Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review | Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest
Juliet Marillier
Sevenwaters #1
Mythological fantasy/fairy tale
4 stars

Bite-Sized Review
Daughter of the Forest was an excellent fairy tale retelling that mixed fantasy, mythological, and romance elements. Recommended!

King-Sized Review
Daughter of the Forest is based on the fairy tale The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen. Sorcha, youngest and only girl of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters' seven children, has an idyllic childhood, surrounded by brothers who adore her and given little adult supervision. Her life changes, however, when her father marries and Sorcha's new stepmother – a wicked stepmother, naturally – binds her brothers in an enchantment. Only Sorcha can break the spell, but she must remain silent while she works to do so, without exception. Sorcha must make difficult choices and

If you've ever read any of Hans Christian Andersen's original fairy tales (rather than the Disney versions), you'll know that he is all about the suffering. Don't get me wrong, you should absolutely read this book, but suffering is definitely present, and most of Sorcha's journey and tasks are downright unpleasant. I loved the book, but fair warning before you pick it up.

Despite that, I breezed through this one. I read it around hours 18-23 of the 24 hour read-a-thon, which, as anyone who does the read-a-thon knows, are normally the most difficult hours to get through. Reading this book, I didn't feel tired at all and had no desire to stop for sleep until I finished. Hopefully that gives you an idea of just how enthralling it was. Daughter of the Forest is the sort of book you just can't seem to stop reading and don't want to.

My only real complaint (the bit about the suffering was a warning, not a complaint) was that the characters were a bit flat. Most of the good guys were paragons of virtue, while most of the bad guys were unequivocally selfish bastards. The exceptions almost seemed as if they existed to provide exceptions rather than naturally arising from the characters' natures. However, it's a fairy tale, so I probably should have expected that simplicity.

Overall, Daughter of the Forest was a great start to this series. It was a complete story in itself, so if you wanted to read it as a standalone you certainly could, but the hints of a larger narrative were definitely there. Basically it had an excellent balance between story and series.

Quality: Excellent
Enjoyability: Excellent

In the same aisle
Deerskin by Robin McKinley


  1. Oh goodness, I had NO idea that's what this book was about. I've seen it around but hadn't read any reviews of it. I tend to really enjoy fairy tale re-tellings so based off your review, I might have to check into getting this from the library or something!

  2. Omg, so glad you read this book! I've been telling other people to read it for ages :p I thought it was beautiful sometimes! Lol, I send it to Britt and Ren as gifts but they're not reading it haha, so you know.. maybe you can give them a hint? ;)

  3. This is one of my favorite books of all time and Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite authors of all time. I love the fairytale quality all her books have. Kinuko Craft does some of Marillier's cover art and how Craft's work looks is how all of Juliet Marillier's books feel to me: painted in colorful, delicate detail. Things brighter, cleaner and clearer than they could ever be in real life.

  4. I'm glad that you loved it. This is one of my favorite books (series, actually, since the other books are also AMAZING). She is one of my favorite authors ever. Her books have these wonderful feeling to it: like diving into warm soothing water :D Even talking about this book makes me all jumpy :D


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