Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)Book Review:  Daughter of the Forest

Author:  Juliet Marillier
Published:  2002
Series:  Sevewaters #1
Genre:  Adult Fantasy

After finishing Warprize I desperately needed another good fantasy romance read.  And YA lit just wasn't doing it for me.  Oh sure, YA novels are a great fix; fast-paced, high action with romances happening fairly quickly.  But I didn't want that.  I wanted something that would grow slowly and blossom into a loving relationship.  So when a friend on Goodreads recommended this book (she also loved These is My Words and Warprize), I couldn't drive to the library fast enough.  The Setting paragraph was taken from Goodreads which probably means it's from the publisher.

The Setting
Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter 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 which 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...

What I LIKED about this book
I loved the magical mythical world Marillier created.  There was witches, spells and fairy-type creatures in abundance in Sorcha's life.  **SPOILER**  I thought when, as a child, Sorcha helped a young enemy soldier that later on in the story they would end up together.  Boy was I wrong!  But I loved that I was lead on...  In the end, Sorcha ends up with someone just as kind, selfless and strong as herself.  And that leads me to comment on the romance.  While it really didn't pick up until the very end, it was so powerful, true and tender.  You won't find this in YA literature.  Partly because this is a 500 page book but partly because of Sorcha's journey.  She cannot stand a man's touch because of what was done to her yet finds it in her to love again.  I love this depth of "adult" fiction.

What I DISLIKED about this book
It took me awhile to invest myself in this book, and the romance aspect didn't even begin until the last third of the story.  Be warned that this is not a fast read or one that will particularly hook you from the first page.  But it is so rewarding if you make it to the end!

Parting Thoughts
I loved Daughter of the Forest, awarding it 5 out of 5 stars.  I re-read my favorite scenes several days after I finished this book, it was that good.  This is the first Juliet Marillier book I've read out of many series that she has written.  I'm looking forward to reading more from her, although I think I might take a break from this series before investing my time with the other books.  I would recommend this book to fans of fantasy romance, Juliet Marillier, and if you enjoyed Warprize.  That being said, this book is not suitable for all readers.  There are some "adult" scenes in this book if you follow my drift.  But I must admit it is nice to take a break from the sometimes childish YA literature and read something with heart-wrenching substance!   

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