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About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. You might enjoy my books - The Dagger of Dresnia, the first book of the Talismans Trilogy, is available at all good online book shops. Book two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. Book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. I trained in piano and singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. I also trained in dance (Scully-Borovansky, WAAPA) and drama (NIDA). Since 1987 I have been writing reviews of performances in all genres for a variety of publications, including Music Maker, ArtsWest, Dance Australia, The Australian and others. Now semi-retired, I still write occasionally for the ArtsHub website, and I still teach dance at Trinity School for Seniors, an outreach program of the Uniting Church in Perth.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. 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. Book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, is up on the usual bookselling web sites as an e-book, and I have a few hard copies to sell to those who prefer Real Paper. Book Two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available soon. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

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

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Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

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Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

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Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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

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Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
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Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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

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

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Versatile Blogger Award
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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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