I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Tower of Thorns (Blackthorn & Grim, #2) by Juliet Marillier
Series: Blackthorn & Grim #2
Published: November 3rd 2015 by Roc
Source: the publisher
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Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier is the second installment in Blackthorn & Grim, a fantasy series about a prickly young woman who is bent on vengeance against Malthuin, a powerful man who killed her family. She can’t execute her revenge because her very freedom from prison was purchased by a bargain with a fae named Conmael–she can’t seek her revenge for seven years, she has to stay in a specific region, and she has to answer any requests for help from the people she encounters. And so Blackthorn and her comrade Grim have carved out a suitable existence living in a cabin in the woods, where they have the time and space to heal and come to terms with their PTSD and other mental issues.
One day, Blackthorn receives a visitor who comes not with a direct request, but an unusual story. There’s a beast in a tower in her province whose screams drive people insane, and legend says that only a woman can break the spell. Blackthorn is intrigued, and she and Grim travel there to try to solve the mystery. Meanwhile, an old acquaintance from Blackthorn’s past gives her an opportunity to plot against Malthuin, and she is enthralled by his story and the chance to strike. But being a part of his plan would mean abandoning Grim, and it puts Blackthorn in a somewhat tricky position.
In the first book in the series, Blackthorn was my favorite, but in this book, Grim definitely stole the show. He’s portrayed as a gentle giant type of character, and people think he’s a bit slow. But at the same time, he has a quiet intelligence and perceptiveness that allows him to read between the lines and understand things that other people can’t. In Tower of Thorns, we finally begin to learn more of Grim’s mysterious past, and the man he used to be before he and Blackthorn met in prison. He had the most character development in this book, and I loved learning more about him. And of course, there’s still the promise of more secrets to unravel.
Marillier’s writing is enthralling. She weaves together her story, dropping hints that some characters know much more than they are letting on. Everyone has secrets, and answers are revealed over time to continually entice readers as we piece together the bigger picture. And while there were some moments where I wanted to kick characters for not seeing something that seemed obvious to me, or not fact-checking Geleis’ story in much more depth, I was willing to overlook those moments and suspend my disbelief.
This series is quite lovely, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.