Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with six sons: Liam, a natural leader; Diarmid, with his passion for adventure; twins Cormack and Conor, each with a different calling; rebellious Finbar, grown old before his time by his gift of the Sight; and the young, compassionate Padriac.
But it is Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect her land from the Britons and the clan known as Northwoods. For her father has been bewitched, and her brothers bound by a spell that only Sorcha can lift.
To reclaim the lives of her brothers, Sorcha leaves the only safe place she has ever known, and embarks on a journey filled with pain, loss, and terror.
When she is kidnapped by enemy forces and taken to a foreign land, it seems that there will be no way for her to break the spell that condemns all that she loves. But magic knows no boundaries, and Sorcha will have to choose between the life she has always known and a love that comes only once.
This was the second book for the #SFFWomen book club! I picked it partly because I love fairy tale retellings and partly because of a book friend’s review which said I wouldn’t be able to put it down once I started it.
She was totally right! I ended up reading Daughter of the Forest in one day, staying up way too late to finish it. I had so much emotional investment in Sorcha’s story that the there was no way I COULDN’T read it all in one day– I had to see if everything turned out okay.
It did, of course, but it took a lot of work to get there. This is not a happy-go-lucky fairy tale, fyi. Not that the original story was all that sunshine-y, but Daughter holds nothing back. Somewhere around 64% Sorcha hints at events in the future, to which I responded: “I don’t want terrible things to keep happening :(”
So, yes, terrible things happen! Lots and lots of terrible things, even forgetting the whole “my brothers got turned into swans” thing. But there is also some nice things, like Sorcha’s friendship with Red (and then later romance). It wasn’t all death and despair, and even the death-and-despair parts could be gotten through because of Sorcha’s perseverance.
She’s such a great character! In the beginning of the book she says that she should’ve been born the seventh son of a seventh son, but “the goddess was playing tricks, and I was a girl.” But! She still has the epic journey of a seven-seven, and the personality to go along with it. She’s headstrong and determined, and if the book hadn’t been in her POV I’m pretty sure I would’ve given up on it. I really liked Sorcha and I wish she was the protagonist in the other books in the series.
Yes, it’s a series! Which is great news because, while the ended is fairly definite about Sorcha and Red’s future, a lot of the swan brothers disappeared to have other adventures. I desperately need to know what happened to them, so I’m going to read the next book for sure.
Read: February 13-14, 2015