Another fantasy novel from one of my most looked-for authors: Juliet Marillier. I feel in love with her and her Sevenwater Trilogy, and her Young Adult novels have never disappointed me.
This new novel is a departure from her previous series, but still maintains all the Gaelic folklore and history we've come to expect from her. Set in the feudal lord ruled regions of a mythical Ireland, the supernatural influences are strongly felt. We hear the story of Caitrin, a scribe by trade, who stumbles upon the fortress of Whistling Tor. She is at once drawn to the people who reside within and turned away by the rumors of the village folk of an evil presence that controls the area. Working at the fortress as a scribe on a mysterious project for the fallen Chieftain Anluan she begins to realize there's more then speculation to the rumors she's heard, but how deep the evil runs is something she is yet to find out. War eventually threatens the holding and it's up to Caitrin to convince Anluan he's strong enough to fight for his people and his rightful place as Chieftain of the Tor.
The intricate weaving of traditional lore, supernatural myth and gracious storytelling makes this novel tough to put down. The ending could have been more fleshed out, in my opinion, but it surely did not leave any loose ends. There is a promise of forthcoming novels in this new series, and I can't wait to hear more from these intriguing characters.