cover image Dreamer’s Pool

Dreamer’s Pool

Juliet Marillier. Roc, $26.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-451-46699-0

Marillier (the Sevenwaters Series) opens the Blackthorn & Grim epic fantasy series by sweeping readers into a lavishly detailed world full of enchantments, devotion, heartache, and mystery. Blackthorn, an embittered wise woman, longs for vengeance against the wicked lord responsible for her grievous loss, her imprisonment, and her coming execution. Conmael, a handsome fey nobleman, offers her freedom if she will travel to Dalriada, provide healing help to all who ask, and forsake revenge for seven years. Blackthorn reluctantly accepts, undertaking the journey with her hulking devotee, Grim, who’d shared her captivity. She settles at Winterfalls, home of the humane Prince Oran of Dalriada, and eventually solves a tortuous magical puzzle for him. Marillier’s fascinating narrative, based loosely on Irish myth and centered on women’s empowerment, never slips into sentimentality or untoward sensuality, delivering a tasteful feast for the imagination. (Nov.)