Saturday, April 23, 2011

Week 16 Reviews: The Dark Mirror, Blade of Fortrui, The Well of Shades

From Goodreads:
Bridei is a young nobleman, a fosterling of one of the most powerful druids in the land, Broichan. All of Bridei's earliest memories are of this dark and mysterious man he trusts above all others. Broichan seems to have plans for Bridei, seems to be training him for a special purpose the older man will not divulge.

One bitter Midwinter's Eve, everything changes when Bridei finds a child on their doorstep - a child abandoned by the Fair Folk.

It is the height of ill fortune to have truck with the Fair Folk, and all in the area counsel the babe's death. But Bridei sees an old and precious magic at work and, heedless of the danger, fights to save the child. Broichan is wary but relents, for Bridei must grow to be his own man and make his own decisions.

As Bridei comes to manhood, he watches the shy girl Tuala blossom into a beautiful woman, and feels things he didn't know were possible.

Broichan sees the same process and feels only danger, for Tuala could be a key part in Bridei's future...or could spell his doom.

From Goodreads:
The kingdom of Fortriu has enjoyed five years of peace since Bridei came to the throne. Now the king is preparing for the long-awaited war that he hopes will see the Gaelic invaders driven from the west forever.

The princess Ana, a hostage of Fortriu since childhood, is sent north to make a strategic marriage with a chieftain she has never met - and with it gain an ally on whom Bridei's victory relies. Her escort is led by a man she despises: the enigmatic Faolan, Bridei's assassin and spy.

The expedition is ill-fated, and when Ana arrives at the chieftain Alpin's stronghold in the mysterious Briar Wood, she is uneasy. This is a place full of secrets. When Ana discovers a prisoner kept in the bleakest of confinement, she is met with a conspiracy of silence. Faolan, tortured by an impossible love, walks a delicate path between loyalty and betrayal.

Bridei's forces march into battle. But it is revealed to those left behind that their king heads not only towards defeat but certain death. There is only one messenger who can reach him in time, but to enlist his services will endanger what has become dearest to Ana's heart ...

From Goodreads:
King Bridei is a man with a mission. His wish to unite his kingdom seems almost within his grasp but there are forces working to undo his dream. He sends Faolan, his most trusted advisor (who is also a master assassin and spymaster) out into the world to ferret out the truth of who is friend and who is foe.

Along the way Faolan will uncover many truths. Some may hold the key to Bridei's future. But more important, they may unlock the secrets that Faolan has held deep within his soul for decades. And offer him the chance of redemption.

My Review:
This trio of books, between them, have over 1000 pages. Plus, 2 of the 3 that I have are in hard cover, with small print. So that's why there isn't as many books being reviewed as last week.

The first book, was mainly about Bridei and Tuala, and them growing up. At the beginning, it was an almost, "what is going to happen" sort of book, where you want to keep reading, but a sense that you know what was going to happen.

I liked Bridei and Tuala, and I didn't really like Broichan, since he wasn't very nice to Tuala, because he thought she was going to take Bridei off his path to become the king that Broichan was shaping him to be.

The ending, well, I liked it, and it was really dramatic.

The next book takes place about 5 years afterwards, and it was nice that the point of view went between Ana, Faolan, Tuala, and Bridei. They all had their part to play in the book and I really enjoyed it.

I especially felt for Ana, she was being sent to an arranged marrige to sign a treaty, and her to-be-husband wasn't a pleasant fellow. In fact, he was the bad guy for Ana, Drustan, and Faolan's part of the book.

It was a really good book.

Last but not least, The Well of Shades. We are given a story that really strikes at the heart-and this is not graphic, but a horrible act, the rape of a 12 year old girl, who gave birth at 13. You really feel for Eile, becuase she has had one of the worst possible lives, between her uncle, and her dad leaving, though she had some good parts in Faolan and from before her dad went to prison.

There is a bit of conflict from all sides, conflict that's been growing through the first 2 books, and reaches a head here in the last book. You just have to hope that Bridei can finish what he started, and that he doesn't fall under the pressure, because, man is there pressure! His wife just gave birth, he has a 2 year old son that turned his friends, when he was in a fit, into dogs, a king that reports to him comes along, the king from apart of his country that spilt away died, and his foster dad goes missing.
That's a lot for 1 man to juggle, so that Tuala is there.

Though most of the book, I was expecting Faolan's sister to do something, it seemed unresolved to me. But nothing happened. What with what was going on in court, well, that's to be expected, but I would've liked it if her sister tried to do something. It would be good to have that for the characters, so that "the Widow" might be brought down a peg or two. Also, her sons were evil! Hated them!!! Just like their dad, who made Faolan leave home.

All in all, I really liked the characters, their struggles, and the plot-it kept me going, and it kept me up! Hope you guys check out these books, they are a great series!

Here's some quotes from The Well of Shades:

“Tuala,” said Ferada, “your son may be a highly remarkable boy, but he is only two.” Pg. 262

“For such a dour, shuttered individual, Faolan seems to have a lot of people looking out for his welfare. I’d have thought a man like that more than capable of running his own life" pg. 264

Author: Juliet Marillier
Series: The Bridei Chronicles #1, 2, 3
Read: April 20th, 21st, 22nd, 2011
Source: Library
Reason Why: Sounded really great!
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Published: March 6th 2007,

The Dark Mirror:
5/5 Hearts
4/5 Books
4/5 Stars

Blade of Fortriu:
5/5 Hearts
4/5 Books
4/5 Stars

The Well of Shades:
5/5 Hearts
4/5 Books

4/5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Hope you have an amazing day! :) Shauna from


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