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Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Review by Alleandra

The World:
Set in medieval (perhaps mythical) Ireland, also England.

The Characters:
Sorcha is the narrator, the youngest in a family of 7. She is the only girl and the seventh child of a seventh son. Her brothers, Liam, Diarmid, Cormack, Conor, Finbar and Padriac, all have developed their own protective relationship with Sorcha. The children are all very close, drawn even more so by the loss of their mother, and their father’s subsequent dour behavior. Sorcha also meets a strange Briton, named Simon, who she helps to heal back to health…later on she meets a man nicknamed Red, and his family including the nasty Richard.

The Plot:
The take, told in first person, is a retelling of the Celtic Seven Swans myth. Lord Colum od Sevenwaters meets and is bewitched by a woman whom convinces him to marry her. Of course she is up to evil purposes. The children immediately distrust her, but are powerless to stop her. They try one last desperate act to expose her, but it backfires and the boys are turned into swans. Only Sorcha can help them now, but she is alone, she is young, and she must hide from her enemy as well.

Although some parts are obvious, since it is a retelling of a myth, the novel is full of surprises too. Sorcha’s love for her brothers is beautifully illustrated, and when a brutal act occurs to her, her subsequent mistrust of everyone is heartbreaking.

The book is lyrical and after a fairly slow start, moves along at a nice pace. Be warned though, this is not a ‘happy’ story. There are fun moments that made me laugh, but it is very bittersweet. It is hard to believe that this is Ms. Marillier’s first book. I am eagerly anticipating the second volume in this series.

Rating:
4.95 out of 5 amulets


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