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Blade of Fortriu by Juliet Marillier
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Blade of Fortriu (original 2006; edition 2005)

by Juliet Marillier

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488None20,885 (4.1)18
Member:boppisces
Title:Blade of Fortriu
Authors:Juliet Marillier
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Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fantasy, fiction, Ancient Britain, Celtic, high fantasy, historical fantasy, historical fiction, Picts, romance, Scotland

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Blade of Fortriu by Juliet Marillier (2006)

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Book Two of The Bridei Chronicles (Bridei Trilogy): This book carries on the story of young king Bridei who has held the throne of Fortriu for five years now. His preparations for war include Ana; the captive princess of the Light Isles who has been held hostage at the court of Fortriu for many years. Bridei strategically plans to wed Ana in an effort to forge alliances. Ana will travel north to marry Alpin of Briar Wood who Bridei hopes with aid him in his effort to rid Fortriu of the Gaelic invaders.

Escorting Ana on her journey is Bridei's assassin and spy, Faolan. Their ill-fated journey includes a terrible flash flood, death, a mysterious prisoner as well as a future husband who is not what he seems to be.

A great read. ( )
  boppisces | Jan 15, 2013 |
Book 2 of a Trilogy. This fantasy is set in Britain, but revolves more around the Picts, the pre-Celtics inhabitants of part of the Isles. The romance is more pronounced, and better handled, than in some of her earlier work. ( )
  KarenIrelandPhillips | May 11, 2012 |
Five years, and a life time, have gone into this, and now after all this time King Bridei is ready to march into battle to unite his people, to drive out the invaders, to save the gods he loves. As with every war there are uncertainties, and for Bridei the north holds one of these; Alpin of Briar Wood.

As a hostage and princess of Fortriu Ana's duty compels her to agree to an arranged marriage to a man of unknown character but of fearful reputation. For Bidei's sake, and that of Fortriu, Faolan, Ana and a small party set out northward in the hopes of securing an alliance for the King. However no one could have predicted the horrors of what awaited them.

Lives are about to change through war, imprisonment, freedom, truth, love and death. Bridie faces an uncertain future where death seems the only outcome. Ana follows duty to a fault until she learns there are more important things in life. Faolan is a man unmoved by emotions but will find new strength in his weaknesses. A secret prisoner is held by bonds of blood and guilt and one very big cage until love sets him free.

The Blade Of Fortriu is a symbol of hope and courage to a people who's lives, land and religion are under threat from invaders. However the Blade of Fortriu is much more then a symbol or an idea, it is a man, the one man fated to unite a land. As people are change, loves are found, hearts are broken and lives are taken, this story, part history, part myth, part fantasy, will capture your imagination as well as your heart. ( )
  LarissaBookGirl | Oct 31, 2010 |
I didnt really like this one as much as the first book. I don't know why. The writing is just the same quality as in The Dark Mirror, but that book seemed to have more depth and more heart than this. I always get sad when Main Characters from the 1st book are pushed to the back to make room for New Characters in book 2. I wished for more Bridei-Tuala interaction, as they were the most important characters in the first story (I mean, come on: it's called the BRIDEI Chronicles...) Faolan and Ana were interesting, but they didnt hold my interest. I kept asking, "Why are Bridei and Tuala suddenly 'Boring?'" So anyway. I dont really have much else to say, except that the story was alright, but not as deep or heart-felt as its predecessor. ( )
  Ameliaiif | Apr 8, 2010 |
As with all of Marillier's work, this book is beautifully written and highly compelling. This blend of history and fairy tale successfully sends to reader into another time, another world, that inspires, entertains, and mystifies.

The story takes place a few years after "The Dark Mirror". This time the focus is royal hostage Ana and Bridei's standoffish spy, Faolan. Truthfully, I was not a fan of Ana or her plight; my real interest here was Faolan. So, much as I enjoyed this book, I was thrilled to learn about the third book, which picks up Faolan's story. Still, "Blade of Fortriu" is a wonderful example of storytelling. ( )
2 vote TheBooknerd | Mar 10, 2010 |
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In a draughty passageway below the Dalriadan fortress of Dunadd, two men met in the shadow.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765348764, Mass Market Paperback)

Five Winters have passed since young king Bridei ascended the throne of Fortriu. Five years, in which the people have felt a contentment unknown for generations.

But the security of a people can vanish in a heartbeat, for wolves are often drawn to fields filled with fattened sheep. Bridei is determined to drive the Gaelic invaders from his lands once and for all. And so, with his land secure and his house in order, he prepares for war.
 
One of Bridei's plans to win the war to come involves the beautiful young Ana. A princess of the Light Isles, she has dwelt as a hostage at the court of Fortriu for most of her young life. Despite being a pawn of fortune, she has bewitched all at court and is dearly loved by Bridei and his queen. But Ana understands her duty. And so she will travel north, to make a strategic marriage with a chieftain she has never seen, in the hopes of gaining an ally on whom Bridei's victory relies.

For secrecy's sake, Ana must travel at a soldier's pace, with a small band led by the enigmatic spymaster Faolan. Bridei implores Ana to trust him and see the good in Faolan…but Ana cannot see beyond his cold competence and killer's eyes.

Then, when she arrives at the chieftain Alpin's stronghold in the mysterious Briar Woods, her discomfort and unease increase tenfold, for this is a place of full of secrets and her betrothed is an enigma himself. The more Ana tries to uncover the truth of her new life, the more she discovers a maze of polite diversions that mask deadly lies. She fears Faolan, but he may prove to be the truest thing in her world.

Or her doom.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:55 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the sequel to The Dark Mirror, as the king prepares for a war to expel the Gaelic invaders for all time, he sends the princess Ana, a hostage of Fortriu since childhood, to make a strategic marriage to a a chieftain she has never met, accompanied on her journey by Faolan, Brideis enigmatic assassin and spy.… (more)

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