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Daughter of the Forest Hardcover – May 5 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (May 5 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031284879X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312848798
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 739 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #596,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

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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By Pauline on July 30 2008
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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By A Customer on July 15 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was amazed, upon the end of this magical and lyrical novel, to find out that this was the author's first book. I had been very skeptical, as I in general do not like fantasy that much and had been talked into reading it by a friend. But I was absolutely captivated and enthralled by the story. It is more than a fairy tale, for it is a masterful retelling of the girl who has to save her enchanted brothers and break the spell. The rape scene disturbed me, to be honest, and it was mainly because by then, hadn't we all nearly "become" Sorcha? I know the book has been called a bodice-ripper by some, but I think that a "bodice-ripper" is a false description of this beautifully crafted and wonderful novel. Sorcha had become a part of me through the author's lovely way with words. I could feel Sorcha and her brothers' pain throughout the novel and it brought to tears to my eyes many times as she went through her harrowing trials to achieve the beautiful, albeit sad and rather depressing ending. I will not give away what happens, thouhg- you must read for yourself! The only fault I found with the novel was Sorcha's choice in love. Red/Hugh was, to me, a bland character and not fitting for Sorcha. I, being the foolish romantic I am, had hoped that Sorcha would end up with Simon. He was a tortured and complex character who could have gone very far, and I thought that Simon and Sorcha had a deeper connection than Red and Sorcha. Red simply did not have the passion or fire that I glimpsed in the small descriptions of Simon to make him interesting in my eyes. True, the author did not expand much on Simon's character, but that, I suppose, is part of why he was not the love interest. Read this novel and step into Sorcha's world of magic, myth, romance and lore. Do not miss out on this work of art!
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By Kat on June 12 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Daughter of the Forest" is a great romance and fantasy. I like a little fantasy in my books, not a lot (with weird creatures and such) and this one had just the right amount with other more believeable parts in it. (It does have the Fairy Folk in it, but we believe in them, right?!) I love anything Celtic and the myth of the six swans is well told. I thought the characterizations, especially Sorcha and her brothers, were well defined. Even though there were six brothers they each had a distinct personality. I kept on running into this book in various places and wondered if I wanted to read it but kept putting it off. I was a little worried about whether I would like all the descriptions. (I like a book with quite a bit of dialog.) Since Sorcha can't speak (although there is a mind-speak or telepathy in the book) I was afraid all the descriptions would bog the book down. Not at all. It is too well-written for that. I did feel it was a bit wordy and could've been condensed by about 100 pages. I'm looking forward to reading the other two books of the trilogy. If you like fantasy and romance this is the book for you. And, if you like Ireland or anything Celtic, or fairy tale retellings like I do, this is must reading.
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