Friday, April 23, 2010

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: November 2009

Author Website: www.julietmarillier.com

First Line: “At a place where two tracks met, the carter brought his horse to a sudden halt.”

GoodReads Synopsis: This is a stunning gothic love story based on the legends of Beauty and the Beast. Whistling Tor is a place of secrets, a mysterious, wooded hill housing the crumbling fortress of 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.

Kathy’s Review: As soon as I heard that Juliet Marillier had written her own version of Beauty and the Beast I knew I had to read it. I admit I’ve had this one checked out from the library for quite awhile waiting for the right mood before I began. I think Marillier has a very unique way of writing; she is able to create a lot of atmosphere in her novels. She does go into a lot of detail and spends a lot of time on world building and character development. I think that is why I have to be in the right mood before reading one of her books.

While the book certainly reminded me of Beauty and the Beast, it also reminded me a lot of Jane Eyre. There are a lot of similarities to both stories, yet Marillier truly created a unique story that I think stood on its own. While the plot was somewhat similar to Jane Eyre, Marillier really creates her own magic and unusual characters. Caitrin was a unique heroine. I liked her, for the most part. I was of course sad by the physical abuse she suffered by her aunt and cousin, but she found the courage within herself to leave and find a better life. At times though, she seemed almost too hopeful, when something went wrong she would feel bad, but then quickly be hopeful and positive again. Which I guess isn’t a bad thing; at times I would have liked a little more anger or something. Anyway, as for Anluan. I did like him, I understand why he was negative and hard on himself. I liked to see the growth that he went through and the changes he made. To be honest though, I didn’t feel that much chemistry between the two. At times it felt more like good friends then romance. It seemed like the two were falling in love, but neither really showed it to the other. But, in the end I was happy with how everything turned out and felt they were right for each other. I admit I did a little self editing where his description was involved (I mean bright red hair and snow white skin…yikes!).

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I wouldn’t say it was my favorite Marillier book, but I still enjoyed it.

Content Warning: Caitrin has suffered emotional and physical abuse from her aunt and cousin and there is sexual content.

Bookworm Rating: 3.5

What is your favorite fairytale retelling?

2 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this review and I will have to pick this up in the near future. Your reference to Jane Eyre sealed the deal for me as Bronte's book is one of my all time favs. I am also a big fan of retellings. I love to see how authors take a fairytale and make it their own.

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  2. I too love a good re-telling story. I will have to think about this one. I think you are right, sometimes you just have to be in the mood. Hugs...

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