Series: Warrior Bards #2
on September 1st 2020
Genres: Historical, Fantasy, New Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore
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A young woman who is both a bard--and a warrior--seeks to repay her debts and settle scores in this thrilling historical fantasy series.
The young warrior and bard Liobhan has lost her brother to the Otherworld. Even more determined to gain a place as an elite fighter, she returns to Swan Island to continue her training. But Liobhan is devastated when her comrade Dau is injured and loses his sight in their final display bout. Blamed by Dau's family for the accident, she agrees to go to Dau's home as a bond servant for the span of one year.
There, she soon learns that Oakhill is a place of dark secrets. The vicious Crow Folk still threaten both worlds. And Dau, battling the demon of despair, is not an easy man to help.
When Liobhan and Dau start to expose the rot at the center of Oakhill, they place themselves in deadly danger. For their enemy wields great power and will stop at nothing to get his way. It will take all the skills of a Swan Island warrior and a touch of the uncanny to give them a hope of survival. . . .
The Good Things
- The latest from Juliet Marillier! One of my all time favourite authors. The second book in her Warrior Bards trilogy.
- Historical fantasy with plenty of faerie lore (because it is a Marillier book).
- New adult (in that the characters are 19 and it covers some heavy themes. It’s not a steamy NA).
- Wonderfully written, complex characters.
- Heavily character driven, but the plot gets moving faster than it did in The Harp of Kings. It was also quite a bit darker in the themes it discussed.
- I binged it in less than a day. I couldn’t stop! I needed more from Dau and Liobhan.
- THE SLOW BURN ROMANCE AHHHHH. Rivals to lovers that has been building since the first book. So much wonderful tension.
- Loved all the little Easter eggs and references to her past series!
- The main plot, unique to this instalment, wraps up perfectly.
The Not-So-Good Things
- I was expecting more about Brocc and his powers, the Otherworld, and the Crow Folk than what we were given. I still have a lot of questions, which will probably be the main focus in the final book.
- Every time we got a Brocc point of view chapter (which wasn’t often, admittedly) I impatiently trudged through it because I really just wanted to return to Dau and Liobhan. Their storyline was much more interesting.
- The final book isn’t out yet and I need it.
If you enjoy tales rich with faerie folklore and filled with complex characters, you need to give Juliet Marillier a try. As a giant Marillier fan, I knew I was going to enjoy this new instalment in the Warrior Bards series but I didn’t realise just how much I’d love it. While it didn’t explore all the questions I had after the first book, I was still absorbed by the main story. I cannot wait to see how it all wraps up.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
TW: child abuse (in the past), animal abuse, kidnapping, depression & suicidal thoughts.