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Daughter of the Forest

(Sevenwaters #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  60,945 ratings  ·  4,853 reviews
A beautiful retelling of the Celtic "Swans" myth, Daughter of the Forest is a mixture of history and fantasy, myth and magic, legend and love... To reclaim the lives of her brothers, Sorcha leaves the only safe place she has ever known and embarks on a journey filled with pain, loss and terror. When she is kidnapped by enemy forces and taken to a foreign land, it seems tha ...more
Paperback, 538 pages
Published 2000 by Pan Macmillan (first published April 1st 1999)
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Théa I found this harder to read than ASOIAF... Yes ASOIAF is more brutal, and graphic, but I think it's the fact that it didn't have the same emotional re…moreI found this harder to read than ASOIAF... Yes ASOIAF is more brutal, and graphic, but I think it's the fact that it didn't have the same emotional resonance as Daughter of the Forest. (less)
Stephanie I was also around 14, completely fell in love with it and was not too upset by those pages. In contrast to other work of fiction which just uses ** as…moreI was also around 14, completely fell in love with it and was not too upset by those pages. In contrast to other work of fiction which just uses ** as means to set the tone of the story, I felt it was realistically dealt with, particullarly in the remainder of the book. (less)

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Kat Kennedy
***Warning**** Mention of rape and discussion of such follows.

I gave this book four stars so obviously I did enjoy it. There are actually many, many enjoyable elements to this book and I promise to get to them in a moment...
I found myself so COMPLETELY annoyed with Daughter of the Forest though I really enjoyed the book. We are treated to the terrible acts committed against Sorcha and it's rather graphic at moments. Yet when it comes to consensual, loving sex - nothing. Fade to black the moment
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Reread 2022. I’m leaving it at 4 stars. It’s too triggering for me at this time. I love the author and these characters so I’m torn


First let me give a shout out to the rapists and dog killer/abusers in the book with a gif below.

Now let's crack on with a short review 😊

So Sorcha was not born the seventh son. She was born a daughter with 6 older brothers. Finbar, Liam, Cormack, Conor, Padriac and Diarmid. These brothers take care of Sorcha and I forgot to mention she's a healer!
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

Everything I could tell you about Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier can be summed up in a single paragraph from the story itself:

If I were telling this tale, and it were not my own, I would give it a neat, satisfying ending . . . In such stories, there are no loose ends. There are no unraveled edges and crooked threads. Daughters do not give their hearts to the enemy. The wicked do not simply disappear, taking with them the satisfaction of vengeance.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, retelling
“Real life is not quite as it is in stories. In the old tales, bad things happen, and when the tale has unfolded and come to its triumphant conclusion, it is as if the bad things had never been. Life is not as simple as that, not quite.”

The above quote, hands down, sums up “Daughter of the Forest” for me. Yes, this is a fairy tale, but it also speaks truth about life: about how once you go forward, you cannot go back to the beginning…because things are never the same again. This holds true for t
This book remains one of the best fairy tale retelling I've ever read. Marillier grounds this familiar story in a tremendously rich historical and cultural context. However, this book is dense, and it is long and gut-wrenching. For me, it needs some lightness to be a 5-star read.

Also, I remembered very little about Daughter of the Forest before this reread. But one thing I did remember - it was Kat's review of it, in which she talked about the need for authors to not only depict traumas and the
Helen 2.0
I want to call this book a combination of Kushiel's Dart and Assassin's Apprentice. But in reality, Daughter of the Forest is a category all its own. A gorgeous mix of historical fiction and fantasy, an insightful hero’s journey with a dash of romance. It’s been some time since I’ve had the pleasure of reading a book so deserving of five stars.

Sorcha, daughter of the forest, tells her own tale in this book about an ancient Celtic/British feud and the magical undertones that influence it. She is
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“All that he had of her was his memory,where he held every moment,every single moment that she had been his.That was all he had,to keep out the loneliness.”

Daughter of the Forest is one of those books.The ones that are scored on my heart,the ones that caused both my awe and respect for the story and for the author.For it takes a tremendous amount of talent and soul to write such a book.

I recall the tale of the Six Swans,I remember being a little girl watching the animated version,and it made m
Daughter of the Forest has been on my tbr list for a long while now, I’m glad I finally read it. I have read mixed reviews about this book so my expectations weren't particularly high. It was interesting enough, the writing was beautiful, makes you feel like you're living in a different world and a different time, the characters were lovable, and the story was gripping. It really had a magical fairytale retelling feel to it.

Probably what I liked the most in this book was the characters, especial
Incredible. I know I've said I've been speechless when reading books before, but this time, I genuinely don't have the words to express what a masterpiece this novel is. I actually finished this novel early today morning, at around 1:30, but it was only at 2:30-ish that I actually got up to go to sleep. I couldn't get this story out of my head; I simply kept thinking about it. If Juliet Marillier hadn't already made a fan out of me with Heart's Blood, then I'd be tripping over myself to fall at ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert 3/15/19: Daily Deal on Amazon for $2.99

It has taken me forever to get to this review because I was just not sure how I could possibly pack everything I felt during this book into coherent words stuck together that would even possibly do it justice. I still don’t think that I will be able to manage it but I’ll try.

Daughter of the Forest (DoF) takes an old Irish legend/fairy tale and breathes new life into it. I was not familiar at all with the original version of this story so I cannot
While this is beautifully written, I probably wouldn’t have gotten through this without listening to it on audio during a long car ride. I think, as others have noted, it’s the main characters lack of agency that made the story harder to connect to. Things happen to her, mostly caused by others, she literally has no voice for most of the story and even when she does it’s mostly pushed aside. Realistic for the time it’s set in but not a story I love to engage with. Fans of the Winternight trilogy ...more
Emily May
Apr 22, 2011 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tales

No Rating

I cannot fairly rate this book so I'm going to leave it as it is. I was originally attracted by the high ratings and positive reviews but I discovered early on that, for whatever reason, this book simply isn't for me. I couldn't appreciate the story enough to read on and that is why I won't insult it by giving the kind of low rating I usually give to abandoned books. In this instance, it was definitely me and not the story or writing.
 Danielle The Book Huntress
I have always loved the fairy tale about the sister with numerous brothers who had a wicked stepmother who enchanted her brothers to turn them into birds. The number of brothers and the type of birds can vary. I have seen it with ravens and with swans. In Daughter of the Forest, Ms. Marillier used the version in which the heroine has six brothers and they are all turned into swans. I must say I truly enjoyed (and devoured) this heartbreaking, emotionally wrenching novel based on that fairy tale. ...more
Mayim de Vries
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The pages of this book flow like a river of sorrow and anguish, and pain, and loneliness, courage, and hope, and an unyielding love. But the stream is strong so once the current of the Six Swans retelling has caught you, you will be there, held like under a spell and unable to stop. It is not an easy tale but, oh, a beautiful one.

The fairy tale is known, and so I am not spoiling anything by telling you that Daughter of the Forest tells us a story of Sorcha, the youngest child of the Lord of Seve
Vibur (hiatus)
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved Daughter of the Forest.
The bucolic, fairytale-like atmosphere. The rich, impossibly vivid evocations of the twisted, unforgiving Irish wilderness.
And the writing.

Oh, it was so lush. The words unfurling, as delicate as wildflowers. Buds of descriptions swelling and flourishing, spilling richness forth. There was something about the writing that was indescribably alive. Something that thrived and blossomed, rising and bursting forth—like a forest, wild and untamed.
And like a forest, it
h o l l i s
Most people can't choose a favourite book; and rightly so. With so much choice, so much to love, it's akin to picking a favourite child (though we all know those exist.. I see you, parents). But if you asked me? I would say DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST by Juliet Marillier. All of the original Sevenwaters books, actually, as it's really just one long story.

If I were telling this tale, and it were not my own, I would give it a neat, satisfying ending. [..] In such stories, there are no loose ends. There
How do you know when a book is a great book?
- When the line between reality and fiction begins to blur, so that you could be sitting on a sunny balcony off a busy street, and still feel like you are in the cool, dark confines of the ancient Irish forests. When you are struck with sympathetic muteness because talking means the difference between life and death for the heroine, and it takes an actual, conscious effort to unlock your throat and answer when someone calls out to you. When you sudden
3.5 stars. Wondrously evocative and lyrical. Enthralling. Suspenseful. Redundant. Too redundant.

This is a popular romantic fairy tale, found in the Young Adult and Juvenile shelves. Yet I question that classification, as there's a graphically adult scene (disturbing) as explained in spoiler further below.

Major spoilers are tagged and hidden:

Daughter of the Forest is an über-extended take on The Six Swans, set in medieval Ireland, when Druidic and Christian cultures first started to overlap.
What a breathtakingly beautiful book!

It’s hard to describe Daughter of the Forest. It is a fantasy, a historical, and a romance. It reads like a fable or a fairy tale. It has all the elements of a fairy tale – the evil stepmother, a fairy godmother (sort of), an enchantment, an impossible task to accomplish, a prince charming, and a happily ever after.

This has to be my all time favorite book now. I was captivated by the story, mesmerized by the voice of Sorcha, our heroine. I did not put this b
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

In the second half of 2014, I read Juliet Marillier for the first time. The book was Dreamer’s Pool and as soon as I closed the cover on the last page, I asked myself the question most readers ask themselves right after they finish an amazing read: Why have I waited so long to read this author? And inevitably, the next thought is: I must read more!

I know I say that a lot and I don’t always follow through, at least not righ
Dannii Elle
This is the first instalment in the Sevenwaters series.

Sorcha is the seventh child and first girl of her family. Her mother died not long after her birth and her distraught father left both his children and his home soon after. Now he deigns to visit them fleetingly and only has stern words to deliver his little daughter when he does. Sorcha does not feel the loss of the typical childhood she could have had, however. Not when she grows up with the wild woods to play in and six brothers to protec
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-to-reread
What a fabulous start to what I hope is going to be a 5 star series. One of my favorite books so far this year!
Feb 26, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would not recommend it, especially to young adults. The story was beautifully woven and the writing is very engrossing, but there is graphic description of abuse that did not strengthen the book and was very unnecessary. It pretty much ruined the book for me.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. If I wasn't sure before, this book solidifies Juliet Marillier as one of my very favourite authors.

The story of Sorcha and her trials as she works to free her six brothers from enchantment is painful and gut wrenching. While it doesn't all result in a traditional fairy tale ending, the story does deliver what feels right and more true to our own experiences. No one can live through what Sorcha and her brothers do without being irrevocably changed.

Marillier's writing is perfect as usual
Charlotte Kersten
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
A beautiful gripping story but very hard to read.

This fairy tale for grown-ups tells the story of Sorcha, and her 6 elder brothers Finbar, Liam, Cormac, Conor, Padriac and Diarmid.

Born and brought up on the Irish stronghold of Sevenwaters, the siblings grew strong and proud and had a bright future ahead. Up until the evil stepmother came! A wicked sorceress who wed their father, took over his will and stronghold and turned the 6 brothers to swans to have them out of her way. It was left to th
RE-READ 2: January 2020

This book honestly speaks to my soul. It is one of, if not my favourite book of all time. Every time I read it, it reminds me of why I love to read. What a great way to start the year!

RE-READ: December 2017

5/5 stars

“You will find the way, daughter of the forest. Through grief and pain, through many trials, through betrayal and loss, your feet will walk a straight path.”

I cannot even begin to explain how much I love this book. It is definitely one of my all time fav
Lindsey Rey
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

It was very difficult for me to give this book a star rating. First off, I want to say that I enjoyed this story a lot and found it very enchanting. I didn't want to put it down and I will be continuing on with the series. I really enjoyed the writing and I thought the cast of characters was very intriguing and really pulled you in to the story. The novel did lull in a couple of places, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of the book. I did listen to the audio book
As often happens, I feel rather inadequate when it comes to reviewing something so beautifully written and emotionally demanding.

This is a retelling of a celtic myth, The Six Swans. A mix of folklore and fantasy, historical fiction and romance, Daughter of the Forest is the first of a trilogy (of 6 books, it seems). This book isn't fantasy in the way of most- it isn't filled with invented kingdoms or massive battles. It follows Sorcha, seventh daughter and only child of Lord Collum, as she suffe
I am a great lover of fantasy but I am discovering that I prefer my fantasy books to be original and not based on fairy tales. (One notable exception being Cinder and its sequels). Fairy tales are known for their cruelty and hardship and Daughter of the Forest is quite relentless in this respect. It may be that the book was just a bit too long and Sorcha's tedious task seemed to take forever. However I was uncomfortable with several of the scenes and wished they had not occurred. I won't be cont ...more
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SciFi and Fantasy...: "Daughter of the Forest" Discuss Everything *Spoilers* 24 117 Jun 01, 2022 09:16AM  
Simon vs Red 29 620 Apr 10, 2022 04:14PM  
Age Difference 2 19 Apr 09, 2022 05:18PM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: "Daughter of the Forest" First Impressions *No Spoilers* 26 123 Mar 22, 2022 02:16AM  
What else to read if you love this book? 9 147 Jul 22, 2020 10:12PM  
Saddest Scenes 1 14 Jul 21, 2020 04:33PM  

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Juliet Marillier was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Juliet was educated at the University of Otago, where she majored in music and languages, graduating BA and Bachelor of Music (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a majo ...more

Other books in the series

Sevenwaters (6 books)
  • Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters, #2)
  • Child of the Prophecy (Sevenwaters, #3)
  • Heir to Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters, #4)
  • Seer of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters, #5)
  • Flame of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters, #6)

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