Book Review: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest is the sweeping tale of Sorcha and her six brothers.  Growing up deep in the heart of their forest, the seven of them are as close as they can be to one another.  But, when a mysterious and powerful woman comes into their lives, everything changes and Sorcha finds she must perform an impossible task in order to save her brothers' lives.  But even she does not at first realize just how difficult that task will be.

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

Things I Liked:
I was blown away by this book!  (A huge thanks to Angie from Angieville for recommending it so highly.)  There is so much in it, that I couldn't possibly do it all justice in this review without going on forever.  I had a hard enough time trying to write a "summary" for it - it doesn't even scratch the surface.  The characters are so complex and believable and real that you start to feel things right along with them, particularly Sorcha and Red.  The plot is complex and has many twists and turns, but it is easy to see that Marillier knew exactly where she wanted it to go.  Everything seems to happen for a reason, even the most horrible things.  I was also really impressed that she didn't just wrap things up all nice at the end.  Everything does not end up perfectly and the characters have each changed so much that things don't go back the way they were in the beginning.  We would not want them to.  And can I just say, the love story was so beautiful.  So many books today, especially a lot of teen romances (not to disparage the genre, since you know I read a lot of it), the love stories are so incomplete - the people fall in love at first sight.  They can't be separated - they feel incomplete without one another, but we really don't see any reason for this.  Not so, with this book.  Just so gorgeous.  And heartbreaking.  And I'll stop raving so you can pick this one up. :)

We may be torn asunder, and it may seem as if there is no tomorrow for us.  We may travel  our own path, and we may fall and be broken and mend again.  But in the end, as surely as the sun and moon make their way across the arch of the heavens, the strenght of one is the strength of seven...Like pools in the same stream, we must meet and part and meet again.  We belong to the flow of the lake and to the deep beating heart of the forest. p 124
Real live 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. p532-533

Things I Didn't Like:
It is not a simple, easy read.  It takes a long time for the action to start and there are a lot of details and side stories and pages to get through.  Those of you who don't like high fantasy will not want to bother.  But, you will miss out.  Take plenty of time and don't rush.  I think you'll fall in love too.

I kept remembering Hush: an Irish Princess' Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

And very like Marillier's other books, especially Heart's Blood

s-factor: !
a few

mrg-factor: XX
mostly it is implied or skimmed over, but one rather disturbing scene

v-factor: ->->->
plenty of fighting and injury and the above-mentioned scene

Overall rating: *****

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