Book One of the Sevenwaters Triology
Published 2000 by Pan Macmillan
Greetings Brave Adventurers,
For me, the best gauge of a fantastic novel is my inability to put it down. That was my experience with Daughter of the Forest. This beautiful and haunting story was an absolute delight to read.
The story follows the plot of the Grimm fairytale ‘Six Swans’, but is set in a mysterious Celtic world. The style of Marillier’s writing reminded me a little of Mary Stewarts Arthurian Legend series, for its beauty and natural setting.
Daughter of the Forest recounts the tale of Sorcha, a young girl whose six brothers are cursed by an evil witch and turned into swans. Sorcha learns that the only way for her to break the curse is to weave six shirts of starwort, one for each of her brothers. If she tries to tell her story, or even utter a sound, her brothers will remain swans forever.
As you can imagine, the tale itself is one of suffering and endurance. And then there is the rape scene. I am glad I knew about it beforehand, and I can see why this scene has received much discussion. It comes at the centre of the book, when we are well invested in Sorcha, and is shocking for both its brutality and senselessness. It colours the rest of the story, and changes Sorcha’s character, adding an extra burden for her to overcome.
This is a truly amazing tale of love and loss and sacrifice and I am looking forward to the sequel.