August 17, 2010

Juliet Marillier: "Blade of Fortriu"

This book is book two in the Bridei Chronicles. It takes place five years after The Dark Mirror. While dealing with some of the same characters, it more so focuses on the story of other characters. Its main focus is on princess Ana of the Light Isles and on Bridei's best spy, Faolan.

A war is being planned, but before it can begin, a few loose strings need to be tied. Princess Ana of the Light Isles, who for eight years has been a comfortable hostage at Fortriu's court, has to be married off to form an alliance. Fifteen people in all will take the journey to where her new home will be, lead by Bridei's friend and spy, Faolan. Trouble meets the group along the way and two people who find each other utterly disagreeable form a friendship. Upon reaching their destination, the chieftain that Ana is to marry is found to be horrible. Both Ana and Faolan sniff out the mysterious secrets lurking about while Ana prepares herself to live a life of unhappiness.

Before reading Blade of Fortriu I saw some reviews written by people who were unhappy with this book. Their distaste was based on the book only loosely following staring characters from the series such as Bridei and Tuala. I must say that I personally found this book as well as Ana and Faolan's stories enjoyable. The story didn't end in the way that I wished it to, however it was solid and a good tale. It was good enough that getting to enjoy the point of views of characters whose stories were focused on more so in The Dark Mirror were more like a bonus.