Jennifer's Reviews > Daughter of the Forest

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
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's review
May 18, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: pure-fantasy, 2009-favorites

I really loved this. At first I had a hard time with it because it seemed very dark. IE, the main character's mother is dead, her father doesn't care for her, her 6 brothers - although they all cherish her - seem headed for many types of disaster, and she rapidly acquires an evil stepmother who seems hellbent on destroying her. I almost put it down when she had confrontations with Oonagh (evil stepmother) because she seemed so fragile and I feared something crucial of her innocence would be destroyed.

Sorcha definitely endures some tragic stuff. Losing her brothers, having to weave shirts of a fiber that agonizingly destroys her hands, not being able to speak, and then being terribly abused by men against whom she has no defense. But, the tone of the book changes once Red is introduced (about 1/3 of the way in) and indeed I was in love with him from the start. Red is a Briton (mortal enemy) who kidnaps her and takes her back to Britain (from Ireland) because she has knowledge of his brother who is missing (though she can't tell him because she cannot speak). Although he is her kidnapper, Red protects her and seemingly cherishes her... Sorcha thinks this is because the Fair Folk have laid a doom upon him to aid her in her quest to free her brothers.

Their relationship is definitely the highpoint of the book. I found it impossible to put down. I couldn't wait to see what terrible thing was going to befall Sorcha next (once Red was there to look after her). At times I got a little annoyed with the air of tragedy and the stoicism with which this 14 year old girl faced her terrible destiny. But, it's a fantasy novel and she is its heroine... as such it was very enjoyable.


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