09 December 2009

Heart’s Blood

by Juliet Marillier

Pan Macmillan. Australian, Romance, History, Mystery, Fantasy. Paperback rrp $32.99

A few months after her father’s death, Caitrin, daughter of Berach, is fleeing from the family home in Market Cross. Her mother died years before and her sister has married a wandering minstrel and left to be with her new husband. Distant kin have moved in and they torment Caitrin, depleting her strength with fists and words. Anything is better than staying in her home.

Caitrin travels as far away as possible to the strange fortress of Whistling Tor and its even stranger chieftain, Anluan. Despite villagers warning of the disappearances of local folk, the ghostly beings that surround the forests of the Tor and the odd assortment of staff who serve Whistling Tor, Caitrin accepts a position for the summer to translate and scribe the unusual books that are Anluan’s history.

While getting back her self esteem and letting her body heal from the wounds of her kin, Caitrin realises that Whistling Tor and its occupants are not as they seem. What is the Host and who controls it? Is Caitrin the only one who can save the lost souls of the Host? And what is the dark and powerful force that tries to stop Caitrin and Anluan from finding the answers?

This is a tale that has been referred to as the re-telling of the classic tale Beauty and the Beast - it contains the same elements and characters but is more dark and oppressive. At the same time it is still a wonderful story of sorcery, deception, curses, challenges, ghosts and love. I didn’t want it to end.

Juliet Marillier’s Heir to Sevenwaters was reviewed by the Reading Stack in Issue 15.


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