Daughter of the Forest Hardcover – May 5 2000
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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
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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Top Customer Reviews
Another oddly modern part of the book is the main character's trauma experience. This is what my wife termed "psychobabble". Lots of talk about "recovery" and "trust" that are vital concepts for trauma experiences today but seemed grossly at odds with the medieval setting. These sections are some of the worst in the book, the character basically suddenly thinks "Hmmm, my brothers and Red are very nice...and they're men..... maybe I CAN trust men!". Simple as that! Sure. I also have some trouble with the character being described as "strong" in the book.Read more ›
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!
Most recent customer reviews
Love the story, and how it intertwines a lot of Scottish myths. Only criticism is that protagonist is too good to be true - she never falters despite being bound to do a horrible... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Katie
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 21 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 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
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
"Daughter of the Forest" by Juliet Marillier is based on "The Six Swans" a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. Read morePublished on July 30 2008 by Pauline
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