Daughter of the Forest
Juliet Marillier is completely new to me, so I was feeling a little apprehensive about reading ‘Daughter of the Forest’. The first 100 pages or so were a struggle, and then I really got into the narrative and couldn’t put it down. I stayed up past my bedtime reading to find out whether the story ended as I expected it to.
‘Daughter of the Forest’ is the first book in the Sevenwaters Trilogy. It follows the growth and trials of Sorsha, a seventh child who should have been a seventh son of a seventh son. After he father remarries, Sorsha and her six brothers are destroyed one by one, until the final transformation. Then follows the most difficult period of Sorsha/Jenny’s life, where she may die for her love for her brothers.
I initially thought this was a completely new novel, but soon realized that it was based on a fairy tale or myth I had read a long time ago. Nevertheless, the first person narrative is brought to life beautifully after the first couple of chapters. It seems like Marillier was unsure of her technique, but then warmed up to her protagonist. Sorsha is lovable, and a strong, convincing heroine. The opposing ‘bad man’, who isn’t obvious from the beginning was evil, but not necessarily surprising.
I would recommend this novel for older teens and adults only – there are some disturbing parts (rape, vicious murder) that are not suitable for younger readers in my opinion. The ending is a comparatively happy one, but there are sections where it seems like all hope is lost.
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