Review: Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

den-of-wolvesReviewed by Jen

This book gave me everything I wanted to wrap up the trilogy of Blackthorn and Grim. Sadly, when I started, I didn’t realize this was the last story in the series, but by about halfway through, I had no doubts. These characters have come so far, their relationship forged in fire. Finally, here, we see the fruit of all their labors, the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s just one more set of trials they must endure before they get there.

A teenage girl, Cara, has been sent away by her father to live with Prince Oran and his wife, Flidais. This, after a strange, wild man named Bardan arrived at their home.  Her father doesn’t explain much to her, but Bardan was once the builder of the unfinished “heart house” that was started before Cara’s mother died. Now her dad is hellbent on resuming the project, only it’s shrouded in secret. Grim is tasked with helping Bardan complete the design.

This sets up a separation between Blackthorn and Grim. Our wise woman gets to know Cara while a kinship grows between Grim and Bardan. The secrets play out pretty much the way you expect them to. None of the developments will shock you. But for me, the Heart House story was an impetus for growth for both our main characters. They grew as individuals, but more importantly (to me), the distance between them made them both more aware of what they meant to each other.

The pace and feel of these books are kind of low key in that traditional fantasy way. It’s not the kind of book that puts you on the edge of your seat or makes your pulse pound. It’s got a gentler, but still significant impact. Juliet Marillier wove these characters with so many delicate strands over the course of the three books, by the time I got to this place with them, I was completely invested. But it kind of snuck up on me. They both have had so much to work through, their bond was– not an afterthought, but subtle, I guess. This book still isn’t a romance, but all of the personal issues that sat on the fringe of the story are coming closer to the forefront.

I’m spending a lot of time focusing on Blackthorn and Grim, but Marillier does more than address their relationship here. I promise, we get resolution not just on the immediate story, but the allies and enemies that have influenced their lives from the beginning of the series. The whole thing is very satisfying. Would definitely recommend for fans of fantasy who have the patience for a very, very slow burn.

Rating: A-

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Den of Wolves
by Juliet Marillier
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Roc

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