In Heart’s Blood, Whistling Tor is a place of secrets and mystery. Surrounded by a wooded hill, and unknown presences, the crumbling fortress is owned by a chieftain whose name is spoken throughout the district in tones of revulsion and bitterness. A curse lies over Anluan’s family and his people; those woods hold a perilous force whose every whisper threatens doom.
For young scribe Caitrin it is a safe haven. This place where nobody else is prepared to go seems exactly what she needs, for Caitrin is fleeing her own demons. As Caitrin comes to know Anluan and his home in more depth she realizes that it is only through her love and determination that the curse can be broken and Anluan and his people set free.
I’ve been a Juliet Marillier fan since the first time I read Daughter of the Forest, which was during high school. Juliet writes amazing characters in fictionalized Ireland, and finds her way into my heart almost every time. She pulls the right amount of fairy tale into her stylized reality, and makes you wish you could run away and live in these characters’ worlds.
Heart’s Blood is probably my favorite of her books, and I’ve read them all. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, set in a fictionalized Ireland. It deals with domestic abuse, gaslighting, murder and love. The romance in this book is the kind that sneaks up on you, and itself, and makes everything just a little more perfect in the end. The villain in this novel will confuse you and make you wonder how you never saw it, just like they did with the characters of this novel.
I adored all the characters – Rioghan and Eichri are roguish and fantastic, Magnus was the dose of normalcy that this desperately needed, and I loved seeing Anluan grow into himself throughout the novel. I fell in love with the setting, and the most minor things in the world.
My favorite part of this book, surprisingly, is the host. I won’t tell you a lot about them, but they were so intriguing to read about and to learn about. It’s a stand alone novel, and it should stay that way. This book wraps up perfectly for me, and it’s a five star read every single time I re-read it. You can purchase Heart’s Blood through Indiebound, Amazon or any other major book retailer. I highly recommend it.
Juliet Marillier was born July 27, 1948 in Dunedin, New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Juliet was educated at the University of Otago, where she majored in music and languages, graduating BA and a B Mus (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a major influence on her writing.
Juliet is the author of twenty historical fantasy novels for adults and young adults, as well as a book of short fiction. Juliet’s novels and short stories have won many awards.
Juliet lives in a 110 year old cottage in a riverside suburb of Perth, Western Australia. When not writing, she is active in animal rescue and has her own small pack of needy dogs. She also has four adult children and seven grandchildren. Juliet is a member of the druid order OBOD (the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.)
Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.