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Daughter of the Forest [Hardcover]

Juliet Marillier
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 5 2000 Sevenwaters (Book 1)
Juliet Marillier is a rare talent, a writer who can imbue her characters and her story with such warmth, such heart, that no reader can come away from her work untouched. Daughter of the Forest is a testimony to that talent, a first novel and the beginning of a trilogy like no other: a mixture of history and fantasy, myth and magic, legend and love.

Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with six sons: Liam, a natural leader; Diarmid, with his passion for adventure; twins Cormack and Conor, each with a different calling; rebellious Finbar, grown old before his time by his gift of the Sight; and the young, compassionate Padriac.

But it is Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect her land from the Britons and the clan known as Northwoods. For her father has been bewitched, and her brothers bound by a spell that only Sorcha can lift.

To reclaim the lives of her brothers, Sorcha leaves the only safe place she has ever known, and embarks on a journey filled with pain, loss, and terror.

When she is kidnapped by enemy forces and taken to a foreign land, it seems that there will be no way for her to break the spell that condemns all that she loves. But magic knows no boundaries, and Sorcha will have to choose between the life she has always known and a love that comes only once.

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Product Description

From Amazon

At the heart of this surprisingly accomplished first novel, first book of the Sevenwaters trilogy, is a retelling of an ancient Celtic legend. Marillier's story, however, is much more than a slightly disguised fairy tale. Young Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Irish Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, a domain well protected from invading Saxons and Britons by dense forest where, legend says, fey Deirdre, the Lady of the Forest, walks the woodland paths at night. Colum is first and foremost a warrior, bent on maintaining his lands against all outsiders. Not all of his sons are so bound to the old ways, and that family friction leads to outright disobedience when Sorcha and her brother Finbar help a Briton captive escape from Colum's dungeon. Soon after, Colum brings home a new wife who ensorcels everyone she can't otherwise manipulate. By her spell Sorcha's brothers are cursed to become swans. Only Sorcha, hiding deep in the forest, can break the spell by painfully weaving shirts of starwort nettle--but then Sorcha is captured by Britons and taken away across the sea. Determined to break the curse despite her captivity, Sorcha continues to work, little expecting that ultimately she will have to chose between saving her brothers and protecting the Briton lord who has defended her throughout her trials. Marillier's writing is deft and heartfelt, bypassing the usual bombast of fantasy fireworks for a rich, magical story of loyalty and love. --Charlene Brusso

From Library Journal

As the only daughter and youngest child of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, Sorcha grows up protected and pampered by her six older brothers. When a sorceress's evil magic ensorcels Colum's sons, transforming them into swans, only Sorcha's efforts can break the curse. Marillier's first novel uses a familiar Celtic legend to tell the story of a young woman's sacrifice for the sake of those she loves and her own discovery of unexpected joy in the midst of sorrow. The author's keen understanding of Celtic paganism and early Irish Christianity adds texture to a rich and vibrant novel that belongs in most fantasy collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read May 9 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It's a truly engaging, and at times brutal, fairy tale. I just couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!
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3.0 out of 5 stars ok Feb. 27 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
What could have been a really good story was ruined for me by the endless filler pages of descriptive texts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A love best shared. March 22 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I simply love this book. Juliet Marillier entangled me in her rush of story telling, and I scarcely came up for air. I've shared this novel with friends and family, only to see them as captivated by the forests powerful intrigue as I am. If lore, loss, and love are part of your literally pallet, then this book is a definite must.
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it! March 8 2010
By Hopfor
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I only ordered this book because it had so many great reviews on amazon. I have never read fantasy before, and I have to say that I love this book. I found it hard to put down and wish now that I had ordered the rest of the trilogy at the same time! It is a great story and you won't regret picking it up!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Phenominal Story, Amazingly Written Sept. 24 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is quite possibly my favourite book of all time. The only book that I can think of that I might like more is Son of Shadows, the second book in the Seven Waters trilogy. Daughter of the Forest has everything: dynamic characters, historical depth, real world magic, romance, strength of conviction and character. I think that it is truly brilliant. Not only is it an enjoyable read, it is a quality book. It is very rich and multifaceted.

I love the relationships in this book. Sorcha's unwavering loyalty to her brothers is very moving. One can sense the love and closeness of this family. For reasons that I will not disclose because I do not wish to spoil the plot, Sorcha really suffers in order to protect her loved ones. Yet, she does this with a strength of character and devotion to her convictions that is very compelling.

This book is not light, but it is excellent. It sounds weird to say, but I feel like this book opened me up as a person. It taught me about myself. It made me think about things in new ways and made me realize how much I value certain personality traits and characteristics.

Another thing that I enjoyed about this book is the Celtic spirituality with which the threads of the story are woven. In many ways, it is reminiscent of the earth-based spirituality discussed in Marion Zimmer-Bradley's The Mists of Avalon.

If you are not sure whether or not you would like this book, I recommend taking advantage of the "Look Inside" feature of this book. Read a few pages and see if it appeals to you. Hopefully it will and you will have the pleasure of enjoying it as much as I did. Happy reading!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful! Feb. 6 2009
By Why Not
Format:Hardcover
A beautifully told story woven from the essence of legend, history and fairy-tale. Juiliet Marillier is a high caliber writer comparable to Marion Zimmer Bradley, sharing her gift for delivering smooth, elegant prose and a potent, mythical tale. Extremely compelling, well-paced, in-depth and at times intense, this book is near impossible to put down. The characters, their lives and their struggles will jump straight from the page and into your heart!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Daughter of the Forest July 30 2008
By Pauline
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Daughter of the Forest" by Juliet Marillier is based on "The Six Swans" a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.

This fantasy is the story of Sorcha; she is the sister to six brothers who are turned into swans by their malevolent stepmother. The brothers can take on their human form at the seasonal equinoxes. Sorcha is left with the task to liberate her brothers from the curse by never uttering a sound and by weaving six shirts made from starwort. Construction of the shirts is a horrendous task since starwort is basically thorns and Sorcha's hands suffer greatly during this task.

While Sorcha is completing her charge she endures many trials and life altering events, both scarring and uplifting. The story contains a captivating love story between Sorcha and a Brit nicknamed Red. It was the love story that kept me reading the book.

I was moved to tears a number of times in this book. Sorcha touched me deeply with her undying love and commitment to her brothers. Her love for Red is also heart wrenching.

This is a great fantasy story that captures romance, magic and tragedy. "Daughter of the Forest" is a grand retelling of the classic fairy tale "The Six Swans" that was collected by the Brothers Grimm.
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5.0 out of 5 stars i love it! Dec 5 2006
By elfdart TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this is one of my favorite books in the entire world! i first picked this in grade 9 or 10 and to this day it remains one of my favorite and most highly recommended books. i think that marillier is wonderful with words. after reading the first paragraph of this book i was enthralled. i've loved faeries all my life, but after reading this book i became interested in celtic culture and started reading up on it. the characters are all very well done. sorcha is a strong, resiliant woman that you thoroughly enjoy reading about, though my personal favorite character is finbar. i have given this book to both my mother and grandmother and aunt and they all loved it. this is a definite purchase!
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