Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier was an Audible read. It defies easy genre classification it dips its toe into the realm of fantasy, mystery, historical, and romance without falling neatly in any one genre. However, this makes the book truly enjoyable. This is the first book in the series and my first book by the author.
Set in Ancient Ireland, the book opens in a dungeon lockup of the local chieftain and the deplorable conditions those interred in the lockup endure. Our protagonists escape lockup when the roof comes crashing down one summer night when the heroine is propositioned by the mysterious Conmail. With escape comes the reluctant acceptance of Conmail’s proposition and a life spent in service to an unknown community.
Our protagonists, Blackthorn and Grim, are thrown together as they escape from the confusion of the lockup. Conmail and his people, the Fey, help Blackthorn flee the lockup and Grim follows silently from a distance. Together Blackthorn and Grim make their way to Winterfalls and begin their new life, in an uncomfortable silence and truce. An accident in the woods behind their cottage results in the death of the intended bride of the local prince and an entire royal party descending on their home and solitude. Now, Blackthorn and Grim are drawn into the lives of the local villagers and the impending nuptials of the prince of the realm.
Thus the stage is set for events in the book. The book is a wonderful mixture of folklore, fantasy, mystery, relationships, and historical fiction. The reader quickly loses themselves as the story unfolds. The story is told from three viewpoints which is an irritating and helpful mechanic all at the same time. As the novel progresses, the three narratives ceases to be irritating and intrusive.
Five out of five stars for being well written, well plotted, and a deeply immersive story.