Son of the Shadows is the second novel in Juliet Marillier's amazing Sevenwater's series which follows Sorcha's youngest daughter Liadan. Liadan is a talented healer; so kind and open that people constantly compare her to her wonderful mother. Like her uncle Finbar, she is also gifted with the Sight which is more of a burden than anything. She was blessed to have been raised in happiness however, she keeps having the ominous feeling and flashes of insight warning her that life will soon be changing for the worse. Powerless to do anything about this, she clings to her brother and sister, trying to keep them close any way possible. On the way home from seeing her sister wed, Liadan is captured by a group of mercenaries who are known for their fierceness and cruelty. Forced to heal one of their badly wounded men, Liaden finds herself drawn to these men who proclaim to have no past or future but who are in awe of her. She especially is drawn to the Chief, Bran, whose future, like it or not, is directly tied to hers.
Liadan faces some truly hard challenges, but unlike her mother Sorcha, she fights against what the Fair Folk and destiny have in store for her in favor of making her own future. I like that she's feisty and has a heart at the same time. I keep forgetting how young these girls are though. I mean Sorcha was 14 when she started her quest in Daughter of the Forest and Liadan is like 15 or 16 for most of the action in Son of the Shadows. Yikes, that's what you call a fast childhood.
This was such a fantastic sequel to an amazing first book. I am constantly amazed by Marillier's seemingly slow buildup of action and conflict. You know something is going to happen to her characters but they are just going innocently along until...BAM...it hits and you never even guessed what she had in store. On top of that, her love stories are always hard-won. Liadan and Bran are no exception. There is no easy happily-ever-after in any of Marillier's books and I think that is what makes their stories just so dang readable.