Juliet Marillier was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, a town with strong Scottish roots. She graduated from Otago University with degrees in arts and music, and has had a varied career which included teaching and performing music as well as working in government agencies. Juliet now lives in a hundred-year-old cottage near the river in Perth, Western Australia, where she writes full-time. She is a member of the druid order OBOD. Juliet shares her home with three dogs and a cat.
For those who wish that Tolkien had explored the character of Aragorn more deeply, Marillier (the Sevenwaters trilogy) provides the next best thing. Flint, unlike Strider, is younger than he looks, but he's every bit as skillful. On the day the narrator, 15-year-old Neryn, loses her last connection to family and home, Flint is there to extricate her from disaster and set her on the path of destiny, no longer a victim but an agent in the struggle against a cruel king who has twisted and poisoned his realm. How much of an agent Neryn might be, only Flint and the Good Folk, the fae, seem to guess. Marillier presents a classic quest in the high fantasy tradition, but there are no noble warriors to be found in this first book in a planned trilogy. Neryn's gifts lie in seeing, listening, and asking, and the turning points are marked by belief, not battles. The land of Alban is not a comfortable place, Flint is not a comforting man, and Neryn is up to the challenges of both. Ages 12-up. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 8 Up-An engaging read for fans of traditional fantasy. Neryn's father, her only surviving relative, has just wagered her in a game of chance-and lost. For years they have been on the run, living cold and hungry at the margins of society in an attempt to hide Neryn's dangerous secret: she has the magical ability to see and sense the Fey creatures that populate Alban. But all magic has been outlawed in the realm except that which is practiced by the king's men. Now Neryn finds herself with Flint, the winner of the wager. He seems to be a potential ally, and she is tempted to confide in him as she embarks on her quest to join a resistance movement. But he is obviously withholding information, and besides, all confidences are dangerous in a world in which the king's men conduct violent raids on all who are rumored to resist the regime. Both characters face serious and interesting moral dilemmas, and the romance between them feels less rushed than in some fantasy romances. Fans of Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce will find much to enjoy in this first installment of a planned trilogy.-Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.