The Well of Shades
Faolan must return to his homeland and face his history. He encounters many obstacles, including one who may be more than she sees. Not all is right at home either, with Bridei’s court in disarray with the arrival of a new Light Isles Princess.
It’s amazing to witness the character development of Faolan in this novel. What was begun in Blade of Fortriu is lead to a stunning conclusion here. Faolan becomes more and more likeable for me, and a better person all around.
There are plenty of narrative threads in this novel, and plenty of action. Sure, there’s less warmongering than in the others in this trilogy but the people element is strong and carries the book well.
I can’t think of enough praise for this novel. I was desperate to finish reading it, but was very sad when I had done so. Marillier writes such great fantasy that if she was a touch more prolific she might be my favourite author of all time!
It seems to me that the 4th book in this series, as yet unpublished (and possibly not to be written) would do a good job of rounding up some open ends. In particular, the influx of the Christian faith is only briefly mentioned, and more could have been made of its inevitable progress.