This is up there with Sevenwaters

Dreamer's Pool( A Blackthorn & Grim Novel)[DREAMERS POOL][Hardcover] - JulietMarillier

I've yet to read anything by Juliet Marillier that I don't like.  This was no exception.  I did find the beginning a little bit startling.  There was a brutality in the character's circumstances and language that I'm unused to with her, and usually expect of other authors more like Joe Abercrombie, another favorite author who I consider a bit of a polar opposite.  Two of the main characters are prisoners at the beginning of the story, and they think and behave the way one might expect in that situation.

 

Don't worry, avoiders of Grimdark.  This is still Juliet Marillier's style.  It becomes apparent when she comes to Oren's point of view, where the story becomes much more sentimental and poetic.  I almost felt taken out of the story the first time his chapter came up, but I fell into it and got emotionally attached quickly.  

 

The thing this author does best, in my opinion, is make me care deeply about her characters.  This book is no exception.  

 

I will not give away much of the plot, because I think it's better to just let it unfold for you, so you can piece things together as they go, which is what I did.  I didn't even read the book description.  All I needed was the author's name to know I wanted to read it.  I did become frustrated somewhere around half-way through the book, when I felt I had figured out what was going on, but none of the main characters had done so.  There is a word for this type of plot that I believe violates Amazon's terms of service, but it describes a situation in which a solution is obvious to a reader, but the characters just won't figure it out.  Not to worry.  I was only partially right, and quite pleased with the surprising revelation I had not guessed at.

 

If you like Juliet Marillier, I highly recommend this.  If you enjoy historical fantasy with elements of fey, I also recommend it.