Blade of Fortriu by Juliet Marillier
The kingdom of Fortriu has enjoyed five years of peace since Bridei came to the throne. Now the king is preparing for the long-awaited war that he hopes will see the Gaelic invaders driven from the west forever. The princess Ana, a hostage of Fortriu since childhood, is sent north to make a strategic marriage with a chieftain she has never met – and with it gain an ally on whom Bridei's victory relies. Her escort is led by a man she despises: the enigmatic Faolan, Bridei's assassin and spy. The expedition is ill-fated, and when Ana arrives at the chieftain Alpin's stronghold in the mysterious Briar Wood, she is uneasy. This is a place full of secrets. When Ana discovers a prisoner kept within the bleakest of confinement, she is met with a conspiracy of silence. Faolan, tortured by an impossible love, walks a delicate path between loyalty and betrayal...
In this second book of the Bridei Chronicles, Juliet Marillier picks up the story five years after The Dark Mirror concludes. Bridei is king, has built his new “castle,” and is married to Tuala (the Fey girl raised almost as his younger sister) who has given birth to his son. While this book gives hints and glimpses of the toddler's (Derelei) special gifts, and develops the reader's interest in the elderly druid Broichan's health and obsession with Derelei, this plotline is obviously meant for a future novel.
The story line that this book concentrates most closely on is Bridei's campaign to get the Christian-practicing Gaels out of Priteni lands, which includes forming an alliance with a particular chieftain (Alpin of Briar Wood) whom no one in Bridei's immediate council knows very well. To form that alliance, Bridei sends the lovely hostage Ana, a friend of Tuala's, to marry the guy. Despite Ana's stoic, queenly march off to her duty, surprise after surprise messes with her heart. Now, don't get me wrong. This doesn't turn into merely a mushy romance story. Marillier maintains a well-researched, historically-influenced fantasy story with several intricate plotlines.
In one story, we have Bridei faltering in his convictions regarding the religion of the invaders, yet we're not supposed to see this as a king's weakness. In another story, we have the overthrow of the invaders. In another story, we have a plot to kill the king, which is woven with threads from the story where Ana and the two men who love her stand upon the verge of destroying an alliance. The plotlines take quite a while to develop over the seasons during which the action and travel take place, but, as the first novel in the series did, The Blade of Fortriu gives time to learn more about the characters and to look forward to the next installment in the story.
This Blade of Fortriu book review was written by Sandy Lender
All reviews for: Bridei Chronicles
The Dark Mirror
Bridei Chronicles: Book 1
When Bridei arrives at Pitnochie as a four-year-old, Juliet Marillier lets the reader see the unsure thoughts of the druid Broichan who will mentor and educate him. We get ...
Blade of Fortriu
Bridei Chronicles: Book 2
The kingdom of Fortriu has enjoyed five years of peace since Bridei came to the throne. Now the king is preparing for the long-awaited war that he hopes will see the Gaelic...
The Well of Shades
Bridei Chronicles: Book 3
Sent home to Ireland on a secret mission for King Bridei of Fortriu, Faolan must first deliver the news of a brave warrior's death. Unexpectedly Bridei's chief assa...
Have you read Blade of Fortriu?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Blade of Fortriu reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop...
Guy Gavriel Kay
Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the t...
A Christmas Carol
It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scroo...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airs...
The Moon and the Sun
Vonda N McIntyre
Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific ...
Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar...
Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-...
The Deverry Cycle
In a world outside reality, a young girl's spirit hovers between incarnations, knowing neither her past nor her future. In the temporal world lives Nevyn, who long ago ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: