** spoiler alert **
I liked this far more than I expected to; it is a remix/pro-fanfic of Grimm 49
! The cover lied, and the lukewarm blurb from Anne McCaffery
This had a really nice realist cast to it, although there were multiple occasions when Marillier forgot that she was writing about a precapitalist society. (Look, I'm sorry, I can't help but notice these things.) I was really impressed by how well the Little Folk were integrated into the story (this may be one of the books I end up going back to, for studying purposes when I write the Ragnell novel), although the mind-speaking thing I could have largely done without, Red/Hugh was a pretty awesome hero, Lord Richard sucked sucked sucked, I was pretty touched by the conclusion of the Colum arc. This is a pretty hefty book for what is a pretty straightforward tale, but it doesn't feel padded, amazingly enough.