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The Well of Shades

(The Bridei Chronicles #3)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  5,953 ratings  ·  238 reviews
Juliet Marillier continues the epic fantasy begun with" The Dark Mirror, " which" Interzone" called: "A fascinating evocation of life in Pictish England and an emotional roller coaster of a story." King Bridei is a man with a mission. His wish to unite his kingdom seems almost within his grasp but there are forces working to undo his dream. He sends Faolan, his most ...more
Paperback, 625 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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 ·  5,953 ratings  ·  238 reviews

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Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
This is the third and last book of the Bridei Chronicles, and it will be a long time before I get these characters and their story out of my head. I even have dreamed about them at night - I never do that!
This beautiful story takes place in sixth century Scotland and the series itself begins with Bridei coming to be foster son to the Druid Broichan at the age of four and the books go through the first years of him being King of Fortriu. However it is not Bridei's story alone but the story of
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
By far the best of the three Bridei Chronicles! Finished it on a five hour flight back from Seattle, keeping the people beside me awake with my reading light (I had the dreaded middle seat). I just couldn't put it down! *So many EMOTIONS!!*


I felt so brokenhearted for Foalan at the end of Blade of Fortrui that I just knew J.M. would have to give him a love story and heal all of his brokenness. I loved that that person ended up being Deord's daughter! She was such an amazing
My favorite book of the trilogy, I have no words to express how much I love Faolan. I am so happy he found the perfect person for him. Juliet continues to surprise me.
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Historical Fantasy 18+
Recommended to Sabine by: Picked because of author
I read the first two in the series in December adn loved them. This one I would say is my favorite. The main character Faolan, is complex, likeable, and enduring. The only thing that was hard was that I loved his story so much and the book tells more than one story at a time, all of which interconnect, that I found myself bugged when it left him to talk about someone else. The other characters are worthwhile thoug, especially if you have read the first two. Marillier is a master story teller ...more
Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
Oh, I loved it. I loved it so much. The Well of Shades was by far the best book of the Bridei Chronicles. I love how strong and compassionate Eile was, and I loved Faolan. I loved Faolan beyond words, really. He has quickly made it to the top of my list of favorite Marillier men (after Bran, of course). The relationship between the two was fierce and absolutely heart wrenching. The continuation of Bridei, Tuala, and Briochan's story was enthralling and I found myself liking these characters much ...more
J.A. Ironside
This was my fourth re-read of this book and I stand by my original rating. While I've only read the first book in this trilogy once and the second book twice, this is one that I keep coming back too. I'm not sure if it's because Faolan is my favourite character in the series or if it's because this book's central premise is far more about accepting the burden of trauma and learning to move beyond it, learning to recognise kindness and stop seeing the world as an enemy. Or perhaps because the ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2012
In The Well of Shades, Bridei is so close to finally realizing his dream of united and peaceful Fortriu. But he knows it is crucial to discover who are his true allies and those who are simply biding their time to strike once again. For this delicate mission, Bridei once again turns to his trusted friend and spymaster Faolan (yay!) who is not a little unchanged after his disastrous mission to the Caitts in The Blade of Fortriu. Hoping to finally put some of demons to rest, Faolan begins a ...more
A perfect ending to a perfect series. It was simply delightful. When trying to describe my feeling towards a Juliet Marillier book, I find I am nearly always lost for words. Only another reader of her books can understand.
This book was amazing!
This is my favourite J. Marillier book.
And this saga (Bridei Chronicles) is also my favourite. And yes I read the Sevenwaters saga.

What can I say more?
The characters, were the best ever, Faolan, has been present thorugh all the saga, since book one, but this last volume is focus on him and his passed. He is my favourite character. (view spoiler)
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
With spymaster Faolan back, Bridei is anxious to send him on a covert mission to ferret out enemy from friend. Usually cool and unaffected Faolan is not unchanged, however after his peril-fraught return to Cloud Hill, and part of that includes his personal life: confronting his dark past at home and fulfilling the promise of a now deceased friend and protector along the way. In Erin he meets Eile, a strong, distrusting young girl living in more tragic circumstances than even he knows. What he'll ...more
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers
The Well of Shades was a wonderful and strong finish to The Bridei Chronicles. I can't really stress enough how much I admire and love Juliet Marillier's character and world building. She is just an amazing fantasy author and I look forward to reading everything she has writer.

I was very happy to be following Faolan once again, this time however I was following his on a journey to his homeland. Faolan returns back to the land of Gaels to not only confront his own past, but to honor a promise to
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this book, there were parts that completely consumed me. Faolan is probably in my top three favorite heroes of all time, and I thought his and Eile's story was one of the best I've read, loved it. I docked it a star because of the sexual content (I hate it when there's so much sexual content, it's unnecessary, plus then I feel like I can't recommend it and I SO want to recommend this one) and also, like the previous books in this series, it was a bit long. I'm over the whole ...more
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this 5 stars. I really did. I loved Faolan and Eile's story so much, I had a hard time putting it down, and hated when the story switched to other side stories involving other characters. It did all come together in the end, but throughout the story I had a hard time staying interested in the other characters. It really started to become a little too wordy. Lots of events could have been summed up nicely with much fewer words in my opinion. Still a good read. I read several ...more
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy_romance
Faolan truly became one of my favourite character ever! Through the 3 books, and especially this one, we read the totally unveil of his story and especially how much he changed and allowed himself to feel again, to not be only a shadow anymore. Neither to say that i'm addicted to Juliet's books, i completely adore the way she writes and how i get immersed in the story and how rich the characters are.
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
I love this series so very, very much (Yes! SERIES! I don't care that the published decided to stop publishing this SERIES after book three. I'll NEVAH call it a trilogy!)

It's one of the few that I keep coming back to to check and see if a fourth book has been planned.

Faolin and Eile's developing relationship was delightful. It's one of my favorites, to be honest. Both have honestly gone through hell. It's not a traditional love story but still! <3
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Finally made the series worthwhile. The other two books were slow, and did not have enough romance in them to justify the random couples springing up. Certain characters were headaches throughout the whole series and made me skip over anything that mentioned their name; namely Broichan and Tuala. Broichan was just an a-grade jerk and his belated revelation did not help. Tuala stopped being believable as soon as she became boy-crazy in Book 1 and then morphed into Generic Female Character without ...more
Barbara ★
A superbly written tale of love, friendship, betrayal and war. It's been years since I've read the previous two books in the series (2009) so I had to reacquaint myself with Fortriu and it's characters before I could get back into the story but I'm so glad I persevered. I've always like Faolan and so wanted his HEA but knowing it wasn't going to be Ana figured he'd have to go a traveling again.

After Blade of Fortriu, it was apparent that Faolan was going on another mission - partly King's
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointment
The Well of Shades
by Juliet Marillier
2 out of 5 Stars

I took a few days until I wrote this review after I finished reading. To make sure my feelings about it were more concrete instead of a confused torrent, so that I might do a fair review that wasn't full of my own personal frustrations. I've come to the conclusion that there is no way around this.
I liked The Well of Shades. It was an interesting read.
Wait... what? you must say. No, no, you heard me correctly. I enjoyed this book and still
Another great book. Reading Marillier is like meditating - one needs to settle down and watch the plot to unfold. The writing is wonderful and here is why:
- show, no tell. Yes, the story is full of dialogs, and still the story progresses not because someone tells you this story;
- the language is rich. There are books out there that have difficulties with vocabulary, style, and use pronouns vs names. Not Marillier.
The only downside is that the book is not entirely standalone. The plot does not
Carla *Jen7waters*
As an avid reader of this author, I can say that Marillier is a master in character development---and the male lead of this book, Faolan, is the perfect example of this. Since his first brief and yet totally memorable appearance in The Dark Mirror, Faolan intrigued me, and while I'm pretty sure that happened mostly because he was so mysterious, and clearly a wounded character with a dark past (my favorite type), along the series he became more and more fascinating because there are just so many ...more
Stephen Bush
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another fantastic read in the Bridei series. On one hand, I think I enjoyed it the most; on the seem rushed. The Well of Shades is far more predictable than its predecessors, but still very good and hard to put down.

(view spoiler)
Autumn Doughton
Sep 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was soooo so good. Definitely the best in the Bridei series and maybe better than Daughter of the Forest (I have to sit on the statement for a little while before I decide for sure).
My only complaint is that when the story jumped away from Faolan and Eile I was so frustrated--they were too interesting to leave them for even a half-chapter.
Eile and her daughter, Saraid, were the most realistic of any of Marillier's characters and my heart bled, sighed and smiled for the two of them.
Ruth Day
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the ninth book by Juliet Marillier and, with the exception of the Sevenwaters Trilogy, it is my favorite. I did not care as much for the first two books of the Bridei Chronicles. They were beautiful to read, as all of Marillier's novels are, and the history on which they are based is very interesting (and the reason I kept reading them), but I didn't find myself falling in love with the characters as I had in the Sevenwaters Trilogy. That is, until Faolan was developed more in Book #2. ...more
Miriam Holsinger
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Definitely going to go through withdrawal regarding these characters. I'm not sure if that is because she is a good writer or just because I zoomed through the books so quickly they sort of consumed my life. It was a delightful dive into fantasy but I'm not sure I would recommend the author. In hindsight her characters were too trite, too tidy. I realize each of these trilogies is essentially a love story between two odd characters who have to struggle before they are united. Kind of seems more ...more
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another beautifully stirring tale by Juliet Marillier. It has a little bit of everything: historical fiction, sweeping romance, grand adventures, heinous villains, and irrepressible heroes (big and small). I am looking forward to reading Heir to Sevenwaters & have put it on my wishlist for my birthday!
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Juliet Marillier is brilliant, I love how she mixes fantasy with real human emotions and hardships. Although I read the previous two books in the series a few years ago, I stepped straight back into their world. My biggest worry now is that I've read almost all her books :(
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite of the trilogy. I love Faloan and hearing more of his growth and story. I love hearing about his family. There still managed to be plenty of intrigue and danger, even with old enemies defeated.
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed all the 3 books in these series. In this last book we finally come to know Faolan's secrets and the remarkable change that he goes through.
Brittney Tyler
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!!!!
Recommended to Brittney by: BookTube
Star Rating: 5 stars

Note: This is the final volume in the Bridei Chronicles so this will not be an in-depth review because of potential spoilers.

Within the Bridei Chronicles series, I have always found Faolan to be the most interesting character so I was very excited when I realized that book 3 was going to focus on him getting his happy ending. Even though book 2 focused mostly on Ana and Drustans happy ending, Faolan went through some very intense character development so I really keen to see
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Juliet Marillier was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Juliet was educated at the University of Otago, where she majored in music and languages, graduating BA and Bachelor of Music (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a ...more

Other books in the series

The Bridei Chronicles (3 books)
  • The Dark Mirror (The Bridei Chronicles, #1)
  • Blade of Fortriu (The Bridei Chronicles, #2)

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"Sorry wants Feeler come back." It was like a punch in the gut. She had thought Saraid had forgotten him; she had assumed new friends and a safe haven would drive the memories of that long journey across country, just the three of them, from her daughter's mind. Foolish. The images of that time were still bright and fresh in her own head; she dreamed of them every night. Why should Saraid be any different just because she was small?”
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