Heart’s Blood – Juliet Marillier

565ea238782bad8593966515951434f414f4141Caitrin has run away from a terrible situation at home, and finds herself at Whistling Tor. The townspeople try and convince her to leave, talking about a curse on the chieftain’s house on the Tor, but he has sent his man to town to advertise for a scribe, and Caitrin sees the opportunity to practice the work she thought she’d lost, and earn her way elsewhere when the work is done.

Her first introduction to Anluan, the chieftain, is not good – he finds her in his father’s garden, admiring the rare Heart’s Blood flower planted there, and assumes the worst of her.

Together, Anluan and Caitrin must unravel the curse on this family, despite dark forces working against them. Things become even more complicated when the Normans come to the Tor and demand that Anluan cede it to them. (This is set in Ireland during one of the King Henry’s times – it’s not very specific.) Anluan has never been trusted by his people because of the curse, but they must now work together to save the Tor.

This story had to have been inspired by ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – mirrors play a central role, and Anluan is slightly disfigured due to a childhood illness. However, the family curse is wonderfully unique. And Caitrin is a fantastic character in her own right. She and Anluan have both suffered deep traumas, and this story is all about them learning to work together, and eventually, healing each other. This is definitely another wonderful book by this author.

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