THE BLADE OF FORTRIU, the second volume of THE BRIDEI CHRONICLES (THE DARK MIRROR is the first volume) pairs the intriguing spy and assassin Faolan, with a minor character from King Bridei’s court. Ana is a royal hostage kept there to ensure that the King of the Light Isles, her father, will not betray Bridei.
Like Bridei in THE DARK MIRROR, Ana is also a too-perfect character who can be annoying for exactly that reason. So it’s great that Faolan finds her so annoying and a bit of a pain in the neck. Just as I was enjoying how their relationships was unfolding, Marillier threw a spanner in the works by making Ana fall in love with someone that she basically can’t see. Marillier would have lost me at that point, except for her truly lovely descriptions which made the story come alive for me. Four stars.