Today I have a spoiler-free review of Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier for you. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you will have seen me raving about this book. It is set in Ireland in the 10th century and follows a girl called Sorcha, it’s based on the tale The Six Swans as well as Celtic folklore, and I adored it!
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier – The Sevenwaters Trilogy #1.
- UK paperback – 672 pages.
- Release date: 22nd October 2015 (originally in 2000)
- Published by Harper Voyager
- ISBN: 0008150400
- Goodreads page for Daughter of the Forest here!
I absolutely adored this book. It was beautiful, heartbreaking and magical all at the same time. I can see Marillier becoming one of my favourite authors because I love the way she weaves folklore and magic into historical settings!
The first thing I will say about this book is that it is really dense! It is only 16 chapters, despite it being around 650 pages, which took me a while to get used to. However it is so worth it for the detail. The story is quite a slow-burn but I was soon completely hooked and immersed in the word. It is set in 10th century Ireland, and is full of Celtic and Germanic folklore. I am always on the lookout for amazing books inspired by Celtic mythology so I am over the moon to have found this one.
This book is written as if the main character Sorcha is telling us the story of her life. It was really interesting to see her grow and change, I felt like I was feeling every emotion that she did and found myself crying throughout! The writing just really spoke to me. She has six brothers, and I loved that family was such a huge element in this book especially since it starts off when she is quite young. The book really is heartbreaking, the author didn’t shy away from making bad things happen which made it all the more realistic despite the magic.
The world-building is honestly phenomenal, it’s on another level the way Marillier managed to immerse the reader in the different landscapes. Everything is so detailed and well researched. The magic in this world is also amazing, so intricately woven throughout every part of the story. I won’t say more because it’s best to go into this book without knowing much.
I must say, trigger warning for rape which is not skimmed over in the book.
The one thing I didn’t love about this book was the way a rape scene was written but then when it came to sex scenes, those were simply glossed over. I would have liked to have seen sex scenes written, not just because I loved who they featured, but because it would have been good to show consensual sex rather than only rape. (But this book was written in 1999 so perhaps that is to do with the times? I’m not sure.)
I still would highly recommend this book! It is one of my favourite books of all time and I can see myself going back to reread in the future. The Sevenwaters series now consists of 6 books, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book Son of the Shadows!