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Blade of Fortriu: Book Two of The Bridei Chronicles Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2007

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A Crown for Cold Silver
Five villains. One legendary general. A final quest for vengeance. Learn more about this epic science fiction fantasy.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bridei Chronicles (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765348764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765348760
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Loyalties are tested and truth must be distinguished from dangerous lies in the gritty second book of the Bridei Chronicles (after 2005's The Dark Mirror), set in a land resembling early Scotland. Hoping to gain the support of nearby chieftain Alpin of Briar Wood in the fight against the invading Dalriada, King Bridei of the Priteni sends an offer and a bride: Ana, a fosterling "hostage" from the distant Light Isles raised in his court. Bridei's personal bodyguard and spy, Faolan, accompanies Ana on the arduous journey, saving her life and struggling to control his growing feelings for her. When problems arise at Alpin's rude court, Ana secretly finds solace with Alpin's mysterious brother, Drustan, long believed to be insane, who has been imprisoned for the murder of Alpin's first wife. Skilled world-building and characterization set Marillier's historical fantasy at the head of the pack. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Marillier excels at breathing life into the past."--Booklist on The Dark Mirror

"A fascinating evocation of life in Pictish England and an emotional roller coaster of a story.--Interzone on The Dark Mirror
"An engrossing, beautifully written work of historical fiction."--Booklist on Wolfskin

"A rich tapestry of love and loss, family loyalty and personal sacrifice." --Publisher Weekly (starred) on Child of the Prophecy

"The author's keen understanding of Celtic paganism and early Irish Christianity adds texture to a rich and vibrant novel."--Library Journal on Daughter of the Forest

Customer Reviews

Juliet Marillier writes well and her characters are very engaging.
Vicki Glassey
He's my favorite Marillier character; I can't wait to read about him in the next book.
I just finished reading Blade of Fortriu, the second of the Bridei Chronicles.
Pooky 01

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By char1077 on January 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I, too, have fallen victim to Marillier's brilliant first trilogy. While I tried very hard to love this book and the first book in the Bridei Chronicles neither book has done it for me like Daughter of the Forest, etc. did. There's just no living up to it.

There is no doubt in my mind that Marillier is a fantastic writer and storyteller however, I'm not sure what genre she is trying to join. With this series she is reaching towards romance and I hate to say it, but sometimes Ana's blind devotion to a man she literally does not even know is just plain silly.

Ana is a vastly annoying character, for some reason I just had a lot of problems with her. She seemed to me prudish, prim and stuck up. I also had a very hard time with the love story between her and Drustan. So, I'm expected to believe she falls deeply and passionately in love with a man she sees for five seconds in the woods? It seems to me that Ms. Marillier has forsaken the slow, careful and beautiful storytelling of the Sevenwaters Trilogy for a formulaic, trite and conventional. I do like the way she handled the villain, Alipn. It was clear from the moment his character appeared that he was going to be the bad guy, there was no doubt about it but Marillier did manage to preserve some of his background and make you wonder what exactly his backstory was whereas with other villains, Lord Richard in Daughter of the Forest for instance, they were just bad and that was it.

Something that got on my nerves was the jumping around in the story. This is something Marillier did in both Wolfskin and especially Foxmask. The difference between those two books and the story jumping in this book is that I actually cared about all the plot lines in the latter.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on August 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a Marillier fan, her Sevenwater Trilogy was excellent reading. I liked the first in the Bridei Trilogy, The Dark Mirror--not so much as the Sevenwaters Trilogy but I liked it enough to read this second book in the series.

Warning Spoiler:
My complaint is that the author made a huge mistake in this story -- She created a strong heroine and a strong hero --she gets the reader hooked into these two characters and then suddenly she creates another character, who the heroine suddenly falls in love with. After building the hero and heroine's characters up and the reader anticipates their devotion to eachother she gives up on the pair--she lost me--she had a great story going and then midstream she made poor choices in her plot. Perhaps she did this in order to write book three in this Trilogy? If that is the case all I can say is, "what a ripoff" --I am not going to be buying the third book in this series, if I read it --I will get it thru the library.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By shadowkat on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm a Marillier addict. I own every one of her books and have read each one at least 4 or 5 times over [Son of Shadows I've read at least 10 times]. My account of Blade of Fortriu contains much of the story, so I apologize if you haven't read the book yet and I'm spoiling it for you.


Blade of Fortriu follows the story of Ana, the hostage princess that Bridei keeps in Fortriu. Bridei must use her status as a princess to marry her off to Alpin, a Caitte king. The problem is that no one knows anything of this man and sending the fragile princess off makes everyone uneasy. Not only that, but because the decision to send Ana was quick and no one knows if Alpin will reject Ana for his bride upon meeting her. Faolan is sent with her to make sure the negotiations go accurately, as he happens to be Bridei's right hand man, along with some companions. There is danger that meets them along the way- after all they are traveling in unknown territory with many enemies.

Upon finally getting to Alpin's land, there is trouble with the king himself. His actions and manner border on offensive. There's no question of him wanting Ana, he makes that known, but whether she can abide him is the question. Add to that Alpin's "crazy" brother, Drustan. He has been locked up due to his unnaturalness which caused him to kill Alpin's first wife and child. However, the more Ana gets glimpses of Drustan, the more she falls in love with him. Meanwhile, Faolan has gotten himself into trouble by starting to fall in love himself. It doesn't help that Ana named him her bard, which begins to open up the past for Faolan. It's interesting how each character- Ana, Faolan, Drustan, Alpin- fights for something different.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rich Gubitosi on December 31, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Blade of Fortriu is the middle volume of Juliet Marillier's The Bridei Chronicles about a Priteni king, Bridei, striving to unite his people under one rule and reestablish the old faith, which has been supplanted by Christianity in some regions. In an interesting twist, Marillier relegates heroes Bridei and his wife Tuala to supporting roles and elevates Faolan and Ana as primary characters. At first, I liked the twist, since Faolan seemed to be the most complex character in the series, especially compared to saint Bridei. However, this complexity turns out to be an illusion.

At its core, Blade of Fortriu revolves around a love triangle, one of the oldest plot points. In fact, if you account for Alpin's lust, it contains a love rectangle, perhaps the first novel I have read with such geometry. Unfortunately, the romance emasculates Faolaon when it should strengthen him. Numerous times in the book, he contemplates performing selfish acts but restrains himself: Why? If he were more selfish, making a mess of things that he then has to repair, the novel would have been more engaging.

The Dark Mirror worked because Marillier made me care about Bridei and Tuala despite a predictable story. This approach is less effective in Blade of Fortriu because Faolan is different than Bridei, but Marillier does not embrace these differences. Instead, she portrays Faolan as a mostly good man who has been forced to make terrible choices in his past. In my opinion, a character has to act controversially in the present, on the page, to be complicated, and not in the past, where he can be excused for such actions. Making a character's history provocative is expositional and lazy, whereas making his present provocative is far more enriching.
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