Book Review of Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1)

Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Book 1)
reviewed on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2


I was one of those kids (Im sure youve known a few of us) who read our Complete Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales cover to cover until the book was in tatters. Among the hundreds of extraordinaryand, admittedly, some not-so-extraordinarytales, however, the one about the girl who must endure great travails to free her six older brothers who have been turned into swans has always been one of my favorites, because its just so emotional, and the girl is so admirable. Happily, Juliet Marillier keeps my favorite aspects of the original fairy tale, and dresses it up in an astounding world of Irish historical culture and intricate political relationships.

Unlike other retellings that may push aside the original for the sake of setting, DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST stays true to the tale at its core. Sorcha endures almost unimaginable sufferings in her quest to free her brothers, gets unwillingly pulled into social politics, and is wrongly accused of things that were not her intention. She is a strong protagonist not because shes very active, but simply because she endures. The first 150 pages or so feel a little slow, but once the book moves into the frameworks of the original tale, I couldnt put it down.

This is a book I wouldve loved to death back when I first started reading fantasy in middle school, alongside lifetime favorites Robin McKinley and other admirable fantasies by authors like Garth Nix. As it is, DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST is still an incredible book, full of the richness of my favorite kind of high fantasy. Im glad I chose this one as my first Marillier book, and look forward to reading her other books in the future.