Day 1: Your favourite book
So we’re finally here, at the end of this 30 day challenge – and it’s taken me more than 30 days!
This has actually been a very interesting challenge for to do, and I loved the experience of having to delve further into why I like this book and not another. What makes a favourite scene? A favourite title? I think that my answers say a lot about me, and sometime I’m going to have to look over them again, and find out just what that is! Until then though… here’s the answer to the last challenge.
Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
Heart’s Blood was published at the end of 2009, and I’ve already read it at least three times. I am the first acknowledge that it wouldn’t be the best book out of every one that has been published. But ever since I first finished it, Heart’s Blood has been my favourite.
It is the book that feels in every way as if it was written just for me, with amazing characters and a storyline that kept me entertained the whole way through. Of course, it’s a Juliet Marillier novel, and I love her writing. The way she writes can leave me feeling as if I am in the story, walking alongside the main characters as they face trials, and learn about themselves, and each other.
This is such a hard book to describe. Though Marillier herself does pretty well on her website:
Heart’s Blood is a love story, a ghost story, a family saga, a story about people overcoming their difficulties, and a little slice of Irish history, as well as a homage to a favourite fairy tale.
And that’s just scraping the surface!
Heart’s Blood focuses on Caitrin, an orphaned young woman who is fleeing her own dark past when she comes upon the mysterious Whistling Tor. The locals talk of madness, a haunted forest, and a cursed castle. They tell Caitrin of Anluan, their deformed and incompetent leader, locked away in the castle on the hill, and they warn her to stay away. But when a job is offered, Caitrin makes her way up to Whistling Tor and finds herself immersed in secrets. Surrounded by the strange household and the temperamental Anluan, Caitrin embarks on a journey to discover the secret behind the curse on the castle, and the strange host hiding within the forest.
Caitrin is a fantastic character, vastly independent and yet insecure at the same time. Strong, but no so strong as to dominate the story and the other characters. Again, (and naturally!) Juliet Marillier describes Caitrin brilliantly as
“a character who starts her journey with a lot of uncertainty and learns not only to appreciate her own good qualities but also to show several other characters that despite their mistakes they are fine people, worthy of love.”
This is a fantastic story, from every viewpoint, and one that I will happily re-read again and again. I know it’s not the kind of story that everyone would enjoy, but would definitely recommend Heart’s Blood to anyone who likes fairy tales, mystery romance, historical fiction or fantasy! This is an adventure not to be missed!