksAMillion Affiliate LinkAmazon Affiliate LinkAbebooks affiliate linkAudible Affiliate Link
Add to Goodreads Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn and Grim, #1)

♥ Mini Review ♥

Fairy tale elements fill this book in a magical adventure involving both mystery and romance. Beautifully written, flawlessly paced, this book will transport you to an ancient Ireland where myth and magic lurk in the shadows. Reader beware lest you too fall under this book's powerful spell.

Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

♦ The Story. This tale is told from three POVs. (Points of View.) First is Blackthorn, a disillusioned healer who lives for the day that she can exact revenge against an evil overlord. Next is Grim, her unstable former prison mate. He has some serious demons of his own to battle, a battle that is made easier by doing something useful. With that in mind, he makes guarding Blackthorn his new mission in life, without any regard for her feelings about the matter. The third orator is Oran, a handsome, gentle and compassionate prince. Oran will face mystery, uncertainty and impossible choices and only Blackthorn and Grim can unravel the clues to solving the prince's dilemma. But, there is a problem. Getting involved in royal intrigues is the last thing Blackthorn and Grim want to do. 

Will Blackthorn's promise, to the mysterious elf who facilitated her escape from prison, force her to get involved? Well you'll just have to read the book and find out!

♦ What I Liked. Flawed characters, fairy tale magic, an intriguing mystery and a Prince Charming who was actually quite charming. What is not to love? This is one of those books that I tore through in record time. 

I enjoyed the flow of the three POVs. The switches always felt natural and well timed. Blackthorn and Grim may be partners of a sort, but they live separate lives. Blackthorn, being a healer and very much a hermit, usually stays close to home. Grim, who is beset by voices in his head, finds that keeping busy is key to retaining what sanity he has left. So he finds odd jobs here and there and stays away from home most of the day. Since the two of them encounter different situations, by switching POVs we get to experience a wider picture of the evolving story.

Oran however, starts off living a completely different story, but it eventually becomes intertwined with the lives of Blackthorn and Grim. It is beautifully integrated and a joy to read. Far too many times I've read books where multiple POVs made me skip ahead because I cared more for one person's story than I did another's. In this book that was never the case because it is all basically the same story, but told from different perspectives. No narrator was more - or less - important than any other and each moved the story forward.

I also loved the fact that the book had a conclusive ending. That doesn't take away from the fact that obviously there is more to the story of Blackthorn and Grim, which I am eagerly looking forward to reading, but I love a book with a solid conclusion instead of a blatant cliffhanger.

♦ What I Didn't Like. I hated running out of pages to read. I wanted more. Much more. This book is a prime example of why I usually wait until a series is complete before I read it. I want the next book NOW! 

♦ Conclusion. Irish folklore, reluctant heroes, smooth storytelling and a satisfying ending made this book one of the best I've read this year. I will eagerly wait for more stories of Blackthorn and Grim.

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Librarything 0 / 5

Amazon: 0/5
(0 customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Dreamer's Pool: A Blackthorn and Grim Novel

Audible: Click Here!

Buy Book: Books-A-Million ~ AbeBooks.com

Book Depository

Amazon: US ~ UK ~ Canada
About the Author:
Juliet Marillier and Harry. Source: http://www.julietmarillier.com/juliet/
Photo Source:
Juliet Marillier (birth name, Juliet Scott) was born on July 27, 1948 in Dunedin, New Zealand. Her family originally came from Scotland and Ireland. Juliet was educated at Arthur Street Primary and Otago Girls’ High School. She later attended Otago University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree with first class honours, and a Bachelor of Arts in languages. Juliet was a Canadian Commonwealth Scholar in 1971-2, studying music at the University of Toronto. (Read More)

Juliet Marillier on the Web: Facebook ~ Website ~ Goodreads
Already read the book? Please share your own opinion!

Fantasy Book Review of Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier, A Blackthorn and Grim Novel
Reviewed by Mulluane on November 04, 2014
Rating: 5 of 5

Mulluane is a 55-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest
Dragons, Heroes and Wizards


  1. Multiple POVs and flawed characters? This is exactly MY kind of book!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. I honestly couldn't find anything not to like which is unusual. Normally I can find something, even if it is something I think other readers won't enjoy. For example, some people hate multiple POVs, but these were so seamless, and so distinct in individuality, I think many of those folks will enjoy them anyway.

      This was the book I've been looking for. Dark but not too dark. Traditional folklore with a unique voice. Easy to read, hard to put down. I could easily go on...

      Sharing was my pleasure!

    2. Agree, so little not to like. A bit of fairy tale convenience in bringing the stories together but that is expected and not a drag at all.

    3. True! I enjoyed the fairy tale vibe. The way she pulled off the mix of modern day grim and ancient fairy tale based lore and made it so enjoyable, is a feat of pure genius.

      (I just know she was laughing when she named one of her main protagonists "Grim.")

  2. Yey! I love flawed characters sooooooooo much and magic of the crazy awesome kind? :D I just started the audio which has a narrator for each PoV so I'm super pumped :D

    1. Now this is going to be one review I watch for like a hawk!


I LOVE comments. Thanks for leaving your thoughts!

Love Fantasy? Enjoy Quotes? Book Reviews? Interviews? Lists?
Come Join In The Fun!
Please enter your email address to have our bats deliver great new content straight into your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner