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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
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.
I loved this book. It's a truly engaging, and at times brutal, fairy tale. I just couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!Published 19 months ago by Michaela
What could have been a really good story was ruined for me by the endless filler pages of descriptive texts.Published 21 months ago by ravenliz
I simply love this book. Juliet Marillier entangled me in her rush of story telling, and I scarcely came up for air. Read morePublished on March 22 2011 by D
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. Read morePublished on March 8 2010 by Hopfor
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... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2009 by Why Not
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. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2006 by elfdart
This book is original, very tender, and all of its characters have depth and personality all their own---no small feat in a book of a dozen or more characters for an author to... Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2004 by Mary
Juliet Marillier truly does capture the spirit of a fictional Ireland in the Dark Ages. I admire her as a writer, because she is not afraid to write about subjects that have been... Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by amber A.
First off, it was a great book that I enjoyed reading. The plot was done wonderfully, and it was a faerie tale that I loved since I was little. Read morePublished on July 11 2004 by Nuala