The Well of Shades  - Juliet Marillier 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 [b:Blade of Fortriu|13923|Blade of Fortriu (The Bridei Chronicles, #2)|Juliet Marillier||861353], it was apparent that Faolan was going on another mission - partly King's business and partly personal. First off Faolan must inform Deord's kin of his heroic actions and his passing. Upon doing this, he rescues Deord's daughter, Eile and granddaughter, Saraid from imminent danger. Of course, Eile is his soul mate and the journey of discovery is long and romantic.

Secondly, Faolan must deal with his dark past and reconnect with his family regardless of past events. This turns out to be the hardest thing Faolan has to accomplish on this trip. I loved how Eile was the catalyst in this encounter. Both Eile and Faolan have tragic pasts and must overcome their individual difficulties and in order to heal, must begin to rely on each other.

Though Faolan and his journey are the main focus of the book, there are quite a few other ongoing plots that draw the reader away from Faolan and his troubles. King Bridei, Tuala, Derelei and the newest babe have their own crosses to bear including possible rebellion by a trusted friend, various conspiracies, Broichan's disappearance at such an important time, Derelei's untrained magic, the King of the Light Isles and his cousin making trouble and of course, the whole Druid versus Christian religions in Fortriu. And we cannot forget about Drustan and Ana who have their own trials and tribulations to overcome.

This is a well-written story that ties up all the loose ends in the Bridei Chronicle as well as leave it open for a possible sequel or spin-off. At some point, I'd love to read Derelei's story as well as Saraid's. I sincerely hope that Ms. Marillier doesn't leave these two terrific children without a story of their own.