Thursday, 13 September 2012
Daughter of the Forest
I just finished this book and despite it's length I had it read in under a week because honestly, I just could not put it down. Loosely inspired by the Six Swans fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, it is set in early Ireland and Britain, referencing Celtic myths combined with early Christianity.
It is about Sorcha, the seventh child of the lord of Sevenwaters, and his only daughter, when her six brothers are turned into swans by their evil stepmother the Lady Oonagh, Sorcha must sew them each a shirt from the spiky plant starwort in silence to free them from the spell. It is not so simple though as she must flee from her home and finds herself in the wilderness vulnerable to men and nature alike. Later she is captured by the Briton known as Red, he rescues her from drowning but keeps her convinced by a talisman she holds that she is the key to finding his lost brother Simon. So Red takes her back to his home in Britain where it turns out he is a lord, Hugh of Harrowfield and his people are none too welcoming of an enemy they fear to be a sorceress.
This story is full of tragedy and horror but also romance and happiness, told from Sorcha's POV every character gets a moment of development, the villains are easy to loathe and the good attach to your heart so quickly. You cannot help but feel for Sorcha and her brothers' plight as they begin to lose sense of themselves whilst she becomes confused over who is the enemy and who is the friend.
There is not a lot of action as this is more about Sorcha's suffering and development and a budding romance, it centres of Sorcha's devotion to her brothers and her developing relationship with the Briton in a world where she is very much unwelcome.
Truly beautiful and heartbreaking I would highly recommend this, you will not be disappointed. Be prepared to be saddened, shocked and taken on a rollercoaster of emotions as this novel is highly realistic in terms of human relations, loss, treachery and love.
The first in a trilogy known as the Sevenwater Trilogy, it is simply a beautiful book, with light touches of fantasy and magic and a hint of Celtic folklore, inspired by one of my favourite fairytales.