Maia's Reviews > Daughter of the Forest

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
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's review
Jun 21, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: best-series, bittersweet, faerie, dreamlike, fairy-tales, favourites, history-ish, magic, myth-legend, slowly-savour
Read in June, 2012

"three children lay on the rocks at the water's edge. a dark-haired little girl. two boys, slightly older. this image is caught forever in my memory, like some fragile creature preserved in amber. myself, my brothers. i remember the way the water rippled as i trailed my fingers across the shining surface."

how do i start? this book is probably the most gut-wrenching, achingly beautiful, bittersweet, romantic, yes romantic, most dreamlike book i've ever read. i'd only read one other of Marillier's books before and that was Wildwood Dancing, and since then i knew i had to read this one aswell. but i wasnt prepared for how much i'd fall in love with it, or how much it would weigh on my heart after finishing. this isnt a small book. but the language is gorgeous and weaves a kind of trance-like spell on you when your reading- the forest, the fair-folk, the history and celtic magic- yet at the same time you are not lulled into this book has an urgency about it that comes with the retelling of the Seven Swans fairytale. i wanted to skip pages sometimes i was so frustrated, because 'Daughter' does not go easy on Sorcha or her brothers at all (and a quick word- her brothers! oh, Finbar). she faces countless heartbreaks and yes, there were many many times when reading that i found tears pouring down my face.

normally im not the type of person to seek out heartbreaking books- really, i'd rather not have puffy eyes for school the next day. but even though 'daughter' was emotionally draining to the extreme, and like certain harry potter books im not sure if i'll ever have the energy to re-read it from start to finish, im so so glad to have read 'Daughter'.

infact, just a moment ago i flipped to some pages and it really shows how masterful Marillier is- small nuances and words or motifs appear early on that have such a huge impact later in the story. if you have the chance to read this book then dont let the thought of a good cry deter you. it could end up being the most beautiful and wonderous book you ever read.

ps. a warning- this book does have a rape scene, and it holds such a massive impact on Sorcha's life and wellbeing. it is not overly graphic, but it does portray the real gut-wrenching emotions that come with such an act. however, this book is not a portrayal of the effects of rape- it is so, so hopeful. for Sorcha, for her family, for love, for the goodness in each of us. it is not a 100% happy ending. like i said- it's bittersweet. but 'Daughter' will resonate with you for a long time after the pages have been closed.

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