Award-winning epic fantasy author and WU contributor Juliet Marillier’s latest book, The Well of Shades, is being released today in the U.S. (it has already been released in Australia and the U.K.). Juliet’s books are an auto-buy for me thanks to her imaginative plotting, graceful wordsmithing and meaty characterizations. Though we’ve already had a thorough interview with Juliet, I wanted to know more about The Well of Shades in particular and thought you might like to as well. Lucky for us she agreed to this Quick Five interview, including a juicy excerpt. Enjoy!
Q: What’s the premise of your new book?
JM: That people can learn wisdom by recognising their own strengths and (more importantly) weaknesses. The Well of Shades is also about love in its many forms (mother and daughter, siblings, grandparent and grandchild, mentor and student, husband and wife, priest and deity, as well as romantic passion.) I hope the story illustrates that, although love can inflict terrible hurt, it is also the most powerful source of healing.
Q: What would you like people to know about the story itself?
JM: The Well of Shades is the third book in The Bridei Chronicles, which began with The Dark Mirror and continued in Blade of Fortriu. This book centres on two damaged protagonists, the king’s assassin and spy, Faolan, and a young woman named Eile. Interwoven with the dark personal journeys of these two is the diary of an Irish monk who is accompanying St Columba on his missionary journey to the Pictish kingdom of Fortriu. While awaiting these Christians, King Bridei faces unrest in his own court. An old ally has turned against him; his wise advisor has gone missing; and a young kinswoman is wreaking havoc. All threads of the story centre on issues of love, loyalty and trust.
Q: What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenge do you set before them? [Read more…]