Daughter of the Forest

Daughter of the Forest

4.28 (43,821 ratings by Goodreads)
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Daughter of the Forest, the first book in Juliet Marillier's award-winning Sevenwaters Trilogy

Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha's joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift--by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 554 pages
  • 114.3 x 175.26 x 43.18mm | 272.15g
  • St Martin's Press
  • Tor Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0765343436
  • 9780765343437
  • 8,771

Review quote

I enjoyed it immensely...For an Irish resident, familiar with the mores and customs, Daughter of the Forest has special meaning and relevance. Juliet Marillier is a fine new fantasy writer--and what trials does she put her characters through in the next book? Anne McCaffrey

Ms. Marillier's ability to use so well such a known legend and make it both logical and exciting is an outstanding gift. I am now, of course, eager to see 'what happens next.' Andre Norton

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About Juliet Marillier

Juliet Marillier was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, a town with strong Scottish roots. She currently lives in a rural area of Western Australia, sharing her house with a cat and a dog. A university graduate in music and languages, she has had a varied career that includes working for government agencies, opera singing, and raising four children. Juliet now writes full time. Her lifelong interest in myth, legend, folklore and traditional music is a strong influence on both style and theme in her writing. A passion for early British history, reflecting her Celtic ancestry, is evident in her choice of settings.

Juliet Marillier achieved international recognition in 1999 with the publication of her award-winning novel Daughter of the Forest. This is the first book of the Sevenwaters Trilogy, a historical fantasy set in Ireland and Britain in the ninth century, and is loosely based on the traditional fairy tale, The Six Swans. The second book in the series, Son of the Shadows, won the 2000 Aurealis Award for best fantasy novel. Child of the Prophecy completes this trilogy.

Juliet Marillier's second series is based on the first Viking voyage from Norway to Orkney, and weaves history and folklore into a saga of adventure, romance and magic. The series is made up of two novels, Wolfskin and Foxmask. Juliet is currently working on a new trilogy set in the north of Britain in the time of the Picts.
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Rating details

43,821 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 52% (22,706)
4 31% (13,531)
3 13% (5,566)
2 3% (1,304)
1 2% (714)

Our customer reviews

I have read Daughter of the Forest more than half a dozen times, and it gets better with every re-reading. This is the first novel by Australian author Juliet Marillier, and paves the way for her Sevenwaters series, which at the time of the review stands at five published books and one being written. Marillier is a born story teller, weaving a tale of courage, hardship, terror, romance and fantasy. This story is based on the old fairy tale the Six Swans, but goes well beyond the boundaries one might expect are imposed by this. Marillier's characters are compelling, her technique wonderful, her plot intense. I found this book a little slow to begin on the first reading, but after a chapter or two I couldn't put it down. Now, I adore the beginning and do not find it drags at all. Daughter of the Forest is an incredible debut novel, and sets up strong characters for the continuing saga. This novel drew me in, and is now a firm favourite which I read every year. It is emotional at times, distressing on occasion, but simply, simply beautiful. I honestly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys fantasy or romance, or for anybody looking for a new author to read. You cannot go beyond this wonderful Irish tale.show more
by B.A.
What can I say, I saved the best for last. Daughter of the Forest is my favorite fairy tale retelling of all time. (So far. Let me know your faves and try to prove me wrong!) I did a mini-review of this once before, but I want to expand on that now, and get a little gushy fangirly. I read this for the first time after having just finished Wildwood Dancing (also by Marillier). It came highly recommended by a friend, so I was pretty gung-ho. But the first 30 pages almost made me put it down. It's not that they were awful, but there was so much info-dumping, and nothing to really grab me and make me read it. And then that all changed. I lost copious amounts of sleep over this book both times I read it, because when it gets going, it gets going. I was so in it, and I cared so much about Sorcha and Red and the brothers/swans and what was going to happen. The pacing of the relationship is beyond beautiful, perfectly suited to tease you and keep you hungry for more while never losing the tension by drawing it out too much. When I originally reviewed this, I mentioned some issues I had with the villain and his Scooby-Doo tendency to spill his guts. I had less of an issue with this on rereads, even though it is a pet peeve of mine when characters do this -- I love this so much that I look back on everything with rose-colored glasses on. But why, you ask? Where to begin... Everything about this book feels fully realized, which is always impressive, and more so when you consider that this was a debut. The characters felt real, and Marillier did an incredibly good job of making each memorable and distinguishable. The 6 brothers spend most of the book off-stage or as swans, and yet I never had any trouble remembering who was who, what they liked, what type of Character (capital C) they had, etc. So much love and layering went into their creation, you can just feel it. So you can only imagine the creations Sorcha and Red became. There's so much pain in this story, and pain in the telling, and Mariliier doesn't just wipe the slate clean in the end. I really respect that, it makes everything feel more real and authentic and human. There are bad things that happen - as there are in real life - and Marillier did a really good job of not flinching away from that, and in showing the healing process and allowing her characters to work through things, come to terms with things. For those of you who have read the book, I'm not just talking about what happens to Sorcha. Multiple characters in the book face some really difficult things, and Marilier shows real honesty in her writing when allows a good does of realism alongside the fantasty aspects. There's always the wonder, sometimes the certainty, on the reader's part that there are things that they characters may not be able to come back from. There are wounds that may never heal. I don't like a sugar-coated story, and Marillier did a very respectable job of showing the highs and lows. And this brings me to perhaps the thing that makes this the book of awesomely epic proportions that it is: aside from the info-dumping in the beginning, and the Scooby Doo moment at the end (rough patches), Marillier is incredibly good at Show-Don't-Tell. Sorcha is a silent character (have I mentioned that I love a well-done silent character? Because I do.); everything is sort of filtered through her and her silence, and the pain and heaviness of it, and the shelter that it can provide. I think writing from the perspective of a character that couldn't just spill her guts allowed Marillier to hone her talents in writing a tale that shows a complete picture and lets the audience gather more than what is said. Or maybe she's just naturally skilled at this. Whatever the reason for it, this is one of the most present books I've ever read. I felt this book. I can't tell you how many times I got butterflies when reading this - not just because of the slowly-developing romance, but because something was about to happen. Even rereading this, I still got butterflies - I knew what was going to happen, for crying out loud, and it still made me have a physical reaction. God, writing this is making me want to read it again. And I know when I do, it will be another all-nighter, because I'll just have to keep reading until I get to _________; and when I get there...well, maybe I should read until I get to ____________. But I promise to go to sleep after that. Well, maybe one more chapter...show more
by Misty Braden
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