Stayed up until three to finish this, because putting it down was next to impossible -- something that's become the norm with anything written by Juliet Marillier.
This is one of her darkest stories yet in content and atmosphere. Marillier succeeds in flooding a very grim story with hope (an embarrassingly obvious yet very wonderfully handled theme) and love. At the beginning, the heroine is cowardly, the hero decidedly not anyone's idea of a hero, and the surroundings oppressive and dusty. There's an air of hopelessness as the book begins, but as Caitrin grows accustomed to life at Whistling Tor and finds her courage and strength again, and as the inhabitants of the forest gradually take on faces and characters that you can't help loving, the book turns into something you never want to end.
I'm biased when I say this, but Juliet Marillier seems to have a magic of her own and I am happily enchanted.