About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Cloak of Challiver

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

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Fabulous Blog Award
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Book Review: Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier

Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn and Grim, #1)Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A new book by Juliet Marillier is always cause for rejoicing, and as usual, this opus does not disappoint. Marillier is a craftswoman of the first water: her words flow like runny honey, with the odd dash of lemon to cleanse the palate now and then.

Dreamer's Pool, like the bulk of this author's ouevre, has as its protagonist a young woman with a problem. If there has been one criticism of Marillier's characters it is that they have a certain sameness. A typical Marillier heroine is a girl in her late teens who has a huge problem to solve, and the fate of the family/tribe/kingdom rests on her ability to 'get it right'. Blackthorn (an assumed name that represents her profession as a healer - we never do learn her real one) and her partner in crime-solving, the taciturn but loyal Grim, are older characters. I'd place them in their early to mid twenties, since Blackthorn is fully qualified in her work and has been active enough in society to come to the notice of the powers-that-be, notably the tyrannical Mathuin, who has thrown her into prison for speaking against him. Sentenced to die, Blackthorn wakes on what she thinks will be the last day of her life to be confronted by the fey lord Conmael, who promises to help her as long as she gives up her desire for vengeance and always uses her gifts to help and never to harm. She and Grim travel north, aiming for Dalriada where Blackthorn plans to set up her healing practice.

But it's a long journey with many mishaps and delays. The resulting adventures of Blackthorn and Grim intertwine with the love story of Prince Oran and his betrothed, the gentle poet Flidais. There is also a dog (a must in a Marillier novel!) together with confused identities and a magical pool. The resulting tale is somewhat more adult and rather darker than much of this author's previous work, and it makes good reading.

As usual, Marillier has drawn skilfully on folklore and traditional tales, rounding out stock characters and developing the magical elements so they become credible plot elements. The cover tells us this is 'a Blackthorn and Grim novel', so it seems we can expect more adventures involving this likeable pair. The contrast between them makes their friendship all the more interesting, and I shall look forward to further books in the series.

View all my Goodreads reviews

4 comments:

Sue Bursztynski said...

A lovely writer! Very popular in my library for some time. A bit quieter now, but I still get students borrowing and loving Heart's Blood, her Beauty And The Beast tale. I just love what she does with folk tales.

One complaint I read about the heroine of the Shadowfell trilogy was that she was too nice! Can't win, can she? ;-)

Satima Flavell said...

I love all Marillier's books and she has been a big influence on my own work. Yes, her young ladies have all been 'freightfulli nace, m'dear', but I think they are becoming more complex now, as this book shows. I think Wildwood Dancing is my favourite book of hers and its protag, Jenna my favourite heroine of all the 'Marillier girls'.

Helen V. said...

Interesting review. I loved Dreamer's Pool but I thought the protags were somewhat older than you did. Given how much Blackthorne had packed into her life I took her to be in her early to mid thirties with Grim maybe slightly younger.

Satima Flavell said...

You could be right, Helen - I suspect it's anybody's guess as the writer hasn't given us many clues.

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