January 9, 2010

Son of Shadows by Juliet Marillier

Son of ShadowsWarning!! Possible spoilers of Daughter of the Forest
Growing up in the fortress of Sevenwaters, Liadan has had little cause to worry or suffering so far, the youngest daughter of Sorcha and Red, she grew up surrounded by the love of her parents and her siblings, her twin Sean and her older sister Niamh and other than fending off a possible marriage proposal by a childhood friend she's content with her life working as a healer for the people of Sevenwaters and keeping her mother company.

But things change once her sister Niamh falls in love with a young druid by the name of Ciaran. The men of their family, however, are not pleased by this - due to secrets they won't share - so Ciaran is banished and Niamh is quickly wed to a chieftain from the north, which sets in motion a chain of events that will change everything at Sevenwaters.

On her way back from escorting Niamh to her new home, Liadan is abducted by a band of outlaws, lead by a man they call The Painted Man. After spending sometime with them - taking care of one of the band's members who had been injured -Liadan comes to see them as friends rather than mercenaries and she forms a close bond with the Painted Man, to whom she gives the name of Bran.

Soon Liadan is faced with many choices to make, regarding her family and this man she is falling in love with, even as the Fair Folk tries to intervene and mold her life to suit their purposes. And so, secrets and more secrets begin to be revealed, binding the future of Sevenwaters and Harrowfield together once more.

It took me many years to read the sequel to Daughter of the Forest for different reasons, but I finally decided to go ahead and do it a couple of weeks ago, and I fell right back in love with this mystical world of Sevenwaters and the people who inhabit it. Again, this is no light read by any means, and the story of Niamh is particularly heartbreaking, but things do sort of work out in the end, which is always a plus.

Some returning characters from Daughter of the Forest lost my sympathies completely in this book (say, the 'Honorable' Men of Sevenwaters kind of suck) but I found plenty of other people to like.

starstarstarstar1/2Personal Favorite

PS - Once more I put the Australian Cover, because the US one is less than charming.

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