Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Summary from Goodreads:

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...

This book is many things rolled in one. It is a fairy tale retelling, a fantasy and historical novel, and a romance read. It has suspense, mystery, and drama. I was absolutely drawn in by this book. It's a pretty thick book but I breezed through it.

I loved the idea of seven siblings, each with different personalities and skills but are closely knit as a woven tapestry. I adored Sorcha, the only girl and the youngest of them all, but proved to be the strongest. She isn't like most strong female leads that I've read in books, her strength isn't measured in physical prowess nor in a tough attitude but it is in her perseverance, determination and love for her family that she'll go through any form of pain and suffering to save them from the evil enchantment that has befallen them. 

Marillier is an excellent fantasy writer, the world she created was rich and the language lucid. I found myself wincing a couple of times and it was just heartbreaking to see someone as young as Sorcha, go through all these suffering. Not only was the task that's necessary to break the curse as set by the Fair Folk, quite impossible enough already, mortal men decided to come into the picture and meddle into Sorcha's affairs. I was rooting for her all throughout and was holding my breath as to whether she will break the curse and bring back her brothers. 

Being a fan of mythology, I also liked that there was a bit of Celtic Lore in the story, as opposed to the usual Greek, Norse, or Roman myth. And I found out that the Fair Folk, the magical beings in Celtic Lore are as every bit as irrational and fickle minded as the gods of the other well known mythologies that I have mentioned and they also loves to take a hand in mortal fate. The book also explored the long standing feeling of contempt between the Britons and the Irish, about their differences that led to wars and bloodshed.

This book will absolutely make it's way into my favorite fantasy reads this year. It is on of those "againsts all odds" stories that captivates you.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier is the Winner of the American Library Association's Alex Award 2001 and my third entry for the Award Winning Books Challenge hosted by Gathering Books.


  1. Nice choice, Tin! I haven;t come across this book yet, it's my first time to read about it, thanks to you and your being such an active participant of the reading challenge! Love it! :)

    1. Hi Myra! I have to give credit to the other book bloggers (shout out to Chachic's Book Nook, Book Smugglers, Angieville, etc. etc.) for introducing me to this book. It's an amazing read and I think you'll love it. It would've fit right in when you had the Fractured Fairy Tale Theme. :)

      I can't believe how much fun I'm having, participating in your reading challenge. Although the Award Winning Books in my TBR are dwindling. Must acquire more. :D

  2. Yay, I'm thrilled you fell in love with Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest. It's not an easy read because of everything that Sorcha had to endure but it's such a beautiful book. Love Sorcha and Red. <3 Hope you enjoy reading the rest of Marillier's Sevenwaters books!

    1. Hi Chachic! Yes to Sorcha and Red as well! But I kinda felt bad for Simon. :(

      I really loved it! How many exactly are the Sevenwaters books? I am itching to know what happens next! The excerpt of the second book found in the last few pages really did it. Sigh. :)

  3. Really loved this story/series, too! :) I've read five Sevenwaters books so far.

    1. Hi Chris! I never thought I'd like the book, I judged the cover too easily, and the thickness of it as well. But I loved it!

      It looks like I have five more books from this series to look forward to. But they kind of seem hard to find no? :D


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