Juliet Marillier really works wonders writing this book. Though I almost lose my patience sometimes because of the length of the book, I have to say the plot is wonderfully sketched and perfectly carried out. I believe there is a terribly great deal of planning, and as a reader, I really appreciate her efforts, I feel so respected. Thank you.
Heart's Blood is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast. It's interesting that I just read another re-interpretation of BB a few days ago - [b:The Hollow Kingdom|142776|The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy, #1)|Clare B. Dunkle|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316728829s/142776.jpg|137723]. But of course, the two books are utterly different. The Hollow Kingdom is much lighter and more modern, still realistic but also much more fun. Heart's Blood is so much more mature, much darker, much heavier, full of emotions. The curse fallen on Anluan and Whistling Tor is not such an impulse but has its own story, bitter that is. The magical system is carefully planned out, complex, sometimes quite scary.
Caitrin and Anluan's emotions are developed subtlely and convincingly. And just like The Hollow Kingdom, the Beast remains a beast, but readers love him anyway. At first I do not like Beauty that much, her cowardness irritates me, the same with her behaviors in the first few days in Whistling Tor. But surprisingly, despite holding that prejudice in mind from the beginning of the book, I grow to tolerate her, and then like and even respect her. The first time, well, maybe the second, after [b:Daughter of the Forest|13928|Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters, #1)|Juliet Marillier|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1343589988s/13928.jpg|1897725], that I find the strength of the female protagonist does not neccessarily have to be the male kind as we usually find in modern fiction. Marillier is certainly a skillful storyteller.
Thanks again for a great book.