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Heart's Blood

Average Rating 4.5
( 68 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted April 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Candace Cunard for TeensReadToo.com

    In medieval Ireland, eighteen-year-old Caitrin is an anomaly. Before he died, her scribe father not only taught her how to read and write, but allowed her to actively participate in his trade and supported her in the face of those who scorned the idea of a female intellectual. However, with his death, Caitrin is left at the mercy of her cruel and abusive aunt and cousin, whose treatment forces her to flee from her home with nothing but her scribing tools and the clothes on her back.

    She manages to find employment with Anluan, the mysterious and solitary clan chieftan of Whistling Tor. She stays with him and his household, reading, translating, recopying, and categorizing the contents of his library, for which he promises to pay her both in silver and in the elusive plant heart's blood, used to produce a rare and priceless ink. However, things at Whistling Tor are not quite what they seem, and Caitrin's work brings her into contact with a fantastic history of the place that its ruler would prefer be kept silent.

    I have read Marillier's work before, but unlike others who compare HEART'S BLOOD unfavorably to her SEVENWATERS books, I found myself much more caught up in Caitrin's story. Part of that has to do with her character; like most of Marillier's heroines, she's intelligent, plucky, and though she's dealing with her own personal demons, she has an infectiously dazzling strength of spirit.

    And although the story is told from Caitrin's first-person point of view, Marillier manages to portray with equal depths the complexity of Anluan's hidden past. Although the plot does perhaps lag in the middle in the sense that there is little outward action taking place, I felt like every single scene was significant for character development even if it didn't immediately advance the plot.

    By the end of the first chapter, I felt like this book had been written specifically for me. As a huge fan of the story of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, I saw HEART'S BLOOD as both an obvious and clever retelling that played fast and loose with some of the plot points of the original tale in order to convey the right feeling and allow the characters to gain more complexity of motivation. It's certainly nothing like the Disney version (well, except that there is a magic mirror), but I liked it better for that.

    Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a compelling historical fantasy with strong characterization and beautiful writing.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    another win for Juliet Marillier

    I have loved every book that Juliet Marillier has written and this book is no exception. The heroine was one who could relate to readers and the hero was not the typical knight in shining armor as found in many of the novels today. All characters experienced real feelings and dilemmas that were excellently portrayed through the use of fantasy. The unexpected plot twists kept the pages turning. As a lover of Gothic romances and stories, this novel reminded me of such favorites as Jane Eyre. After receiving this as a Christmas present, I have read it three times already. I only hope that a sequel will be forthcoming.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    More than a Beauty and the Beast retelling

    This book is a stand-alone wonder. It's thoughtful and sweet with a healthy dose of romance and mystery. I really think it's destined to be one of my all-time favorites that I'll come back to over the years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended for those who love sci-fi fantasy books and a wonderful love story

    This was an excellent book to read. Juliet Marillier wrote it fantastically. I borrowed it from my local library, at first read it seemed boring, unexcited, and as if it was never going to get good so then i brought it back and after a little while decided to borrow it again and try once more to read it b/c I was very curious to find out what happens to the two main characters in the story. I read it up to page on 100 before i returned it and when i got the second time i pushed my self to just keep reading on even though it seemed boring and as if nothing was going to happen. Then as you get passed the first 100 pages and get over it being boring it gets exciting and feels like the book is alive and i found myself not being able to put it down and then thought that the begging was boring and un lively because you had to get to know the characters and the story and all that usual boring stuff before it becomes alive and makes you feel like you are in it and that a book would not be complete without all the boring stuff. overall the book was amazing, i highly recommend it and i defiantly would reread it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2014

    Stunning and Rich

    This is one of my all-time favorite books and every minute I spend reading is another moment spent wonderfully. Descriptive and intense and beautifully written, I am so happy I discovered this amazing author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Thumbs up

    This is a fantastic read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Amazia

    You said we couldnt be nook friends & i asked why. You dont have to tell me if you dont wantbto.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2013

    Amazing book

    Great

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    Fantastic book

    One of my favorites, rivals the sevenwaters books

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    I recommend it.

    I really enjoyed this book. The story is filled with fantasy and mystery plus the characters are engaging.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    AMAZING!!

    Absolutely amazing! Couldn't put it down

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Lovely

    Although it is not as strong as her previous work, "Heart's Blood" is a wonderful story of inner strength, loyalty, and romance, all steeped in Marillier's signature folklore influence. I was drawn into the world of Whistling Tor immediately and found myself falling in love with the characters; their individual flaws and foibles making them all the more endearing. Occassionally, Marillier used modern turns of phrase that interrupted the flow of the story, but the twists and turns of mystery and the unfolding romance between Caitrin and Anluan readily made up for any such distractions. Thank you for this lovely book Juliet!

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    Wonderful book!

    As usual, Ms. Marillier has written a thoroughly enjoyable book. It is a nice romance with a wonderful touch of the fantastic. Once I started, I couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2010

    Amazing

    As a fan of Juliet Marillier I was a bit taken aback to find that his had a later setting and, at first, isn't as steeped in folk lore. Soon, I was proven wrong and sucked in by the characters and their struggles. This is a fantastic book, once I started reading it I couldn't put it down until I was finished!

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    just sucked me in....

    I don't normally take the time to write a review but I just loved this book! It was exactly the kind of book I needed....everytime I picked it up I was transported into this world. I could just escape for a while and become involved with these wonderful characters in this interesting and unique story. If you're a fan of fantasy/historical you will probably enjoy this great read.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing book!!

    this is a book filled with adventure and romance. juiliet marillier wraps up an excelllent tale about magic and enchantment. Caitrin is a wonderful character.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Juliet does it again! Wow, I couldn't put it down!

    Juliet writes books in an amazing way...from page one you're hooked and you just HAVE to know what happens next! Heart's Blood takes you on a fantastic journey of the strength you must have for yourself and the patience to love others. Emotions are high and sometimes volatile in this tale of secrets, deep pain, forgiveness, and acceptance. Your journey begins on the road to nowhere and ends in great wisdom...and along the way you are terrified of the unknown yet you MUST go forward.

    This book teaches us all a little humility and gives us hope for tomorrow.

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Magic and lore weave through a story of love, hope and the courage to defy fate.

    Whistling Tor is cursed, it's cheiftain Anluan a useless twisted creature. So say the nearby villagers. Caitrin is a young woman on the run. A scribe by trade who hears that there is a library full of work at Whistling Tor. The house and it's inhabitants are indeed surrounded by a fearful darkness. It's leader held sway by a path not of his making. Can Caitrin, who is haunted herself bring hope to a place where it has been abandoned.
    Juliet Marillier is a Master storyteller and Heart's blood is magical.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Juliet Marillier Does it Again

    Juliet Marillier has again given us one of her classic fantasy story lines. In this tale, the characters have so much depth and mystery. Marillier brings together a wonderful tale that keeps you guessing until the end while drawing you into each characters plight. A truely marvelous book!

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an engaging Gaelic fantasy romance

    The man taking her for a fee from her abusive marriage dumps her in the middle of nowhere offering his bed as protection from the night; he implies something more dangerous than marauding Normans. Although frightened to be abandoned nowhere near a settlement, eighteen years old trained scribe Caitrin rejects the offer as she scrambles for Whistling Tor. Two monks meet her and suggest the daughter of Berach ask for Tomas the innkeeper.

    Whistling Tor is ruled by the cursed chieftain Anluan, whose name is whispered in repulsive horror. He was crippled as a child and has no hope for himself, his family, or his fortress as doom is everyone's future.

    That is until Caitrin arrives in his garden studying the HEART'S BLOOD. She is retained to archive the family library and other misplaced documents. Caitrin brings with her hope even for the ghosts who reside inside the fortress but especially Anluan. As the Normans invade, Caitrin knows she loves her employer and believes he reciprocates, but for their hearts to blend into one, she must find a way to lift the curse caused by ancient sorcery long forgotten.

    This is an engaging Gaelic fantasy romance starring two fascinating reluctant souls. Whereas she was burned in marriage; he was burned by the ancestral curse. Obviously for fantasy romance fans, Juliet Marillier provides a wonderful tale of love with a wee touch of the paranormal.

    Harriet Klausner

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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