Thursday, January 21, 2016 18:47

Review 250. Juliet Marillier – Dreamer’s pool.

17305016Title: Dreamer’s pool.
Author: Juliet Marillier.
Pages: 434.
Published: November 4th 2014 by Roc Hardcover
Sort: Blackthorn & Grim #1.
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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.

Rating:

People who follow me for a long time might get tired of this, but I’m going to repeat it again: I love Marillier and she’s one of my favorite authors. Her books always have something magical to me and while this first book didn’t live up to Daughter of the forest, I really enjoyed it and I’m impatiently waiting for the sequels.

This book tells the story of three different point of views: Blackthorn, Grim and Oran. Their separate stories come together to craft an interesting plot that hold few surprising twists; but it managed to hook me to the story nevertheless.


Blackthorn and Grim share a prison. They are both captives for different reasons, but it is clear that Blackthorn is deeply traumatized and broken by something that happened in the past. She is out for revenge after she will be released, until she hears they are not planning to let her go. A mysterious guy offers her a way out. Desperately she takes his offer and conditions, which ends in her and Grim living in a small house tuck away in the forest in Dalriada.

This happens to be the place where Oran is going to live with his soon-to-be-bride. The naive boy has fallen in love with her kind words and portraits, but when they meet she is nothing like he imagined. He approaches Blackthorn and she finds out that something disturbing is going on with Flidais. I’m going to start right away with saying that Blackthorn isn’t the easiest character I’ve seen. Marillier’s other protagonists are much more likable, but slowly you get to see what Blackthorn had to suffer through and it made her actions understandable. She is afraid to let people close and it is hard to adapt to her new life while her rage is consuming her. I saw glimpses of a sweet personality that she hides underneath her harsh mask and I think we will see great development of her.

Grim’s POV felt a bit unnecessarily to me, but at the same time I loved the different writing-style Marillier used to give him his own voice. There is more to him than we’ve seen so far and I’m curious about his story. I feel his POV was mostly meant to show another side of Blackthorn, but I could have done without it. Oran wasn’t too bad. He already changed throughout the story and he has a good heart. I already saw the twist coming about what happened to his bride-to-be, but I was still impressed how it was handled.

Another thing I appreciated was the lack of romance for Blackthorn. Marillier always stays away from the typical love-triangles and insta-love. Instead, she creates a beautiful world and interesting characters. It is also clear Blackthorn isn’t ready for romance, so it’s good she doesn’t force it into the story as a cliché most YA books seems to fall for. If you have never read a book by this author before I suggest taking a look at her other work first. You could always take a look at my reviews for Heart’s blood and Wildwood dancing. I think this book will mostly be loved by firm Marillier fans.


“Letters tell the truths a person will not speak. They contain the deepest of feelings, the wisest of stories. Letters are powerful. They contain messages of hope, love, change.” 

author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

20 comments:

  1. I love love love how much you love this author Mel. <3 YAY :D And yaay for enjoying this book so much :) It seems pretty amazing. Maybe not for me, but I'm curious about it :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

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    1. I think her other books, like Heart's blood, would work better for you :)

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  2. I haven't read this one yet! But I do have a copy, so I know I will get to it eventually.

    I really like the sound of it, and from what I've read in your review I think I will end up really liking it ^.^

    One thing I love about Marillier's books are how well she does the romance. And even though this book doesn't have it, it seems like it suits the story much better anyway. And who knows? Maybe a gorgeous Marillier romance will pop up later in the series :D

    Lovely review as always, Mel! <3

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    1. I bet there will be some romance at some point ;) She is amazing at working a good love-interest into the storyline.

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  3. I found a copy of The Daughters of Forest recently. I can't wait to read it, If that's one of your favorite book.

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  4. OH MY. That cover, Mel. <3

    I haven't read any of Juliet Marillier's work *hangs head in shame* but this one sounds pretty enticing. The only reason I'm hesitant to pick up the books is because they are part of a series. *side-eyes all the unfinished series* Maybe I should start with Heart's Blood?

    Brilliantly reviewed, Mel. :)

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    1. I know, right? And the cover for the sequel is also stunning!

      I would recommend that :) or perhaps Wildwood dancing!

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  5. Daughter of the Forest is on my tbr shelf and I recently bumped it up to my wishlist so hopefully I'll get my hands on it soon. Though I do plan to start with that one, I still have added this one to my tbr shelf as well. I'm glad you enjoyed it too, despite it not quite delivering like Marillier's previous works. I will never, ever get tired of you gushing about your favorite authors Mel. Your passion for this author is one of the main reasons I added her to my reading list :)

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  6. How have I never heard of this book?? I feel like the author's name is familiar, but I know I've never read anything by her either. This definitely sounds like my kind of read though! I've been on a huge fantasy kick lately... Great review! :D

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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  7. I still have SO many Marillier books to read, and I swear I'm getting to most of them this year! (Or at least I plan to.) I love the sound of the story in Dreamer's Pool, and I can't wait to read it :)

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  8. WAIT WHATTTTT. how come have i never heard of this book? it looks like my type of read, now i know what to buy next month. the cover is also amazing, cant wait to get a copy soon omg. and god bless, no love triangles. sounds perfect.

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  9. I'm so glad you liked this! I haven't read any of Marillier's books but, um, this sounds amazing, so I'll have to take a look the next time I'm at the bookstore. Great review!

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  10. I have met the author but haven't had the chance to pick up any of her books, it sounds like this one would be a good place to start! I love how you talk about her ability to create a great world and focus on character development, that's always appreciated. Lovely review Mel!

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    1. Meeting the author *dreamy sigh* That would be amazing.

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  11. I really REALLY need to pick up a Juliet Marillier book soon. I actually own Dreamer's Pool and Wildwood Dancing by her for just haven't read them yet. So glad to hear that she's a favorite author of yours.

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  12. I haven't read anything by her...YET. BUT I WILL. And omg never apologise for plugging your favourite authors. XD That is me all. the. time. I feel like I mention Maggie Stiefvater at least once a week on my blog...hehe, no regrets. We fangirls MUST FANGIRL. XD

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  13. Really great review, Mel. I do think I will try my hand at reading Marillier's original books first because while I liked this one, it wasn't super special. And I think I would have liked it more had I been a firm fan of hers, like you say. I've noticed that about her romances though and I love that about them so much! No cliches here.

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    1. Yes, I think this book is best if you've read some other work from her before :)

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