To celebrate the end of a long foot-dragging week, I went on a book store shopping spree yesterday and blew all of my allowance (kidding… I wish I still had an allowance!) on a small horde of used books and graphic novels (yes, I am a nerd!). After eating yummy sushi dinner with my book-store co-denizens and watching a silly rom-com with gillybean, I poured myself a hot bath and settled down with one of my new books. I finished Heart’s Blood sometime around 4am but passed out with a cat on my chest before I could get around to writing a review. So here goes:
The book follows along the lines of Marillier’s earlier “Sevenwatters Trilogy”, one of my personal favourites in the fantasy/fairytale/romance genre. Without summarizing too much, the main character Caitrin is essentially ‘tasked’ with ending the curse on Anluan’s household (he is, obviously, the handsome but emotionally damaged Irish chieftain of her dreams). After some confusion, religious allegory, and miscommunication, the two stand protagonists work their sh*& out and fight off some big baddies (magic from the West and Normans from the East) together.
So, what did I think of the book? My biggest complaint is that I think the book would be better classed as young-adult fiction. It does not quite live up to the epic fantasy/romance of its predecessors and fails to resolve some of the most adult issues of its main characters. That being said, I read the book in a single night and can attest to the fact that the story line is gripping and sweeps you along (if still waters run deep, does it follow that swift waters run shallow?). Many of the characters were fun or credible but the main bad-guy (and no, I won’t tell you who it is) doesn’t seem that believable to me.
If you are looking for a quick read that is amusing, has a happy ending, and appeals to the sappy romantic in you, I recommend this book. If you want a fantastic fairytale adventure, I would point you in the direction of Marillier’s highly regarded 1999 book:
which I am now going to read again… because it is awesome… and it is reading week… and I need a break from reality before I get MRIed later today.