Debbie's Reviews > Daughter of the Forest

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
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's review
Jun 22, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, fairytale, romance
Recommended for: fantasy/fairytale fans
Read in June, 2008

First book in the Sevenwaters trilogy.

Marillier has crafted a gorgeous retelling of a Celtic fairytale. Lord Colum, an Irish widower, with six sons and a daughter, buries his grief at his beloved wife's death by throwing himself into fortifying his stronghold in order to withstand the endless attacks of the Britons.

Finbar believes that his father is too harsh and decides to help a wounded Briton escape from Colum's dungeon. He asks his young sister Sorcha, a gifted healer, to save the man's life. She does, but is soon forced to leave him on his own. He escapes into the forest, where he disappears.

Meanwhile, Colum remarries, but Sorcha's new step-mother is a witch, literally. When she discovers that she can't control Colum's children, she turns the sons into swans. Sorcha, hiding in the forest, is told by the fairy folk that she can save her brothers, but the task will be difficult and she must complete it without telling anyone what she is doing. The only way to break the spell is to weave a shirt for each brother out of nettles. If she utters a single sound before the task is complete, her brothers will be trapped in their animal forms forever.

After being brutally raped, Sorcha is captured by the older brother of the Briton whose life she saved. Because of a trinket she carries, Red knows that she has met his brother. He vows to keep her with him until she speaks to him about his brother.

Sorcha will not speak, as to do so will doom her brothers. Despite the pain caused by the nettles, as well as various other threats to her health and safety, Sorcha continues to weave the shirts and to keep silent. Finally, Sorcha is forced to make a choice between saving her beloved brothers or the man who has protected her and who she has come to love.

Beautifully written.

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