Read Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier Online

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Daughter of the Forest, the first book in Juliet Marillier's award-winning Sevenwaters TrilogyLovely 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 shattereDaughter of the Forest, the first book in Juliet Marillier's award-winning Sevenwaters TrilogyLovely 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......

Title : Daughter of the Forest
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312875305
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 411 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Daughter of the Forest Reviews

  • Kat Kennedy
    2019-05-15 02:26

    ***Warning**** Mention of rape and discussion of such follows.I gave this book four stars so obviously I did enjoy it. There are actually many, many enjoyable elements to this book and I promise to get to them in a moment...I found myself so COMPLETELY annoyed with Daughter of the Forest though I really enjoyed the book. We are treated to the terrible acts committed against Sorcha and it's rather graphic at moments. Yet when it comes to consensual, loving sex - nothing. Fade to black the moment they enter the bedroom with only a passing comment that she had a moment of fear that was passed when lovingly consoled.WHY?! Fuck if I know! I've read this so often in so many books. WHY is it okay to be descriptive of rape in books and to actually give a full account of what happens (or at least, close to) but loving, consensual, normal sex is not okay. If you write about that it goes in the romance genre? Is that why? Shouldn't we have examples of this kind of healthy relationship for people to read? Shouldn't healthy, happy sex be prevalent in books as the norm? Not rape, not gratuitous violent sex! Why does sex go in the romance section and the rape get to stay out of the shelves for us to read?And the casual, dismissive attitude by the Fairy characters of this book made me furious."You are not the first woman of your race to be abused thus by men, nor will you be the last."So... what you're saying is, "Get over it. Happens all the time."My compliments to the fairy folk for providing this opinion. My only response is: fuck you, fairy bitches! I'm not going to go into the rape aspect of this story any further than to say that the author at least did a good job of showing the after psychological effects and the long term damage that this act causes - so I wasn't all pissed off.The book started slow, but as I said, I enjoyed it. The characters were beautiful, interwoven with fantasy and historical life. The forest took on a life of its own as another character in the book. The character of Red was great, so were the other minor characters in the book. Over all, I enjoyed the beautiful story and the writing which was full and descriptive.It broke my heart at the end because it wasn't all joy and not all hurts could be healed. I suppose that's what made the story so sad and almost real though it was so firmly planted in fantasy.Well written, with a female protagonist worthy of the title "heroine" and an all round cast of great characters and a masterfully woven story, I did actually quite like this book. Its not one I would read again as it's very long. I don't know if I'll have the emotional energy to pick up the second book. But I'm glad I read it and that says something I suppose.*Kat goes off to find some damn good chocolate*

  • Michelle
    2019-05-19 21:13

    “Real life 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.”--Juliet Marillier, “Daughter of the Forest”The above quote, hands down, sums up “Daughter of the Forest” for me. Yes, this is a fairy tale, but it also speaks truth about life: about how once you go forward, you cannot go back to the beginning…because things are never the same again. This holds true for the heroine, Sorcha, as well as for the other characters in the story. No matter what she accomplishes, in the end, her life and that of all the characters is permanently changed--and sometimes that change comes in the form of wounds that will never truly heal. But underneath it all is a powerful message of hope, to press on and not give up, and everything will be worth it in the end.“Daughter of the Forest” is a retelling of “The Six Swans” by the Brothers Grimm. Most fairy tale retellings I have read involve the tales being twisted or transposed in some way. Juliet Marillier, instead, expanded the tale by retaining its literal structure and all its fantastic details, while also focusing her attention on the human story within the magical frame. Despite the strong plot elements, this is principally a character-driven book. True, that the events in the story are beyond the characters’ control, but their reactions to these events, and the choices they make in response, truly shape the narrative. For me, these intelligent, convincing characterizations are the book's greatest strength, and my major motivation to see the story through despite the heartache it was causing me. The book tells about the lengths that one young girl will take to save her brothers. There are really no adequate words to describe the heroine of this story. Stating that Sorcha's path was simply filled with hardships would be a huge understatement. Stating that Sorcha was simply a strong girl would not do her justice. What she had to endure was beyond comprehension and yet very believable. What she faces is heart wrenching and difficult to read at times, but she does not waver on her path. And amidst agonizing trials , she finds help and guidance in the form of a beguiling fairy queen, an unlikely savior turned protector, and in her brothers who are willing to give up their well-being to save hers. These pockets of goodness weave throughout the story, creating a beautiful tale. Even though the romance does not take center stage, it still brought the house down! Let this quote explain it all:“It matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment. I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind. I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night. 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.” A beautiful slow building romance is embedded in this story. It is the kind of love story that sneaks up on the characters. It is quiet and confusing and lovely to watch. Although Sorcha is the storyteller, the two tales that her hero tells are by far my favorites. Pay attention to them! Overall, this was a sensational read, and I am glad that I picked it up. This is one of those books that you wouldn't want to end, though you know it must. And when you've read those final words on that last page, there's that sense of loss --and the feeling that you don't want to forget these characters, the things they endured, and the places they inhabited. This is one of those books that kept me on the edge of my seat with several wet handkerchiefs in my wake, and all that goes back to Marillier's writing. It is descriptive , lovely, and evocative. You could lose yourself in her words! The pace is on the slower side, but it just gives you a chance to truly appreciate the author's talent. This book is meant to be savored, to be cherished, and to be read again and again.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2019-05-20 01:25

    First let me give a shout out to the rapists and dog killer/abusers in the book with a gif below. Now let's crack on with a short review 😊So Sorcha was not born the seventh son. She was born a daughter with 6 older brothers. Finbar, Liam, Cormack, Conor, Padriac and Diarmid. These brothers take care of Sorcha and I forgot to mention she's a healer! Well, one day their father brings home the evil sorceress that is to be the wicked stepmother! Yeah, she puts an ole curse on the brothers and such. Sorcha has to find out from the Lady of the Forest what to do. Right before all of this though, she helps one of her brothers free a Briton captive named Simon. Sorcha helps in his healing process until all of the curse stuff happens and she has to run away. Bad things happen! Then later on she is found find some Britons who save her from a certain death. This would be Red (actually Lord Hugh), Ben and John. I loved all of these men. Especially Red! They were very kind to her, especially when they figured out what happened to her. Anyhoo, they whisk her away to Briton and she has to face more ordeals while still working on breaking the curse and getting her brothers back. A bunch of stuff happens, the curse is mostly broken and we have a mostly happy ending Either way, I enjoyed it and will be continuing on with the books! Happy Reading Peeps! Mel ❤️

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2019-05-03 23:14

    Reviewed by: Rabid Reads4.5 starsEverything I could tell you about Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier can be summed up in a single paragraph from the story itself:If I were telling this tale, and it were not my own, I would give it a neat, satisfying ending . . . In such stories, there are no loose ends. There are no unraveled edges and crooked threads. Daughters do not give their hearts to the enemy. The wicked do not simply disappear, taking with them the satisfaction of vengeance. Young men do not find themselves divided between two worlds. Fathers know their children.But this was my own story.Daughter of the Forest may have a happy ending, but is not a happy tale. It is full of terrible ironies, of monsters and men, of betrayals and heartbreak and endurance. And it is absolutely beautiful. Sorcha is the first daughter who should have been the seventh son. Her mother did not survive her birth, and her parents had loved each other so deeply that her father never fully recovered from the loss.Instead he threw himself into the protection of his lands, and plotting to win back the three islands of great spiritual significance, stolen by the Britons.On the rare occasions he was at home:He didn't smile at me. Or at Finbar. Finbar said that was because we reminded Father of our mother, who had died. We were the two who inherited her curling, wild hair. I had her green eyes, and Finbar her gift for stillness. Besides, by being born I had killed her.(It burrrrrrrrns us, preciousssssssssssssss.)But Sorcha had her six elder brothers who carried her along with them on their adventures, and so she was happy.For a time.But as her brothers grew, they began to leave, campaigning with their father, and when the eldest became engaged, Sorcha knew that no matter how hard she fought against it, her world was forever changing.And when the brother she has always been closest to enlists her help in freeing a prisoner, she begins her journey down a path with trials so numerous that the Fair Folk themselves have warned her of what she will face before the end.I laughed. I cried. I raged. I pleaded. I loved, and my heart was broken. All b/c of this book.If it wasn't for an ugly rape scene, Daughter of the Forest would have been my second 5.0 star read in over a year, so if you absolutely cannot handle that sort of thing, you have been duly warned. If you're unsure, I strongly suggest you check out Kat Kennedy's review on Goodreads. BUT. If you think you can handle it . . . I know this isn't the first time I've sung Juliet Marillier's praises, but this time I entreat you: if you love fantasy at all, if you love fairy tales or retellings at all, read this book.It is magic. Highly recommended.

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-05-07 00:43

    I love Ireland and love retellings, so this was all sorts of enchanting.Sorcha is the seventh daughter of a seventh son and has 6 older brothers. A few of them communicate mentally and there are hints of fae and magic woven throughout the druidic Irish setting. It's a long story, but basically young Sorcha's brothers are turned into swans and she has to remain silent for years as she spins a thorny plant into shirts so they can be human again. It's a truly miserable, isolating task and the story gets pretty heavy at times. And it's not a lighthearted retelling, but turned into a beautiful story at the end!I absolutely loved all of the characters and how close the siblings were. You could totally feel their relationship. I thought Sorcha was a bit of a pushover at first, but then ended up really appreciating a female character who's strong in other ways that don't always involve killing or telling everyone off. Her faith, loyalty, and perseverance really came through her narration, so I liked her in the end. I also loved Red SO MUCH. That was one of Juliet Marillier's strongest relationships yet for sure.I wasn't a huge fan of how the violence and horrible treatment Sorcha endured from men was laid out in such detail and went on foreverrrr, but the positive relationship was more of a blip at the end. The story was painful to read at times and felt like a task to endure (so I just want to throw that rape trigger warning out there). I did appreciate how those scenes weren't used for shock value, though, and were processed throughout the course of the story. I've read most of Juliet Marillier's other books and think this is one of the best all around. I'll definitely be reading the sequels!

  • Katerina
    2019-05-13 21:38

    “All that he had of her was his memory,where he held every moment,every single moment that she had been his.That was all he had,to keep out the loneliness.” Daughter of the Forest is one of those books.The ones that are scored on my heart,the ones that caused both my awe and respect for the story and for the author.For it takes a tremendous amount of talent and soul to write such a book.I recall the tale of the Six Swans,I remember being a little girl watching the animated version,and it made me so sad that the heroine had to go through so many hardships to save her brothers.Reading about it though,about Sorcha's adventures and misfortunes was something widely different.It felt like a fairytale,the descriptions and the evil witch and the Fair Folk and the brotherly love,but it was not one.Because fairytales show just the tip of the iceberg,the evil that is only necessary for the story to go on,or else the children that crave them would have trouble sleeping.It wasn't only Oonagh the villain,although this malicious woman casted the curse and brought misery to everyone.It wasn't only Richard and his ambitions.It were also those horrible men in the forest,the peasants and the household who tormented Sorcha,even the Fair Folk,who thought the mortals are toys for their amusement.But Sorcha survived.She is one the strongest and most extraordinary heroines I have ever met.So kind,so fierce,so devoted and loyal.She never had second thoughts about what she had to do to save her brothers,she put her family first.Except that one moment,when she couldn't let Red die. “Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt hollow and empty and aching. ” That is precisely how I felt during this story,especially when she bid Red farewell.This is a romance like no others.So tender yet so passionate,so impossible yet so right.I loved Red for loving and protecting Sorcha,for being patient,for being such a brave and kind man.He often brought me tears.The way Juliet Marillier unfolds the romantic element in this novel is proof enough that extended make-out sessions or sexual tension is not the only way to make a love story memorable and worthwhile.Healing someone's wounds,being there for them,being kind when the entire world shows hatred and malice,protecting them and putting their happiness above yours,this is also true love.“He would have told her - he would have said, it matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment. I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind. I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night. 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.” Daughter of the Forest is a book I will always cherish deeply,that will always be a part of me.There is no better gift than that.

  • Tatiana
    2019-05-02 01:31

    4.7 starsAside from a couple of minor qualms, Daughter of the Forest is pretty much an example of an almost perfect debut novel.This book is a beautiful retelling of the Celtic "Swans" myth, which has been familiar to me since childhood through the Hans Christian Andersen's version - The Wild Swans. Sorcha is the seventh child and the only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. When Colum remarries after being widowed for almost 13 years, the evil stepmother (and witch) puts a dreadful spell on Sorcha's six older brothers. The only way to lift the spell is for Sorcha to undertake a difficult task accompanied by a lot of pain, loss, and terror...The best part about this book is that Juliet Marillier stays pretty close to the source material, not transforming the original into an unrecognizable horror fest as some modern writers often do. Instead, she enhances the myth with a beautiful love story, realistic historical background, admirable characters, skillful infusion of ancient magic, stories of dedicated friendships and unyielding sibling devotion, and a couple of utterly despicable villains. There are not many flaws to this wonderfully written book. The story is intense, heartbreaking, and passionate. My main complaint is its length. While the book is only 400 pages, at times it felt it was twice that size. No matter how much I read, I couldn't get through more than 50 pages per day. I don't know if the font was small or the narration was a little heavy, but it took me forever to finish this book. I loved the story and there are some intriguing loose ends left unresolved and therefore I am pretty certain I will read the second book in the series - Son of the Shadows, but I definitely need some time to regroup, because it's even longer than Daughter of the Forest.

  • Keertana
    2019-04-28 02:42

    Incredible. I know I've said I've been speechless when reading books before, but this time, I genuinely don't have the words to express what a masterpiece this novel is. I actually finished this novel early today morning, at around 1:30, but it was only at 2:30-ish that I actually got up to go to sleep. I couldn't get this story out of my head; I simply kept thinking about it. If Juliet Marillier hadn't already made a fan out of me with Heart's Blood, then I'd be tripping over myself to fall at her feet for truly, this book is remarkable.Daughter of the Forest is known to be one of the best fantasy novels out there, but it's hard to believe just how good it is until you read it. From its cover, it seems to be a simplistic fairy tale re-telling, but it's a fairy tale like no other. We don't have any knights in shining armor; instead, the princess has to save herself. We don't have an innocent girl for whom circumstances clear up and solve her problem; we have a broken girl who has to struggle to find happiness. Sorcha is the youngest of seven children, six of whom are boys. Thus, she has grown up sheltered, loved, and cared for by her siblings. When her father re-marries, however, bringing Lady Oonagh, a deadly sorcerer, into their peaceful abode, Sorcha's life is turned upside down. Lady Oonagh turns her beloved brothers into swans and the only way for Sorcha to break the spell is to weave six shirts made of a prickly nettle and remain silent for her entire ordeal. It is only when the shirts have been made and worn by her brothers that the spell will be broken, but the journey that Sorcha will embark on will change more than just her future, it will change her very being and shatter her to her core.Daughter of the Forest starts out slowly, introducing us to Sorcha, her world, and her close relationship with her brothers. Thus, when her brothers are turned into swans, we, as readers, feel just as much pain as Sorcha herself. I could feel myself visibly wincing every time Sorcha was reminded of her past life with her brothers, full of happiness and delight. Daughter of the Forest is a dark tale. A very dark tale. I sobbed for a solid five minutes at one point in this story because of the utter horror of the situation. Yet, despite all the darkness, there is a subtle undercurrent of hope, of happiness, of love. It's all so beautifully interwoven that one cannot help but be reminded of life itself with its ups and downs and darkness and light.You see, Daughter of the Forest is a painfully realistic tale. Sorcha has an incredible trove of inner strength. I admire her immensely and she's one of those heroines I'll never forget. I could simply be in the supermarket having a bad day and Sorcha is one of those protagonists who will come to mind and I already know I'll tell myself, "If Sorcha could go through all that, I can get through today." Sorcha isn't a saint - she's only human and that is felt so palpably despite the ordeal she manages to go through. Thus, despite the seemingly amazing feats she manages to achieve, Marillier weaves this tale in such a way that she is able to convey that each and every one of these ordeals is possible to overcome, just as anything is with the right dose of love, faith, and perseverance.Nevertheless, one of my favorite aspects of this novel is, hands-down, the romance. If Marillier is the Queen of Slow Burn Romance, I am the Glutton of Slow Burn Romance. I can't get enough of it and Marillier writes it to pure perfection. What I loved about the romance in this novel, particularly, is the fact that it manages to happen all without Sorcha uttering a word. Somehow, against all odds, Sorcha manages to find someone who understands her very soul, who sees her task as a brave ordeal she is facing, and who can understand her with little difficulty, despite her silence. Furthermore, Sorcha never even realizes that she's falling in love. As the reader, we can see this romance unfold in front of our eyes, but Sorcha's task remains to be the main plot thread, until eventually, Sorcha comes to realize the love she had and how, despite not realizing it before, she needs the very presence of her lover to calm her. For, to be in love isn't necessarily to crave physical affection or even understanding, but often, it comes from the most basic, innocent, and true primitive instinct of needing that other person's presence and strength by you. It is this that Marillier manages to embody so beautifully within this novel and I can't get enough of it.Daughter of the Forest is a dark, emotional, and achingly bittersweet fantasy like no other. It is one that kept me on the edge of my seat with a box of tissues within the grasp of my hand and a warm blanket draped over me. It's one of those stories that continues to plague you long after you've read it as you marvel over both the author's creativity and skill along with the characters and their complexity. I can't recommend this book enough, but really, everyone should read this. Everyone. Like all fairy tales, Daughter of the Forest contains a trove of themes and lessons and Marillier conveys all this in a subtle and beautiful manner that touches and stays with you like nothing else quite does. Truly, if there's one book you should make yourself read before you die, it's this one.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-05-11 02:31

    I have always loved the fairy tale about the sister with numerous brothers who had a wicked stepmother who enchanted her brothers to turn them into birds. The number of brothers and the type of birds can vary. I have seen it with ravens and with swans. In Daughter of the Forest, Ms. Marillier used the version in which the heroine has six brothers and they are all turned into swans. I must say I truly enjoyed (and devoured) this heartbreaking, emotionally wrenching novel based on that fairy tale. I like the way this version is set in Dark Ages Ireland, in which the Irish fight against the British to maintain their sacred islands and to keep their own faith. In this case, the heroine is the seventh child born to parents who are mystically blessed. Her mother died in childbirth and bequeathed a spiritual legacy and a deep bond to her seven children.The theme of family is a huge foundation of this story. These siblings would do anything for each other, and their bonds of loyalty are severely tested. This is one of those books where you scream to the heavens in agony, asking "WHY?" in a loud voice. So many trials and hardships. I was prepared from the fairy tale, but the additional detail in this story and the foreknowledge of some major aspects make it that much more wrenching to read. And what happens to Sorcha while she is in the forest, that just about broke me.A person would have to be made of stone to not be moved by the trials that Sorcha endures. Not just that, but the cruelty that is so much a part of life for people in this story. Ms. Marillier tackles the subject of war between cultures. In this book, you start out seeing the Irish side, but Sorcha's brother Fimbar has always looked at the issue of warring cultures as a construct that falsely divides people who are at their heart just humans. He wants to see both sides, and he wants to find a way for both the Irish and the British to see each other as allies instead of enemies. His warlike father Lord Colum doesn't understand that at all. His heart died with his wife, and his focus has become fixed on conquest and protection of their lands from the British, at any cost. As this story progresses, and I met Simon, a Briton who was captured and cruelly tortured by Lord Colum's forces (and liberated and healed by Sorcha and a kindly Christian priest that dwells on their lands); and later meeting Lord Hugh, who saves Sorcha's life and protects on her dangerous mission to save her bothers,and his people--I could see that there was good and bad on both sides. For that's just the nature of humanity. Alas, this reader has a very tender heart, and I was affected deeply by the dark times that unfold in this story. I was also struck by the unfairness of it all. As much as that bothered me, I couldn't imagine being the characters in this book. Sorcha seems to be put in a position that no thirteen-year-old (at the time her mission starts) should have to face. The Fair Folk have chosen her for this responsibility, and neither her nor I really truly understood what their game was. What was the author trying to say here? That life is pain, and it doesn't seem to make sense. That we can make up explanations for it, but in the end, we just have to buck up and deal. I guess that is true to some extent. There are so many twists and turns, and life is full of these unfair situations. Like Sorcha, I rely on my faith to make sense of it, and to keep me strong. Even though my faith is different from hers, I could identify with her in that sense, and in the love she feels for her family.There are many memorable characters in this story. Of course, Sorcha. Sweet, loving, enduring, fiercely determined Sorcha. She is the willow that will bend but won't break. Her brothers (all distinct and lovable), Simon (who formed a bond with Sorcha that affected them both deeply), and Lord Hugh (who is called Red), just to start with. Characters that I loved and cried for in my heart at how they suffered. I wondered how the author could be strong enough to show her characters hurting, dying, and being subject to the cruel actions of bad people. I know it wasn't at all easy to read. The villains are so evil, you just want to tear them limb from limb. Just evil because they can be. Lord Richard seemed even worse than Lady Oonagh, despite her dark witchcraft. He was the type who was pure human, but with the mentality of a devil. Both with secret ambitions brewing in hearts so black they don't even seem human. As I read, I shook my fist at them both, and willed Sorcha and her brothers to be strong. Like Sorcha, I could not help but love Red. What a wonderful man!This was an absorbing story. It's truly angsty and sorrow-filled. The kind of book that leaves a lingering essence of melancholy in me after I finish it, even though the ending is relatively upbeat, for the most part. But the emotional scars of what occurs in this book didn't fade even when the book was over. They stayed with me. That's the power of a good book. You don't want to finish a book and think, "What did I just read, because I don't feel a thing?" Nope, that's not this book. For those fairy tale lovers, this is a must read. It captures this beautiful story of a sweet but enduringly strong heroine whose love for her brothers takes her to very dark extremes, but that love is pure enough to help her save them and herself. People say that fairy tales are chauvinistic and show women as weak, under others' control, always needing a prince to save them. I don't think they have read this one, or they wouldn't dare say that. And what is strength anyway? Did Samson's strength protect him from Delilah's wiles? Did Hercules fare any better in his tragic life for all his strength? No, to me, the greatest strength is that of a loving, enduring heart. And no one has more strength than Sorcha in that regard.

  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    2019-04-27 19:22

    It has taken me forever to get to this review because I was just not sure how I could possibly pack everything I felt during this book into coherent words stuck together that would even possibly do it justice. I still don’t think that I will be able to manage it but I’ll try.Daughter of the Forest (DoF) takes an old Irish legend/fairy tale and breathes new life into it. I was not familiar at all with the original version of this story so I cannot comment on how closely it follows but I will say this is not a Disney version of a fairytale. It is dark, painful and horrifying at times but it is also balanced with extreme love, devotion and hope. So even though it breaks your heart DoF will do its best to patch it up again.This hurts, I know. But you have been strong before, and you will be now. What is burned can be replaced; what is destroyed can be made again. In time you will win back your voice. In time—in time, you will find your path back homeThis is not a watered down version of a legend. DoF follows Sorcha over years first chronicling the time she spent growing up with her brothers to the events that led to the curse. It laid the foundation very well for how close Sorcha was to all of her brothers and the strife between the Irish and the English. I really believed how much she loved her brothers and why she would undertake such a large task in an attempt to save them.Sorcha is not the normal kick-butt heroine that you see in a lot of new fantasy. She has a solid heart, kindness in abundance and a quite determination that she uses to complete her task. She also has a type of subdued magic, not in the sense that she makes spells and such but more natural from a time when people cared about the forest and treated it and the spirits within it with reverence. A time when the realm of Fae was just a wrong turn away and you could easily be caught up in one of their schemes and games.The magic of the story isn’t overpowering it feels natural and like it is meant to be there instead of forced. I really enjoyed that and thought it fit well with the task that was given to Sorcha to save her brothers from the curse that turned them into swans.╰⊰✿Everything I Loved✿⊱╮There is so much that is really wonderful in this story. It is told entirely from Sorcha’s PoV and sometimes that doesn’t work for me in fantasy but it made this story feel all the more personal. I connected with Sorcha right away and saw how she grew from an innocent giving child who knew nothing about the true dangers of the world into a resilient young woman who sacrificed much of her childhood to save the brothers that she was so close to.When Sorcha started her task she was but a child still and even though she knew a lot about healing, she really didn’t understand how long it would take her to complete her task or any of the other obstacles that would get in the way of that. The Fae had a plan set into motion for her and although not all of the pieces clicked together right away you could see how each obstacle set in her path shifted and changed her into the woman she was destined to become. For part of the story she is completely isolated and the story was a little slower for me through this section as I felt all the loneliness that Sorcha was feeling. I liked the story much more once she found a companion and protector in Red.“Take this to light your way, daughter of the forest,” she said. “You told me you were tired of being strong. Maybe you will not need to be so strong, now.” She placed a tiny around candle, herb scented, in my open hand. She turned to the Briton. “You hurt her with your unthinking words,” she said, and her eyes had lost any warmth they had once had. “Make sure she is not hurt again.” And before he could draw breath, she turned and was gone.Red made this story for me. He is EVERYTHING I love in a good hero. He is the epitome of a quixotic character. He is noble, kind and stoic. He is a man that is strong and can be counted on in any situation and I ADORE HIM. When he found Sorcha she had been beaten down and broken possibly even close to giving up, but Red is patient and so respectful to her even though she is technically one of the enemy. Red never sits too close, he learns to listen to Sorcha’s body, face and eyes to learn about her. He takes the time to really get to know her and even though she cannot speak he learns to hear her. The story of their time together is beautiful, frustrating, hopeful and probably every other emotion in-between.Here I am telling tales, and half believing them. For I think sometimes that you, too, will go back one day, hear the call of the sea and slide away under the water as Toby’s mermaid did. Or maybe one night, as I watch outside your window, I will see an owl fly out and vanish into the forest; and when I look for you, all that will be left is one small feather on your pillow.Sorcha has many other dealing with people and those never go as smooth but she did find a few friends besides Red in a land of enemies and they were all wonderful. There are also quite a few people to despise and hate along the way for their cruelty and bias against Sorcha. The fact that she isn’t allowed to speak at all while completing her task made me even more frustrated for her.There was so much TENSION that built and built and I really wasn’t sure how things would end up. I had a lot of hopes but I was left with so many doubts and I could just see things ending tragically. This is not a traditional HEA story which actually made me love it more in some ways. There are some areas that had true happiness and others that didn’t get the resolution that you might expect. I really liked that not everything was tied up with a nice bow at the end. It made everything in this seem so much more real.There are a few things that really worked in the story but that I didn’t love due to the nature of them. I will discuss those below. Please note they may be spoilerish in details.╰⊰✿Warnings and Cautions✿⊱╮There will be a few spoilers (the general ones are not marked because they are part of the warning)Like I mentioned before This is not a Disney Version of a Fairytale meaning there are some extremely graphic scenes of violence and abuse. I completely understand why these are in the story and I think the author did a fantastic job with them and how they affected the character. They aren’t thrown in just to build drama they really did serve the story and really showed Sorcha’s dedication to her task and everything she had to go through to complete it.I’m really sensitive to two things in books. The first is Rape and the second is animal deaths. This story had both of those and I’m not going to lie they were rough….really really rough. But they served a really large part of the story. Those events changed who Sorcha was and really showed how strongly she was willing to fight to complete the task and save her brothers. The way she interacted with people and trusted was forever changed and it actually added to the love story the way that Red was so patient with Sorcha and how well he tamped down his own emotions and wants in an effort to never scare her and gain her trust. DID I MENTION I LOVE ❤RED❤ I’m so glad that it was never swept under the rug. I think it showed a real account of how someone rebuilds her life after an event like that. My one and really only complaint is that while the rape scene was really graphic the very much later scene involving sex was not quite fade to black but pretty close. I would have liked to see a little more of that transition and how it was dealt with by the couple.The other thing that was a little over the top for me was the villain Richard. He is aweful and does some absolutely horrendous things to Sorcha, but it is more mental abuse than physical. Still it was really difficult at times to read those parts, as intended but non-the-less he is very graphic in some of his mental abuse as well.╰⊰✿You Should Still Read This✿⊱╮Even though there are some rough patches this is still a highly entertaining story that will tug at all your heart strings. I have thought about multiple sections of this story repeatedly over the last few weeks and have even gone back and reread some of my favorite sections. It is a truer story than most where not everything is handed to you, at the end there are still questions in my mind and I think about the characters and where their paths led them. If you, like me, are a fan of Melina Marchetta, like stories with complicated paths or can be happy with a story that isn’t all rainbows and sunshine then this is probably something that you will enjoy.

  • Mayim De Vries
    2019-04-27 21:27

    The pages of this book flow like a river of sorrow and anguish, and pain, and loneliness, courage, and hope, and an unyielding love. But the stream is strong so once the current of the Six Swans retelling has caught you, you will be there, held like under a spell and unable to stop. It is not an easy tale but, oh, a beautiful one.The fairy tale is known, and so I am not spoiling anything by telling you that Daughter of the Forest tells us a story of Sorcha, the youngest child of the Lord of Sevenwaters whose father is bewitched by and then married to the evil sorceress who changes Sorcha’s six older brothers into swans. The girl flees into the forest, and when she learns that there is a way to lift the curse, she is determined to do so, regardless of how daunting the task and hopeless the chance. (By the by, the forest is a living creature in its own right and much better than the one attempted in Uprooted).There are six brothers: solemn Liam, the oldest, a leader; sunny Diarmid - the hot-headed warrior; Conor and Cormack, twins like mirror images but, oh, so very different! one deep and subtle beyond years and immersed in the old ways, the other like quicksilver, bold and fearless; Padriac, eager for knowledge, inventor and explorer whom all the wild creatures know as a friend, and finally Finbar, the most sensitive and mysterious with the Sight to see farther than an ordinary man and an ability to heal the spirit. Considering that they spent most of the book in the bird form, it needs to be said that Ms Marillier did a wonderful job fleshing their varied personalities out. But the tale belongs to Sorcha [FYI, in case you didn’t brush up your Gaelic, you should pronounce it SOR-ra] and she is the first person narrator. Sorcha lives her life sheltered and knows nothing about the world until one day the world comes right into her face. She is a creature of the wild, barefoot and somewhat magical. Nobody really raised the girl so all her childhood she did whatever she wanted, mostly mimicking her brothers in a very masculine household without a woman able to reign the girl in. Her brothers dote on her, and even if she is not spoiled, she is most definitely pampered and sheltered. No wonder she didn’t get along with the evil stepmom, you think. Obviously, but in order to understand the gravity of what has happened, you need to understand the connection between the siblings: “the seven of us were of one flesh and one spirit as surely as the seven streams of our childhood flowed and mingled in the great shining heart of the lake”.Taking away the brothers feels as if somebody robbed Sorcha of parts of her soul or dissected parts of her body. And so she agrees to make six starwort shirts, and the solitude of her quest is further compounded by another condition - absolute silence: “From the moment you leave this place till the moment of your brothers’ final return to humankind, no word must pass your lips, no cry, no song, no whisper must you utter. Nor will you tell your story in pictures, or letters, or in any other way to living creature. You will be silent, mute as the swans themselves. Break this silence, and the curse remains forever.”Nobody said it was going to be easy. In fact, the story swiftly takes you from bad to worse to horrendous in a sequence of events that are wonderful and terrible, and plain and twisted. “You will find the way, daughter of the forest. Through grief and pain, through many trials, through betrayal and loss, your feet will walk a straight path.”But Sorcha is a fighter and she is a survivor. In fact, she is one of the fiercest heroines in all fantasy I have ever read. I know what images spring to your mind when you think about a “tough-cookie” female protagonist. There are countless warrior-princesses, assassins, fighters, and other martially adept figures known and loved by many. I’m sure I don’t need to name them for you. Even if the book starts with a relatively young and innocent girl, after reaching a breaking point she either turns to violence or becomes a disillusioned schemer well versed in the ways of the “real world”. Not Sorcha, no easy way out for her. Her path, her task in inhumanely difficult and yet she does not resort to violence (which is means employed by majority of the contemporary authors, how easy it is, you give the girl a sword or something and just off she goes on a killing spree), she doesn’t transform into an alter-image of her enemy either. As she fights against the despair and disasters that befell upon her and the wretchedness of her fate, she remains her true self, patient, emphatic, tenuous healer. She doesn’t give up even if she gives in at times, she bends but she doesn’t yield and she never, not even once, wallows that the price she is paying is too high.And it is high, exorbitant even. There are hunger and loneliness, there are all kinds of mistreatment including rape and bereavement including loss of friends both in human and animal form. The threads of Sorcha’s story are tangled, knotted, falling into chaos from bad to worse to beyond endurance and yet, with every twist of sharp thread and every starwort thorn stabbing her fingers, she prevails. There is one thing that needs to be said about the rape scene. It is brutal, wrecking, it truly annihilated me emotionally. In a way, the difficulty in reading it only attests to author's talent. Fantasy these days, and not only grimdark fantasy, also epic and high fantasy, gives out violence like candies and rape like cookies, as all fans of ASOIAF know. And yet, this was painful to take in so proceed with caution. But as much as Daughter of the Forest is about endurance, it is also a love story. Love is beautifully wrought out by Ms Marillier and with exquisite care. There is nothing instantaneous about it, noting primarily carnal (can you believe that Sarah J. Maas?!), although it is undeniably sexual. Red will melt all your chocolates ladies. Marillier gives you a romance that is made of unspoken words and unmade gestures, unconditional trust, and unconscious need. One of the best out there (view spoiler)[(although I, most certainly didn't like the late attempt at a love triangle. That made no sense for me) (hide spoiler)]. “You know not, yet, the sort of love that strikes like a lightning bolt; that clutches hold of you by the heart, as irrevocably as death; that becomes the lodestar by which you steer the rest of your life. I would not wish such a love on anyone, man or woman, for it can make your life a paradise, or it can destroy you utterly.”Marillier shows us the true face of magic for what sets the brothers free is not some ritual or the properties of starwort plant, but the sacrifice and love woven into shirts stained with blood from Sorcha’s hands and wet with her tears. The prose is beautiful, it grows on the reader, wild and unforgiving in a forest of emotions wild as the Fae as the tale branches, and twists, and leads the travellers to places far beyond their wildest imaginings. Simultaneously, the novel is most definitely slow-paced. The newer books just accustomed us to movie-style non-stop action, whereas the older novels spare pages to build the ambiance, and paint the background of the background. After 100 pages in I had expected some major drama/action/development, but all I got was premonitions and foreshadowing. If you are partial to this kind of buildup, you might struggle with the book. What is more, even though it is a historical fantasy ripe with all things Celtic, some "suspension of disbelief" is required to enjoy the story fully (because it is a fairytale retelling after all).I liked that the ending wasn't neat, that some strands of the tale were left jagged, its heroes a little bit damaged, some questions still unanswered, some answers already lost. And I am looking forward to continuing the series. Other Sevenwaters books: 2. Son of the Shadows 3. Child of the Prophecy 4. Heir to Sevenwaters5. Seer of Sevewaters RTC6. Flame of Sevenwaters RTC

  • AH
    2019-05-23 20:22

    What a breathtakingly beautiful book! It’s hard to describe Daughter of the Forest. It is a fantasy, a historical, and a romance. It reads like a fable or a fairy tale. It has all the elements of a fairy tale – the evil stepmother, a fairy godmother (sort of), an enchantment, an impossible task to accomplish, a prince charming, and a happily ever after.This has to be my all time favorite book now. I was captivated by the story, mesmerized by the voice of Sorcha, our heroine. I did not put this book down for days. I probably used up an entire box of Kleenex reading this and my kids looked at me quite strangely. Sorcha is a very special young lady. She is the seventh child of a seventh son. Her mother died in childbirth. Her six older brothers care for her and they all share a special bond. Sorcha can communicate telepathically with two of her brothers. She is also well trained in healing. So much happens to Sorcha in this novel, but one thing remains in my mind – she is totally devoted to her brothers. Such love brings her much angst and suffering, yet she endures.For most of the story, Sorcha endures an impossible task to free her brothers from an enchantment. Sorcha is not allowed to speak until the task has been completed. At one point she must leave her lands and is found by a Briton, Red. Red rescues Sorcha from nearly drowning and brings her back to his home.I loved Sorcha’s character. So strong, so determined, and way too young to go through such an impossible task on her own. Imagine not speaking for three years, not being able to explain what you are doing, and this is Sorcha’s life. Despite her burden, Sorcha was also able to see the beauty in the world around her. Red or Lord Hugh was a wonderful character as well. He was so patient and kind to Sorcha. Sorcha’s brothers are also very interesting characters. Conor and Finbar were my favorites. A fairy tale would not be complete without the evil villains. In this book, there is the scary Lady Oonagh who reminded me of a Disney evil Stepmother. Absolutely scary. The power hungry creepy Uncle Richard made for a very nasty villainous character. I think what makes this book so special is that the author is so gifted in her writing style. She gives a girl who is mute for most of the book a voice. We feel this girl’s love, devotion, and desperation. We feel all of this girl’s emotion. I also loved how the author included the Fair Folk in her story. They are never really in the main part of the book, they just happen to always be in the background. You are never really sure if they are responsible for a spell or not. I highly recommend this book. Be prepared with a lot of Kleenex. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Review posted on Badass Book Reviews

  • Vinaya
    2019-05-20 00:31

    How do you know when a book is a great book? - When the line between reality and fiction begins to blur, so that you could be sitting on a sunny balcony off a busy street, and still feel like you are in the cool, dark confines of the ancient Irish forests. When you are struck with sympathetic muteness because talking means the difference between life and death for the heroine, and it takes an actual, conscious effort to unlock your throat and answer when someone calls out to you. When you suddenly find that your usually limitless supply of words has run out altogether, and you can't find the words to describe how this book made you feel. I am not going to talk about characterization, worldbuilding, plotline, or any of the things I usually talk about in my reviews. Although they were all brilliant. I am not going to gush about the romance between Sorcha and Hugh, although it is more than gush-worthy. What I am going to do, is tell you how this book affected me. Profoundly. Personally. I have a weakness for Irish legends. I love the terrible beauty and darkness of the Fair Folk. I love the cadences of the story-telling, though it might seem long and tedious to some people. A lot of the story-telling in this book reminded me of the rhythm and style of Cecilia Dart-Thornton's Bitterbynde Trilogy. The fae of these stories are not the sexy, playful, almost-human faeries of the Urban Fantasy world. They are the real thing, powerful, removed and only concerned with humans as playthings, or pawns in the game of fate. And Marillier gets that. A lot of people will find The Daughter of the Forest heavy going. The tone of the book is portentous and the style of writing is almost bardic. Things move slowly, but there is beauty in the slow pace. This book resonated on a level I find difficult to explain. I cried when Sorcha cried, I hurt when she hurt, I shivered when she feared and I loved when she loved. It was almost as if I was absorbing her character, becoming her in one sense. And this is where truly great story-telling lies, in the ability to divorce you from reality, so that you can't think about whether you love or hate a character, because you are practically one entity. In the ability to transport you to another land, and make you love its people, until they feel like your people. In the ability to move you to the extent where words become impossible, even unnecessary because the silent places in your soul have come alive. I think I would never be able to objectively recommend The Daughter of the Forest to anybody. The act of reading it was too personal, the story too close to my heart, to be able to judge with any accuracy whether it will be to someone else's taste. All I can do, in my measly way, is give it five stars, and hope this review resonates with someone out there someday!

  • Emily May
    2019-05-14 22:32

    No RatingI cannot fairly rate this book so I'm going to leave it as it is. I was originally attracted by the high ratings and positive reviews but I discovered early on that, for whatever reason, this book simply isn't for me. I couldn't appreciate the story enough to read on and that is why I won't insult it by giving the kind of low rating I usually give to abandoned books. In this instance, it was definitely me and not the story or writing.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-08 19:23

    What a fabulous start to what I hope is going to be a 5 star series. One of my favorite books so far this year!

  • Lindsey Rey
    2019-05-23 21:23

    Trigger Warning: Sexual AssaultIt was very difficult for me to give this book a star rating. First off, I want to say that I enjoyed this story a lot and found it very enchanting. I didn't want to put it down and I will be continuing on with the series. I really enjoyed the writing and I thought the cast of characters was very intriguing and really pulled you in to the story. The novel did lull in a couple of places, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of the book. I did listen to the audio book which helps for the slower sections.I took off a star because I had some major problems from a feminist point of view. If you have read the book, I completely agree with this post which CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS.

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-05-14 20:35

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/01/30/b...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.

  • Kathleen
    2019-04-29 23:26

    3.5 stars. Wondrously evocative and lyrical. Enthralling. Suspenseful. Redundant. Too redundant. This is a popular romantic fairy tale, found in the Young Adult and Juvenile shelves. Yet I question that classification, as there's agraphically adult scene (disturbing) as explained in spoiler further below.Major spoilers are tagged and hidden: Daughter of the Forestis an über-extended take on The Six Swans, set in medieval Ireland, when Druidic and Christian cultures first started to overlap.Sorcha of Sevenwaters is about 16 years old when the story ENDS. She is deeply attached to her six older brothers, and they love her just as dearly, because they raised her from infancy, since their wealthy and titled father was gone a lot. (Their mother, a wise white witch, died giving birth to Sorcha.) When Sorcha is ~12 years old, her father remarries. Soon after, the six brothers are cursed, turned into swans, becoming human only during the solstice, once a year. To break the curse, Sorcha must painstakingly sew a shirt for each of her six brothers -- not from cloth, but from thistles that she must pick herself. And she must not speak a single word, sewing six thorny shirts in silence within three years. It's the only way to break the curse. The tension! Sorcha, take care! Mustn't let one syllable slip!For much of the story, from age 13 to 16 (12 to 15?), Sorcha is silently sewing. To make matters worse, she's mainly alone, driven from her home. In the spirit of a fairy tale, evil exists, and she is easy prey -- poor Sorcha!! In addition, she must overcome various obstacles and natural hazards. Eventually she meets Red (Lord Hugh), a sea-captain and titled landowner who gives what little help he is allowed by the terms of the curse.Throughout the story, Sorcha is growing up, maturing into a young woman, learning her own strength and intelligence. Very nicely done! This adored youngest child and only daughter who was raised in nearly ideal conditions (thanks to her wonderful brothers) must strike out alone to repay the love they gave her. To save her brothers, she must endure one antagonist after another, persisting in her painful task. My thoughts: First of all, wow! What an enthralling narrative! The story was often mesmerizing. Some scenes had me holding my breath in suspense. There was a constantly ticking clock in the back of my head as the allotted time elapsed and the shirts took shape. Would she finish in time? Despite her deadly antagonists?? And what a culminating scene! Nail biting.The dialogue flowed. The narrative was vivid, with plenty of descriptive imagery and echoes of old Irish mythology and fae lore. I felt myself sinking into the magical, misty isles...YA & romance classification:This is often classified as a romance, but it has very little romance in it, given that Sorcha (view spoiler)[ doesn't meet Red (Lord Hugh) till midway through the book, and then he goes away on a voyage for a long time.(hide spoiler)] Still, the romance is compelling; the author developed a credible and sigh-worthy relationship during the little time Sorcha and ____ were together (I'd guess < 20% of the 500+ pages). Moreover, I seriously question the YA classification. Not sure this is for adolescents or even teenagers, because (view spoiler)[ there's an EXTREMELY explicit rape scene, as well as implied sex between one of the six sons and his new step-mother (she cast a love spell on him). In contrast, there is a fade-to-black love scene with Red and Sorcha. (This bugged me... why pages of details on the rape and no details on the lovemaking ??? Not that it belongs in YA, but the contrast. What's up with that??)(hide spoiler)] .Critiques:The comment (about sex) in that spoiler is the first of a few critiques, both major and minor. Another is that the story is redundant and dense. I kept reading...and reading. Some parts didn't seem worthy of all the pages, like the long time Sorcha spent with (view spoiler)[Simon, and all for naught, really, as he ends up being a secondary character with minimal involvement in the last half of the story.(hide spoiler)] Also, too much repetition of Sorcha suffering as she sews: Her hands are swollen, her fingers disfigured, but still she toils on, never abandoning her labor of love. How many such scenes do we need? An editor could have deleted some scenes.Also, after reading the entire long book the resolution is unclear. You have to read a sequel, but even the sequels don't tell us what happens to ALL the brothers and the evil witch. I felt cheated, because I grew to love those brothers and the sequels deal with the next generation. Plus, I did want to see the witch pay. Quibbles aside, Daughter of the Forest is beautiful. Glad I read it. Recommended!

  • Justine
    2019-04-27 02:43

    Amazing. If I wasn't sure before, this book solidifies Juliet Marillier as one of my very favourite authors. The story of Sorcha and her trials as she works to free her six brothers from enchantment is painful and gut wrenching. While it doesn't all result in a traditional fairy tale ending, the story does deliver what feels right and more true to our own experiences. No one can live through what Sorcha and her brothers do without being irrevocably changed.Marillier's writing is perfect as usual, and her characters are lifelike and filled with emotion. This book delivers both heartbreak and joy, and not in equal measure, but the joy is all the more satisfying for it having been so hard won.

  • Meridyforgot
    2019-05-07 19:16

    I just want to say that I have very mixed feelings about this book. It is one of my favorite love stories of all time. It is not some mere trite story. It is meaningful and deep. However be warned, it does have what I have referred to before as "content". There is a part near the beginning where she is abused. Skip it. There is a part at the very end after they are married. There you go. So if you read it, and want to come away unscathed, be careful. Start at the part where Red finds her(maybe start somewhere in the middle and work your way back to it) and end when Red is finished with his story he tells at the end of the book. Oh, one more thing. Red has a nasty uncle who is--well nasty. You might want to skip some of his dialog towards end to our heroine--don't remember how bad it got, but you knew where is thoughts were going.I do not recommend any of the other books in this series. I haven't actually read them, but I skimmed enough to know that they were not for me. While Daughter of the Forest has "content" in it, I felt the characters were very moral. I was disappointed with where she took the series. To me, the heroes where so flawed that they disappointed me, not to mention that there is "content" in those books as well. One of my pet peeves about book series is when you develop a love for characters who triumphed in the first book and then they totally messed up in the second one. From what I could tell this happened in the series, but like I said, I only skimmed.

  • Adrienne
    2019-05-14 00:41

    Such a gem to read and have on your bookshelf, full of magic and mysticism, love and romance. One the most beautifully crafted books I've read in a long time, the story line is very simple and has been written about in other reviews ,what makes it extra special is the voice of the narrator Sorcha (sor-ca), she tells her story with such a simple yet very emotive voice that can bring the reader to tears in just a few beautifully put together words. Altho this is a hefty book it didn't seem to matter, I was transported in one swoop to Sorchas home Sevenwaters in Ireland to a land filled with greenery and trees and magic and then when a twist in her story takes her to England to a place filled with greenery and trees and evil from which Sorcha requires protection. I toiled with Sorcha, cried with her and fell in love when she did (altho being young and niave she missed the signs). Her story takes some marvellous and sometimes gripping and sometimes sad twists and turns and for one so young her burdens were many (as is so in fairy tales and stories of Myth and Legend) but she was oh so strong and brave and committed to her path and despite being sometimes insecure and emotionally out of her depth she did remarkably well. I loved this story and really look forward to reading the next in the series.

  • Angela
    2019-05-03 20:31

    I would not recommend it, especially to young adults. The story was beautifully woven and the writing is very engrossing, but there is graphic description of abuse that did not strengthen the book and was very unnecessary. It pretty much ruined the book for me.

  •  Stacy
    2019-05-13 00:30

    I have three words to describe this book....beautiful, heartbreaking and enchanting! Okay maybe four words if you count and... This book is something special and it has made its way to my "favorite books ever" shelf! If this is a book you're interested in then stop right now and read it. It's that good. Juliet Marillier is an amazing writer and this will be a book that I will never forget. She creates amazing imagery through her writing and you'll find yourself swept off to another land in no time. Sorcha and her six brothers live with their father Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. They had lost their mother as young children, but otherwise lived a happy life. Then one day this jerk wad of a woman (Lady Oonagh) decides to marry their father. The father suddenly seems to be placed under a spell that nobody can break. "There was something deeply unsettling about Diamid's fawning admiration, and my fathers readiness to be overruled by his lady. And by the way the servants were scurrying about nervously, as if afraid of taking a wrong step." "But if felt bad, not as if she just wanted to get to know us, but - I shivered. I don't know. As if she would store the information and use it somehow. Use it against us." The family is torn to shreds after the wedding. Lady Oonagh placed a spell on more than just Lord Colum and it's up to Sorcha to make it all right again. We are taken on a heartbreaking but beautiful adventure, while Sorcha does everything in her power to make her family whole again. This is not an easy read. It's kind of a heavy read and be prepared to want to punch (or worse) some of the characters. Even though things get difficult and hard to read, this is a very rewarding story. There were at least two times that I just wanted to give up because there was so much despair. You'll be so happy once you finish this book, so don't give up if you feel like I did during those chapters. It did take me a bit to get completely absorbed into the story, but once I was, there was no going back.My favorite characters in no particular order were: Sorcha (of course), Finbar, Simon and Red. I'm moving on to the next book because I must know more about this world and these characters. I can't stress this enough...If you like this genre then read the book! "You cannot do this. It is wrong, all wrong. How can you even think - oh, for words to tell him properly. The threads of this story were tangling, knotting, falling into chaos. It was one thing to break the pattern, another to tear it boldly apart." Oh and I must warn you that there's a small bit about rape in this book. It didn't overly bother me personally (I didn't like it of course), but it may bother you, so beware. Also, I've been on the search for a mind-blowing book. I've been grabbing random books and hoping for the best. I started this before the hunt but I'd definitely consider Daughter of the Forest as being a winner.

  • Kaila
    2019-04-26 21:30

    RE-READ: December 20175/5 stars“You will find the way, daughter of the forest. Through grief and pain, through many trials, through betrayal and loss, your feet will walk a straight path.” I cannot even begin to explain how much I love this book. It is definitely one of my all time favourite books, and may even take out that top spot. I remember absolutely adoring this book the first time I read it, but all the emotions have come rushing back to me this time. I am overwhelmed with how downright gorgeous this book is; the writing style is poetic, poignant and so very powerful. This author has dipped every word in bucket full of emotion, which hit me right in the heart. Daughter of the Forest is a captivating novel full of family, sacrifice and perseverance. I recommend this book whole heartedly for lovers of fantasy, or anyone that's just looking for a wonderful read.It's impossible for me to try and summarise this story, I just can't do it. I feel like I'd destroy the pure complexity of this story, characters and the world by putting it into a box. I'm going to try my hardest to give a short overview, but trust me, this book is much better than anything I could possibly say. Anyway, this book follows the family of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, who was the seventh son of a seventh son. He expected the same familial path, but instead, he had six sons and one youngest daughter. Young Sorcha grew up with her brothers and not like a lady should have. She was wild, a daughter of the forest and so often compare stories with the faerie folk. The connection that she had with her brothers ran deep, much like the connection she felt for her land. When tragedy strikes the heart of Sevenwaters and all of Sorchas brothers are put at risk, Sorcha must sacrifice herself in order to save her family. She is exiled from her home at Sevenwaters and must learn to live in the hands of her enemy, so far way from her home in the forest, It is in this journey that she experiences the most heartbreaking loss, but also love. “She had sacrificed her childhood to save her brothers; she loved her family above all else, and her spirits yearned to return home once more, to the wild forest and the land of mystic tales and ancient spirits whence he had taken her. That was the place of her heart, and if he loved her, he must let her go.” Me trying to get everyone to read this book:Juliet Marillier's writing style is absolutely stunning. Her words flowed so perfectly and made every description seem beautiful. Through this writing, the various settings of the novel were painted so vividly and richly in my mind. I could see every tree, feel the wind against my legs and hear the sounds of the forest. This author is a masterful storyteller who made it so easy to fall into the world of her novel, and not emerge until well after the book has ended. The way the story flows seems almost graceful, an elegant sort of storytelling, if that makes sense. Every scene and moment flows so well with each other, making a flawlessly executed plot. On paper, the book seems quite slow and the major conflict only occurs after the one hundred page mark. Despite this, I was fully captivated and downright spellbound by the writing. The author made even the simplest of character interactions seem enthralling and emotion filled. This allowed me to be fully captivated by every moment of this story, and is probably why I'm still think about it now.“All that he had of her was his memory, where he held every moment, every single moment that she had been his. That was all he had, to keep out the loneliness.” I remember this book being highly emotional the first time I read it, but it's as if these emotions returned tenfold for this re-read. The are some truly upsetting and traumatising moments in this book, so if sexual abuse is a trigger point for you, I'd keep that in mind when reading this novel. I was on the verge of tears so many times reading this book, even in parts where I wasn't so sad the last time. We really get to know Sorcha deeply throughout this book, so the pain she feels is reflected in my own emotions. I felt fully connected to Sorcha and I'm pretty sure I act like a proud mother to her. She goes through so much but remains kind, strong, selfless and fully herself. She is one of my all time favourite heroines as she is a very good depiction of a strong female lead. I have such respect for her because I can't even imagine going through the trials that she did.I don't want to be too repetitive in this review, as I'm keeping the thoughts that I initially shared during my first reading of the novel. So now I'll leave you with the opinions of past Kaila: June 2016One word: phenomenal. This was absolutely beautiful, definitely a top favourite read of this year. I tend to stay away from adult fantasy books, the worlds always kind of scare me and I find the writing often hard to get into. This was not the case with Daughter Of The Forest. The writing was so lyrical and the world was both magical and realistic, I couldn't help but be swept away by the story. I still can't describe how magical and mystical this book was. From the very first page I was whisked away into a world that I wish I was apart of, with characters that I wish I knew. Everything was just so detailed and well thought out, I couldn't have made this story any better if I tried.The bulk of this story is about Sorcha and the task that she has to fulfil in order to save her brothers. This part really hit a cord with me because I have a brother myself and I still don't know whether I could have sacrificed as much as she did. She went through so much pain and suffering and yet the story wasn't overly melancholy. The perfect way to describe the story would be bittersweet, mostly bitter.“The threads of many beliefs can run side by side; from time to time they tangle, and mesh into a stronger rope.” The best part of this book would definitely be the characters and their relationships. The relationship that Sorcha had with her brothers was beautiful and well structured, I felt as if I was apart of the family just by reading the story. The love that Sorcha had for her family practically flowed from every word. Sorcha by herself is definitely a favourite female of character of mine. I found her so strong, loyal and humble; a truly admirable character. She grew so much in the novel and developed throughout the story to become someone quite inspirational.I also loved the romance side of the book. The romance was subtle enough not to distract from the story but also predominant enough to form a beautiful bond between the two characters. I loved how gentle and caring Red was and although Sorcha couldn't speak at the time, I love how she was with him as well. Although the relationship was lovely, my favourite part about the romance would be the fact that Red couldn't solve all of Sorcha's problems. Often in romance books, the male lead will 'fix' the heroine and solve all of her problems, which is quite unrealistic. In Daughter Of The Forest, Red did not try to fix Sorcha but rather helped her through her journey. Daughter Of The Forest is one of the most beautifully written books I've read to date. The writing flowed so well and each word oozed emotion and meaning. I can't wait to read more from Juliet Marillier (i.e. Every book of hers that I can find!!)“Real life 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.”

  • Emily
    2019-04-24 20:25

    If you are looking for a review that is more about the plot and characters, you'll have to look elsewhere. However, these are my thoughts on my experience of reading this book:This is now one of my favorite books. It was amazing. There are several reasons I loved this book but there is one that explains all the others - somehow I really identified with the protagonists even though on the surface I am nothing like her. However, I must have found something in her to identify with because I actually cried while reading this book. Twice! The really horrific things that happened to Sorcha (the heroine of the story) were so real when I was reading I couldn't help crying for her. Then at the end, I cried for a very different reason but I won't say why exactly because it would give things away.Crying at the movies is something people admit to a lot. Crying while reading books I think is less common. This is only the 2nd book I can remember that made me cry. The other one was Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, about the Holocaust. I think the mood one is in makes a big different to how one reacts to a story but even so, the story must be told well enough for the reader to identify so strongly. The other way I know I identified with Sorcha has to do with talking. In order to break an evil enchantment placed on her brothers, she is not allowed to speak or explain why she is not speaking in any way until she is finished with a task set out for her. Therefore all her dialogue for most of the book is in terms of descriptive gestures or thoughts she can communicate with a few of her brothers without speaking. The story is also told in 1st person which makes her silence fascinating since the reader knows everything she wants to say but can't say. As I was reading on Saturday, I was startled when I had to say something to my roommate or if she said anything to me throughout the day. It was as if I was thinking "Don't talk! Everything will be ruined if we talk!" This book was one that I wanted to never end but at the same time I really wanted to finish it so I could make sure everything turned out okay! When I took it back to the library tonight I almost didn't put it in the book drop, thinking I may want to read parts again. However, I let it go because I do recognize that I have a strong, probably abnormal attachment to books and reading... That attachment, though, is what makes me love reading so much. I have plenty of friends in real life but books are the only friends I can really "hang out" with when I am feeling introverted, if that makes any sense to anyone but me. I can read a book alone and feel completely renewed, the way that extroverts can gain energy from socializing. Reading gives me the energy to really enjoy my extroverted social times. This book is a perfect example because I had a wonderful weekend reading alone but when I went out with friends tonight, I felt more free and willing to socialize than I have in a long time. Maybe I just needed to have a good book to talk about ;)

  • Isamlq
    2019-04-29 01:40

    I went from to this,to this,to this,There are books that you take little sips from then are those you devour… this a little bit of both. It’s intricately told with a cast of characters each as nuanced as the other that I couldn’t help but get drawn in. That it’s lengthy is of no issue, in fact, I loved that aspect of it. Particularly since it allowed the reveal of who was close to whom and which sibling had what role. But this is mainly about Sorcha though, youngest of the seven among whom she’s a special place. It’s not as if she’s allowed to run wild, for there’s a discipline to them as is repeatedly pointed out. Each is schooled above and beyond and each has developed a specific skill. Where Liam, the eldest, has been groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, the rest of them had their place too. There’s the fighter, the wise one, the questioning one, the kind one, and still another with a hand with animals and… and she, the one with a skill in healing. The dynamic among them was something that kept me reading because it was the fact that they were always certain of a place with the other, allowed me to breathe through some other parts that were excruciating. But as said, it’s Sorcha’s tale, her path and her sacrifice. So many things happen to her, yet all of them she bore. And I wept. And I was frustrated… for her and by her, by them and for others (Simon! *sniff*).Add that the twists and the plots and the villains, all became so much more than I expected them to be. DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST just might be my favorite read this year. Witnessing her change from child to woman in this one, go through everything that she did and still stay strong and sweet and loyal? Perhaps Red saying she that she touched everyone around her is not inaccurate because she’s certainly left an impression on me. 5/5

  • Phrynne
    2019-04-23 21:14

    I am a great lover of fantasy but I am discovering that I prefer my fantasy books to be original and not based on fairy tales. (One notable exception being Cinder and its sequels). Fairy tales are known for their cruelty and hardship and Daughter of the Forest is quite relentless in this respect. It may be that the book was just a bit too long and Sorcha's tedious task seemed to take forever. However I was uncomfortable with several of the scenes and wished they had not occurred. I won't be continuing with this series but I will look to see what else Juliet Marillier has written since everyone else seems to find her a five star author!

  • Rane
    2019-05-18 19:26

    It's been such a long time since one book has made me feel one strong emotion from another. From tears to rage This book will make you feel something wether you like it or not This was an beauitful book with sometimes some harsh underlining factors that made me cringe and at one time wanna rip out the pages, but as I read I couldn't help by be drawn even more deeply into the story.I won't lie and say I wasn't PO'd at the abuse Sorcha suffered but your showed she was stronger and was able to beat anything in her path no matter how hard it appeared to be. But this book wasn't about beating the odds, but the bonds between two people. between family. about love. No matter the distance or the pains, love will always be there to heal and touch our lives in ways we can't even think of. Overall an amazing book with an amazing heroine in Sorcha and even though it was long, sad, and hard fought I was happy for her happy ever after!

  • Sanaa
    2019-05-20 22:34

    [5 Stars] I absolutely adored this book. It may be more of a 4.5 star book overall, but I think it may be a new favorite so I'm just giving it a 5 star rating because I loved it so! This book is haunting, beautiful, and it brought me to tears on more than one occasion. This was extremely different from other adult fantasy books I have been reading lately, and I think it was a really pleasant change. It felt in some ways like I was reading a Gail Carson Levine book for adults and about a billion times darker. Check out my video review down below![Non-Spoiler Video Review] http://youtu.be/5TxvdqMhbUU

  • Angie
    2019-05-06 02:27

    The time has come. I knew that at some point I would have to review Daughter of the Forest. Do you ever go through your book reviews and realize you haven't reviewed one of your favorite books of all time? And the reason is simply that you read it before reviewing was even a twinkle in your eye. You may have talked about it here, there, and everywhere. You may have heckled dear friends shamelessly until they broke down and read it. But you haven't actually reviewed it. And the other day I realized that was the case here. Despite the fact that I've read everything Juliet Marillier has written, I've only actually reviewed two of her books. And so while I feel like I've talked and talked about it, it's only in references here and there. Okay, sometimes impassioned exclamations. But you catch my drift. So I decided it was only right to go back to the beginning and tell you how and why and when my love for this book began. And it began, as so many wonderful things in my life have, on a plane to Italy. I needed a book to read on the flight over to visit my folks, and I had been eyeing this one in the bookstore for awhile. I knew it was a retelling of the Seven Swans fairy tale, which was a mark in its favor even though I was pretty unfamiliar with that particular tale at the time. It was a debut novel by an Australian author with a beautiful French name. And it just looked so lovely. So I snagged a copy and cracked it open after my beverage service, with a lovely long night ahead in which to lose myself in the writing. Which I promptly did somewhere in the middle of the first paragraph.Three children lay on the rocks at the water's edge. A dark-haired little girl. Two boys, slightly older. This image is caught forever in my memory, like some fragile creature preserved in amber. Myself, my brothers. I remember the way the water rippled as I trailed my fingers across the shining surface.Shivers of delight, my friends. That's what that opening sent down my spine then, and that's what I felt just now as I typed it. Published over a decade ago now, this book loses none of its magic over time. Rather it grows stronger and more captivating with each read.The seventh child of a seventh son, Sorcha is the daughter who should have been a son--that most magical of all beings--a seventh son of a seventh son. Instead she is a girl. And with six older brothers and a mother long dead, she grows up wild and free at the heart of the forest of Sevenwaters. And while her father, Lord Colum, has been ever distant and forbidding, her brothers have always been there to watch out for her and to teach her. Especially Finbar. So close that they are often able to tell what the other is thinking or feeling, Sorcha knows something is wrong when Finbar goes suddenly distant and troubled shortly after her father's men haul in a stranger from foreign parts found trespassing on their land. It's all very cloak and dagger, but it quickly progresses to a nightmare, when Finbar defies his father and sneaks the prisoner out under cover of night. Sorcha's healing skills are immediately called upon to treat the wounds her father's men inflicted upon him. In the meantime, her father shocks them all by marrying again. His chosen bride, the Lady Oonagh, fills the boys and Sorcha with an almost irrational fear. But it's not till the prisoner she has worked so hard to help disappears, followed shortly by her brothers, that Sorcha comprehends the magnitude of her danger. For a spell has been cast on those she holds dear. Turned into swans, her brothers are gone, only to reappear briefly each Midsummer's Eve. Prompted by the Fair Folk themselves, Sorcha makes a terrible bargain, exchanging her voice and her home for a faraway land, a stranger's protection, and the slimmest of chances to restore her brothers and her fragile peace. A retelling of the Wild Swans fairy tale set in 9th century Ireland, this gorgeous historical fantasy shot right to the top of my comfort reads list the moment I closed the final page. Happily, in my experience, it has proved to be one of those books that binds people together through their shared love of its characters and their story. An example of a young woman triumphing over evil through love, sacrifice, and unfathomable determination, Daughter of the Forest is also a truly remarkable bit of storytelling. Sorcha is at the heart of it, with her love for her brothers, and the way she gives of herself, harnessing her considerable skills and will to bring them back from the brink of annihilation. What a daring feat of storytelling to strike your heroine literally silent for the majority of the book and still render her incredibly vibrant and active within the narrative. Everything comes together so perfectly in this book, as it is historical novel, fantasy epic, and flawless fairy tale retelling at once. And it is, of course, also a love story. How could it not be? Even now I find it difficult to express my feelings about this aspect of the story except to say that these two have one of the most tender, romantic, and equal relationships I've had the fortune to witness. The love story will lay you out flat, it's that outstanding. Here, a non-spoilery section taken from my very favorite scene in the book: It was getting late. The beach was half in shadow, the sky darkening. I realized there would be no return to Harrowfield that night. He did not press me for my answer; he just stood there, watching the seals, waiting. He had done a lot of waiting. A scrap of parchment lay on the rocks behind him; the rising breeze threatened to snatch it away from the round stone that had held it there while the ink dried. There he had made his final meticulous markings that morning as he sat there in the sun; that morning that seemed, already, so long ago. But there were no tallies of cattle or crops on this page, only pictures, small delicate pictures in careful pen strokes. I had watched him at this task before, and marveled at how he could choose to work, and disregard the wonder of the place that surrounded him. But it seemed he had not needed to look, to know its beauty. For this sheet showed the open sky, and the smooth, shining surfaces of wet stones, and the curling lace of breakers. It showed the great seals with their knowing eyes, and the flight of the gulls against tiny scudding clouds. At the foot, very small, was the last image he had made. A young woman running, her hair blown out behind her like a dark, wild cloud, her gown whipped against her body by the breeze, her face alight with joy. Red reached across and picked up the parchment, slipping it out of sight between the boards and away into his pack. I thought, after all this time, I do not know this man. I don't know him at all.And that is how she writes. That's the kind of breathtaking emotion Juliet Marillier can evoke in her characters and in her readers. Nothing could possibly erase my memory of this scene or my memory of reading it for the first time. Sorcha and Red. The wind on the waves. Her blue dress trailing in the sea. And so much unsaid between them. I think of it often, when I am in need of a quiet, perfect moment. The best part is, this scene is just one of many, including a climactic moment that had me literally losing my grip on the book and gasping aloud it is so intense. Those of you who've read it, you know the one I mean. Finest, finest kind. My original copy is absolutely falling apart. I tend to treat my books rather tenderly. And I'm pretty sure this is the most shocking state any of mine are in. But really what can you expect when it's been read and handed out and reread and handed out so many times that it's literally falling apart at the seams? Someone along the way kindly stuck some tape in there on the worst parts. I can't tell you how many times I've lingeringly run my finger over that lovely raised foil F on the cover. This is a book both well-read and well-loved. I hope a copy finds its way into your home and your heart someday. I hope it never leaves.