Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1)

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9780006483984: Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1)

A magnificent saga set in the Celtic twilight of 10th century Ireland, when myth was law and magic was a power of nature, brilliantly brought to life: the legendary story of an evil stepmother opposed by a seventh child. A wicked woman, an evil curse, and a love that must triumph over impossible odds Set in the Celtic twilight of ancient Ireland, when myth was law and magic a force of nature, this is the tale of Sorcha, seventh child of a seventh son, the forbidding Lord Colum, and of her six beloved brothers. The keep at Sevenwaters is a remote, strange, quiet place, guarded by silent men who slip through the woodlands clothed in grey, and keep their weapons sharp. For there are invaders outside the forest; raiders from across the seas, Britons and Vikings bent on destruction. But now there is also an invader inside the keep: the Lady Oonagh, a sorceress as fair as day, but with a heart as black as night. Oonagh captivates Lord Colum with her sensual wiles; but she cannot enchant the wary Sorcha. Frustrated in her attempts to destroy the family, Oonagh binds the brothers with a spell that only Sorcha can lift. If she fails, they will die. Then the raiders come, and Sorcha is taken captive. Soon she will find herself torn between her duty to break the curse, and a growing, forbidden love for the warlord who is her captor. Like Marion Zimmer Bradley's MISTS OF AVALON or Jean Auel's CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR, this is first-rate historical fantasy that can have the widest possible appeal, taking in also the readership of historical fiction writers like Mary Stewart , Mary Renault and Anya Seton.

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Review:

At the heart of this surprisingly accomplished first novel, first book of the Sevenwaters trilogy, is a retelling of an ancient Celtic legend. Marillier's story, however, is much more than a slightly disguised fairy tale. Young Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Irish Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, a domain well protected from invading Saxons and Britons by dense forest where, legend says, fey Deirdre, the Lady of the Forest, walks the woodland paths at night. Colum is first and foremost a warrior, bent on maintaining his lands against all outsiders. Not all of his sons are so bound to the old ways, and that family friction leads to outright disobedience when Sorcha and her brother Finbar help a Briton captive escape from Colum's dungeon. Soon after, Colum brings home a new wife who ensorcels everyone she can't otherwise manipulate. By her spell Sorcha's brothers are cursed to become swans. Only Sorcha, hiding deep in the forest, can break the spell by painfully weaving shirts of starwort nettle--but then Sorcha is captured by Britons and taken away across the sea. Determined to break the curse despite her captivity, Sorcha continues to work, little expecting that ultimately she will have to chose between saving her brothers and protecting the Briton lord who has defended her throughout her trials. Marillier's writing is deft and heartfelt, bypassing the usual bombast of fantasy fireworks for a rich, magical story of loyalty and love. --Charlene Brusso

About the Author:

Juliet Marillier was born in New Zealand and brought up in Dunedin, the 'Edinburgh of the South'. She has a passionate interest in Celtic music and Irish folklore. A mother of two daughters and two sons, she lives in a rural area outside Perth in Western Australia.

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