Blackthorn and Grim are dying slowly, tortuously, in a dungeon of the foulest ruler of their lands. When Blackthorn is given an unexpected opportunity to change her situation, she finds herself being forced into a life-path she never expected to take.
With two highly flawed protagonists and a raw, gritty storyline, this new offering from Marillier is suited to the young adult and adult readers. It was a fresh breath of air in the other more childish novels I have been reading lately. Just what I wanted.
I empathized strongly with Blackthorn, although others might find her prickly personality off putting. Her life circumstances seem quite unique, but only in that she is not afraid of stating her opinion (or dying by it). Her role as the healer of the town reminded me of the Owlflight novels by Mercedes Lackey, and the empathetic healer in that.
The ending came as a surprise. Why did no-one ever consider the number of people in each pool incident? The build up of information, if you weren’t familiar with storytale endings, would lead the reader onwards. There’s also some coy links with her other novels, including the Sevenwaters series (one of the first reviews I ever wrote – be gentle!).
I loved that there was more than one climax. Although we all wondered about the Prince’s happiness, it was good to see Blackthorn still defending others and taking her own path. And Grim defending others at the same time as protecting Blackthorn (which he has decided is his goal in life).
I wish I knew more about Grim. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone will want to know about Grim, whether they are a character in the same book, or someone reading it! He’s such a dark persona, and although his perspective is provided intermittently, it’s not really clear what is going on inside his head.
I read the first part of this book, and really regretted having to put it down. When I got a couple of free hours, I polished it off and was devastated that I had finished it so quickly. Thank goodness there are two more books planned in this series. I don’t know what they will cover, as surely nothing more can happen in this tiny community?!? I look forward to reading them soon, as Marillier often has a good publishing schedule going on.
I was provided this book in return for a honest review. I would have bought the book regardless of whether it had been provided, because I love this author’s works on their own standing. It will be released to the general public in Australia on 1st October 2014.
UPDATE: I have been informed that there is an Audible copy of Dreamer’s Pool. I’ve gotten pretty excited about talking books in the past, and this one is no exception. Here’s a link to the SoundCloud preview.