December 22, 2009

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest AustraliaIgnored by her father but cherished by her six older brothers, Sorcha lives happily in Sevenwaters. When her brother Finbar rescues a Briton prisoner, Sorcha - who even at a young age is a skilled healer - is entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the prisoner, a young man by the name of Simon.

For many weeks Sorcha takes care of Simon, nursing him through his pain and nightmares and giving him some hope... until her oldest brothers and father return from war and she's summoned home, without her, Simon decides to go, leaving Sorcha to wonder what happened to him.

But Sorcha doesn't have much time to dwell on that, her father has brought home a new wife, Lady Oonagh, who will stop at nothing until she sees Sorcha and her brothers destroyed, finally using magic to turn all six brothers into swans, leaving Sorcha with the impossible task to return them to human form by keeping silent and weave six shirts of starwort for her brothers.

While going about her task, Sorcha is hurt by two men and withdraws into herself and, unsure if she'll complete the task, if she'll ever care about anything enough again, she hops into a boat and heads down the river, landing in the hands of Hugh of Harrowfield, Simon's brother who has come to Erin (Ireland) to find answers regarding his brother's disappearance.

Hugh realizes that Sorcha knows something of what happened to his brother, so he takes her home to Harrowfield, understanding that for her to tell him what happened, she needs to finish her task first. Not that things are any easier in Harrowfield... as Sorcha works on finishing the shirts for her brothers, new and old shadows are cast over Harrowfield, and those she's coming to love.

Okay, sorry for the super long 'summary' I was trying not to spoil much but trust me, this book is epic! I read it several years ago and it's amazing, I re-read it at least once a year. Like I said it's an epic, following Sorcha for several years, it's not a romantic story but it contains one of the sweetest romances I've ever read.

This book is not for the faint of heart, though. There are very dark passages in the book - though there is nothing explicit - and the mood can get very haunting. It took me a long time to finish reading it, and even when I re-read sometimes I have to put the book down and re-group. But if you can put up with it, you'll find an amazing book.

starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

PS - I posted the Australian cover of the book because I don't like the US one.
PSS - This is book One in the Sevenwater Series.

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