Book Review : Daughter of the forest by Juliet Marillier

Reviewed by Stephanie.

 This book is the first in what was a trilogy but is now a group of five books (I think). It is based on the folk tale ” The Six Swans” where six brothers are turned into swans by an evil sorceress and their little sister has to complete a task to save them. In the novel ” Daughter of the Forest”, the sister is called Sorcha. The setting is Ireland back in the days of castles and betrothals. Their father remarries and the new wife is a sorceress who is determined to get rid of her new step children so she casts the enchantment to turn them into beasts of the wild but the daughter escapes. The story follows her across the ocean to where the Britons live, as a young lord has taken her home with him as a sort of protector. His own people and Sorcha’s are battling for land rites so this creates somewhat of a stir amongst his people and relations. Meanwhile, Sorcha has to complete her task of weaving six shirts from starwort, a plant very much like stinging nettle. She is also unable to speak or utter a sound as part of her task.

I love this book and the following ones in the trilogy because they’re so well written. The imagery and speech is so nice to read and I think the whole novel is well spaced with dialogue, war plans (which can be boring as but are spaced apart enough in this novel I think) and action or drama. And I’m a sucker for fairy and folk tales. Its amazing how Juliet Marillier has taken a short folk tale and fleshed it out to make the characters feel like they’re alive and breathing. I really didn’t want the novel to end, although my favourite is the second novel, ” Son of the Shadows.”

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