The one thing I kept wondering once I finished this book was why have I never heard about this book before. Fantastic and amazing are words that come...moreThe one thing I kept wondering once I finished this book was why have I never heard about this book before. Fantastic and amazing are words that come to mind to describe The Daughter of the Forest. I could not put this down for a minute - stayed up till 5.30 reading this on a workday, and amidst a lot of yawing the next day I couldn't get this book out of my mind. Still can't.
Daughter of the Forest has its basis on ancient Celtic legend where the Fair Folk walked the lands of the forest along with other mythical beings. But at its core, this is a story of love, loyalty and strength of character. Sorcha is the seventh child of Lord Colum, the Irish Lord of Sevenwaters, whose domain is well protected by the magical forests that surround it. Their mother died after giving birth to Sorcha, and her six brothers raise her a strong, free-willed, well protected and loved girl. I loved the concept of the seven siblings taking strength from each other.
So close were we, the seven of us, that no childhood injury went unnoticed, no slight, real or imagined, went unaddressed, no hurt was endured without comfort...The strength of one is the strength of seven
Sorcha is strong, brave, tough, a healer and a fighter in her own way. She has a special bond with all her brothers - but most of all with Finbar - a character I came to admire a lot. Finbar is far too old for his years, too mature with his ability to see into the future. "Faith in myself," he said simply. "To do what's right, and not falter, no matter how hard it gets." - Finbar when talking about the gifts their mother left each of her children
Things start changing for Sorcha, not yet a teenager, when a Briton - Calum's sworn enemies - is captured. Finbar and Sorcha help to rescue the tortured man, a teenager himself - and Sorcha helps try to heal him. Calum then marries again - a Sorceress. In classic fairy tale format, the evil stepmother wants to get rid of the kids - and turns the sons into swans.
What follows is a nightmarish ordeal that Sorcha has to bare alone and silently to get her brothers back. On the way she meets another Briton - one who rescues her, takes her home, is there for her and defends her at every step of the way.
This is a tale of sacrifice at the highest level. This book for me had many levels, each more profound, delightful and heartbreaking at the same time. Fate has many twists and turns planned, and even those who can see the future can scarcely keep up with it.
I was happy for Sorcha in the end, but my heart went out to Finbar. The weird this is now everytime they show a swan on TV (they aren't flying around in Singapore, so where else would I see any) I think of Finbar. Someone who wanted to make the world a better place, whose faith in himself and his beliefs weren't enough to deal with the cruel game life played on him.
You take a lot of good stuff away from this book. Some I'll remember for a long time. There is no good or evil, save in the way you see the world. There is no dark or light, save in your own vision. All changes in the blink of an eyelid; yet all remains the same.(less)