Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier
Blackthorn and Grim are back! They are still suffering from the effect of past trauma and yet there are glimmers of hope that Blackthorn will put care for others before revenge. Grim's steadfast friendship continues to heal. He faces some of his own demons as well. They both are certainly a unique blend of main characters.
The fantasy itself veers off the road of traditional fantasy as much as Blackthorn and Grim veer from traditional society. Tower of Thorns like Dreamer's Pool is a mystery where Blackthorn and Grim need to pit their wits against a howling evil presence in a tower, terrorising a whole district.
The use of alternate points of view between Blackthorn and Grim in first person and Lady Geileis in third gives more tension by making the reader realise all may be not as it seems. Blackthorn has even more of her past to fight when a childhood friend turns up.
I was looking forward to seeing a little of Prince Oran and Flidais from Dreamer's Pool rather than have them off stage but this title is set further away from Winterfalls in a place called Bann. Maybe next time.
Tower of Thorns is compulsive reading with a mythical setting and lyrical prose, beautifully drawn characters and exploration of true love. I can't wait for number three.