cover image Den of Wolves

Den of Wolves

Juliet Marillier. Roc, $27 (448p) ISBN 978-0-451-46703-4

Marillier’s superb Blackthorn & Grim fantasy series (Tower of Thorns), set in the ancient Irish kingdom of Dalriada on the edge of mystical and dangerous Dreamer’s Wood, continues with another tasteful combination of a mysterious task and an unusually tender romance. The wealthy master of Wolf Glen inexplicably sends his teen daughter, Cara, to Prince Oran’s seat at Winterfalls while he employs Grim, the stalwart companion of healer and wise woman Blackthorn, to build a heartwood house to bring him luck. Blackthorn, who’s under fey bond to assist anyone who needs her help, first smoulders with vengeful fury against the cruel king, who killed her husband and child and savagely imprisoned her and Grim, but gradually she realizes the depth and worth of human love and compassion. Marillier’s evocative, poetic prose, coupled with her finely crafted delineation of personality in even the most minor of her characters, makes this a thoroughly convincing and touching journey into her mystical, imaginative world. (Nov.)