Review

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

den-of-wolvesHealer Blackthorn knows all too well the rules of her bond to the fey: seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good. But after the recent ordeal she and her companion, Grim, have suffered, she knows she cannot let go of her quest to bring justice to the man who ruined her life.

Despite her personal struggles, Blackthorn agrees to help the princess of Dalriada in taking care of a troubled young girl who has recently been brought to court, while Grim is sent to the girl’s home at Wolf Glen to aid her wealthy father with a strange task—repairing a broken-down house deep in the woods. It doesn’t take Grim long to realize that everything in Wolf Glen is not as it seems—the place is full of perilous secrets and deadly lies…

Back at Winterfalls, the evil touch of Blackthorn’s sworn enemy reopens old wounds and fuels her long-simmering passion for justice. With danger on two fronts, Blackthorn and Grim are faced with a heartbreaking choice—to stand once again by each other’s side or to fight their battles alone…

This novel works with two separate storylines.  First, it presents readers with the mystery of what happened at Wolf Glen.  While I liked this part of the tale, I did feel that it was a little predictable.  The major question of how the character of Barden fits into the story of Wolf Glen is something that readers can pick up on by the book’s halfway point.  I wouldn’t say that it ruins the story, though, because Marillier is deft at creating an atmosphere in which you still may know the endpoint, but you still want to see how events play out.  I was also a little unhappy to see that, just like in Tower of Thorns, Blackthorn and Grim almost immediately go to different tasks and don’t interact much throughout the book.

But then again, in the other storyline, Blackthorn and Grim’s relationship is dealt with and it explores what it means to really trust someone.  While I definitely enjoyed the mystery, I’ve always been drawn to the two main characters as my primary reason for reading.  I applaud the author for taking two people who are extremely broken by misuse and circumstance and showing how they can find a way not only to heal, but to open themselves up to other people again.  That’s why I was hoping they’d be together more during the story, because each has a significant role in helping the other to move past their demons.

Overall, I was very pleased with this novel.  I appreciate the complex characters, and the plot is subtle and twisty enough to keep you focused.  I was saddened to hear that this book will conclude the series, but I hold out hope that the author might return to this world in the future.

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

(Description nicked from Goodreads.com.)

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