On the run from an abusive family, Caitrin finds herself at Whistling Tor, a strange and haunted village. The local chieftain is reclusive and feared by the villagers, but in need of a scribe. Caitrin, trained by her master scribe father, applies for the job and soon finds herself embroiled in a mystery she could never have imagined.
Sometimes I find it harder to talk about books I love than books that evoke no strong emotions. And I loved this book. Caitrin is such a wonderful character, hurt and smart and brave in a way that doesn’t always get valued. She sees the deep wrong that has been done at Whistling Tor and to its master, Anluan, and sets about making it right, even though she’s not sure how to go about it or if it can be done. I really liked that the author took the time to build the relationship between her and Anluan and gave Caitrin the tools to solve her problems on her own. Caitrin receives help and guidance from others, but it’s only through great personal courage that she’s able to take the steps to heal herself.
This really is a beautiful book. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale and I found this by looking for a retelling. I was hesitant at first only because I’m wary when a book is highly praised by professional and amateur reviewers (I’m always afraid it won’t live up to the hype), but I am so glad I took a chance on this one.
One million stars for Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier.