Juliet Marillier is one of the authors that as soon as I hear she has a new book out I immediately buy it. This new series of her though, I have to admit that I’m not 100% sold on.
The Tower of Thorns is book two in the Blackthorn and Grim series, and the series in general is a study/long discussion on the effects of PTSD and how people can deal with it. That in and of itself makes these books interesting because these characters have suffered greatly and what they’re going through and how they’re working on recovering – you can only have sympathy for them, and cheer them on. I don’t know how I would continue on if I suffered what they had suffered.
However, before we go on, here is the book description from Goodreads:
Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.
Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.
As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.
I enjoyed the first book in this series, but this book, I didn’t really like. I thought that the pacing was really slow for what actually ended up happening. There was a lot of hype, and a lot of things that were drawn out that really didn’t need to be. I had a super hard time getting into it, and then staying in it.
One of the characters you know from the get go isn’t up to any good. And so, when her chapters come around, you already don’t trust what she says, and so her chapters just seem like dead weight, and something to get through because it comes across as an incredibly super handed diversion tactic on behalf of the author.
I also have to admit that I didn’t like Blackthorn in this book. I loved Grim, he’s just amazing, but Blackthorn is selfish, and rather uncaring until her guilty conscious kicks her in the ass. I recognize that part of the reason – most of the reason – she’s like this is because of her PTSD, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her. Nor does it make the book easier to read.
Anyway, this book was okay, not great or amazing (first one was better) and for what the storyline was and the big crux of the book, it could have been easily 200 pages shorter.