Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Release Date: March 4, 2001
Publisher: Tor Books  
Source: Library 
Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha's joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift-by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all...
I am a huge fantasy fan. Ever since Harry Potter came into my life, I've been addicted to all sorts of different worlds and creatures. Like many fantasy lovers, finding a great fantasy book can be hard. Some books can seem repetitive or just aren't up to par with the likes of The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. After Keertana loved Daughter of the Forest, I knew I had to read it. Not only is this book a fantasy book but it's also a re-telling, two things I absolutely love. Daughter of the Forest is one of the best fantasy books I've read in a long, long time and I know that it has become a favorite. The writing is beautiful, the protagonist is one I loved to pieces and every other element was fantastic. 

Daughter of the Forest is a re-telling of the "The Six Swans" fairy tale, one I was not very familiar with. For me personally, not knowing about the fairy tale allowed me to love the journey Sorcha had to go through even more. It also allowed the plot to not be as obvious for me, unlike a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, a more well known fairy tale where it can be hard for the author to surprise the reader. I will admit that there were certain aspects about this book that I figured out ahead of time: For example, I figured out that Red and Simon were brothers. Even so, Juliet Marillier was able to surprise me with her folklore and the execution of the fairy tale. Again, not knowing about the fairy tale ahead of time made me more conscious of what I was reading. Admittedly, Marillier doesn't hold back on anything. There were some uncomfortable scenes in this book and others that made my heart hurt but others that made me utterly happy.  

Juliet Marillier has one of the most beautiful, lyrical writing I've ever read. It's very detailed and gorgeous but it's easy to read. The words seem to float off the tongue and while one would assume that this kind of writing would get old or boring, it doesn't. I read Daughter of the Forest in about 4 days simply because I loved the writing so much. Juliet Marieller's writing was the kind of writing I wanted to read forever. Here's an example so you can better understand what I'm trying to say. I'm not very articulate with my words right now:
“He would have told her - he would have said, it matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment. I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind. I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night. You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart. You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping. You are - you are bone of my bone, and breath of my breath.”

Is that not beautiful? 

All of the characters in this book were brilliant. From Sorcha to her six brothers to the love interest to all of the other side characters, I was in love with them all. Or I hated some of them, which ever the case might be. Sorcha was a wonderful mix of strong and independent and innocent and naive and has to be one of the best rounded characters I've read about in a long time. I was rooting for her from the very beginning and when anything happened to her, I felt the same emotions. She's one of the most kick ass heroines out there, in my opinion, and she proves that you don't have to be physically strong to be kick ass. From the beginning, I loved Sorcha's six older brothers and their relationships with Sorcha and each other. The journey Sorcha goes on to free her brothers is long and arduous but had I not loved her brothers, I wouldn't have been as supportive of Sorcha's immense struggles. And might I mention that I loved the love interest. I knew when he was first introduced that he'd be the one for Sorcha but I loved seeing their relationship develop, non the less! 

Overall, Daughter of the Bone is a book I'd recommend to anyone looking for a good read. I will say that it's not the shortest book out there at 411 pages and small font but it was (is) well worth the read. Juliet Marillier is a master story teller and her writing is elegant without being over the top. Sorcha is a main character worth reading about and I dare anyone not to love her. 
Cover Comments: 
I love it. Initially I didn't like it but than I thought about all of the fantasy covers out there today. This cover is simple, beautiful, and integrates many aspects of the book. What more could I ask for?