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Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest

by Juliet Marillier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Sevenwaters series (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,922931,970 (4.32)184
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    kathleen.morrow: Similar medieval flavored settings, good writing, nuanced characters, well developed love stories.
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    quigui: Even though it is Science Fiction and not fantasy, it focuses on storytelling.

(see all 24 recommendations)


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» See also 184 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
07/29/12 ***I just realized that this is a reworking of the Grimm Brothers' THE TWELVE BROTHERS***

DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST, the first entry in Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwater Trilogy, is a rather plain vanilla fantasy set in what would be Ireland and Great Britain. This is also Marillier’s first fantasy series. The story revolves around Sorcha, the seventh child of a seventh son, who is required by the Lady of the Forest to attempt a vexing task in order to save her six brothers from a curse put on them. It’s a pretty basic good versus evil story, with a few supernatural elements thrown in.
Young Sorcha leaves her family for three years in order to accomplish her task and endures many hardships.
In my opinion, the weakness of the book is that the “exciting” scenes were lacking some excitement. On the positive side, it’s a nice story that’s fit for YA readers.
This would be a good introductory book for someone who is just beginning to read fantasy books, as it isn’t a very complicated world compared to other series.
I liked the fact that all of the main characters were flawed in some way – not overwhelmingly, but enough that it made them more realistic. Overall, I would recommend DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST for your reading pleasure.
( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
3.75 stars

13-year old Sorcha is a budding healer and has 6 brothers. When her father marries Lady Oonagh, Sorcha and her brothers can tell Oonagh is evil. There is a spell cast and Sorcha's brothers are expelled from this world except for two nights per year. Sorcha much weave a shirt for each of them out of a particular material to bring them all back, while also staying away from Oonagh, and not saying a word to anyone. In trying to stay away, Sorcha's path crosses with three Britons, sworn enemies of her people, but in saving each other, they bring her back to their land.

Ok, the summary of this one could go on and on. I quite liked this. If it hadn't been such a horrible week for me personally, I suspect it might have been a solid 4 star read, but as it is, I did find the second half more interesting, and the portion with the Britons more interesting. I have to admit, I didn't find the parts with her brothers as enjoyable. I'm undecided as to whether or not to continue the series. ( )
  LibraryCin | Oct 18, 2015 |
Rereading the first three books before I finish the series because I realized that I had forgotten a lot of what had happened. I have to say, I was just as enchanted by the tale this time as I was the first time that I read it. ( )
  kjpmcgee | Sep 9, 2015 |
In the second half of 2014, I read Juliet Marillier for the first time. The book was Dreamer’s Pool and as soon as I closed the cover on the last page, I asked myself the question most readers ask themselves right after they finish an amazing read: Why have I waited so long to read this author? And inevitably, the next thought is: I must read more!

I know I say that a lot and I don’t always follow through, at least not right away. But something about Marillier’s writing struck me in a way that I knew I didn’t want to wait. So I decided to jump into her Sevenwaters trilogy, and not least because the first book Daughter of the Forest has been sitting in my to-read list for years – for shame! – and it’s time to remedy that.

The book introduces us to Sorcha, who should have been the seventh son of a seventh son, but she is loved no less for being a girl, the only daughter of Lord Colum in the kingdom of Sevenwaters. She grew up with her six doting older brothers, and the siblings could not have been closer despite their different personalities and walks of life. However, peace at Sevenwaters is shattered when their widower father is seduced into marriage by an evil enchantress. To stop the siblings from meddling, the witch curses them all, turning Sorcha’s brothers into swans. It’s up to Sorcha to lift the spell, but she has to undertake a long and difficult quest thrust upon her by the Fae to do so, all the while remaining silent until she completes it.

To those familiar with their fairy tales, this is of course a retelling of The Six Swans, one of the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm. It’s a pretty close adaptation, actually, though Marillier fleshes it out a lot more and sets her version in the medieval Celtic era. She does not stray too far from the source material, which ended up being perfect for someone like myself, who adores fairy tales but at times wishes someone to come along and give them the deeper, more detailed treatment. I was delighted to find the same sort of subtle vibe here that I experienced in Dreamer’s Pool, a heady mixture of magic and realism in a world where myths can come to life and yet remain grounded at the same time.

This is simply a gorgeous book, filled with pain and sadness but also hope, healing and love. There is a heavy element of romance in here, but it is so well embedded in the overall story that it hardly distracts, despite being so intensely passionate. It’s been a while since I found myself so moved by a relationship between two people. Daughter of the Forest, a fantasy novel at its heart, does a love story even better than some Romance novels out there, without even seeming to try.

There aren’t too many faults I can pick out here, other than some minor issues I had with the overprotectiveness of Sorcha’s brothers, especially towards the end. I think by then she has earned the right to speak for herself and tell her family what it is she wants, but she too remained meek and silent until things ended up resolving for her. But a gripe like this feels so minor when the rest of the novel was near-perfect, as well as in light of how much I loved the book overall.

Two books by Juliet Marillier under my belt, and now she is one of my favorite authors. This is a must read for her fans, new and old. I really can’t recommend this one highly enough, especially if you love fairy tales, mythology and legends. ( )
1 vote stefferoo | Jan 17, 2015 |
The sheer amount of research done on the Britons and the Irish really shows. The speech is formal and suitable for the time period but then, the writing was just as elegant. I expected nothing less from it and I'm sort of happy that it sets itself apart from the colloquial books nowadays.Character development was crucial in this book and I also saw the cruel irony and hidden lessons throughout the book. I cannot say I enjoyed all of the faery tricks and low, tragic points in the plot but I commend the author for creating a bittersweet ending that was not too sorrowful to handle.

Although her other books ([b:Wildwood Dancing|13929|Wildwood Dancing (Wildwood, #1)|Juliet Marillier|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1393127105s/13929.jpg|2024857],[b:Cybele's Secret|963508|Cybele's Secret (Wildwood, #2)|Juliet Marillier|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1335030790s/963508.jpg|948409]) included the meddlings of derisive faery folk, DotF contained more tragedies, gratuitous regrets, and overall restless fates. Everyone's lives are left scarred and as Sorcha sensibly states, it was not that simple to pick back up their lives and resume their everyday tasks.
Because of the Celtic culture and the old traditions, men are pig-headed and still dominate their women. That means that Sorcha, being surrounded by six brothers, have a hard time asserting her authority as she grows up. However, the brothers' love for their sister has been tried and true and shown clearly multiple times throughout the novel. I think that in a way redeems them for being overly protective and prevaricating the happy ending that she sorely deserved.

I can't even begin to explain how much emotional toll this book took on me. It was just so heavy in family, sacrifice, and the gravity of the quest Sorcha undertook plagued on my mind. I felt like I was bearing half her burden because by then, I had invested in her character and was rooting her on. It was so crazy trying to be patient and at the same time, find out what happens next. The pacing of the book was great and I never felt like the book was too long. By the end of it, I kept wanting more and desperately wishing for everyone to be return to their safe lives. Since there's four more books in the series, I have a sneaking suspicion that more people are going to die and the first generation are not immune to it. I'd prefer to imagine and bask in ignorance and end on that note. ( )
1 vote Annannean | Jan 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juliet Marillierprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laar, Karel vanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moody, PaulineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the strong women of my family: Dorothy, Jennifer, Elly, and Bronya.
First words
Three children lay on the rocks at the water's edge. - Chapter 1
The framework for Daughter of the Forest is a Germanic tale, The Six Swans, from the collection of the Grimm brothers. - Author's note
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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French Version of Daughter of the Forest, but has been divided in two books
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0765343436, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

First in a new trilogy. Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Her joy is shattered when her widowed father is bewitched by an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell. Only Sorcha can lift the spell by staying silent. If she speaks before completing the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, she will lose her brothers forever. 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.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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