Title: Daughter of the Forest
Author: Juliet Marillier
Series: Sevenwaters #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
Publisher: TOR Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: “You bruise too easily,” he said indistinctly.
Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only duaghter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives: they are determined that she know only contentment.
But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell that only Sorcha can lift – by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.
When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all…
I have stopped and started this book a number of times. The first time, I liked it, it was a little slow to begin with, but I just had too much going on to really settle into it. The second time, I got 100 pages in and then a similar thing happened. After two weeks, and a lot of other things going on in my life, I picked it up again. It turns out like 101 pages in the pace of this story changes dramatically. And then I couldn’t put it down…
I recently read a collection of Hans Christian Andersen fairytales. One of them was about a sister whose brothers were turned to swans and she had to stay silent until she could break the curse. Daughter of the Forest follows this storyline. And although I liked the original fairytale, this version with the Celtic folklore, Irish history and amazingly painful and beautiful storyline was ten thousand times better. There was something about the fleshing out of a tale that I already knew in a way that was so realistic, and heart felt. Something about the way that I actually had tears on my cheeks in some of the more horrifying moments, and also at the end when the happily ever after is finally reached. Marillier took a story that I thought I knew and built upon it in a way that took me on an insane roller coaster ride of emotion.
Although there is a love story spun in here somewhere, it is the secondary relationship right throughout. This story is about sibling love and integrity. Honesty and those strings that bind family together. It was nice to have such a change in pace to most stories I read where the romantic one is the primary tale, and it is the familial ties that tend to take a backseat.
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