Today I have my spoiler-free review of Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier for you. This is the sequel to Daughter of the Forest, and you can find my spoiler-free review for that here! Let me know if you’ve read any of Juliet Marillier’s books – she’s fast becoming one of my favourite authors!
Son of the Shadows by Julier Marillier – The Sevenwaters Trilogy, #2
- Canadian trade paperback – 462 pages
- Release date: 6th of March 2002
- Published by Tor books
- ISBN: 0312875290
- Goodreads page for Son of the Shadows here!
Last year I read Daughter of the Forest, the first book in this series, and absolutely loved it. So I went into this book with very high hopes. Luckily, this book did not disappoint and I still absolutely adore the way Marillier weaves Irish / Celtic folklore into a historical setting (10th century Ireland).
It was really great to read about Liadan and learn what happened at Sevenwaters after the first book. The mix of old and new characters worked really well and the character development was great. I enjoyed reading from Liadan’s POV, although at times she was quite judgemental of others which was a little frustrating to read. I now can’t wait to read the third book and see who will tell the next part of the story.
As these books are adult, they feature some difficult topics so I will say trigger warning for mentions of domestic violence. Marillier’s books always make me cry as she doesn’t shy away from putting the characters into difficult situations. She writes their struggles so well and really makes the reader feel what they feel. This also means that I can hardly ever guess what is going to happen next.
I love, love, love the world-building in these books. I love that it’s set in 10th century Ireland. The Irish folklore is woven into the story so perfectly and she’s really worked hard to make it complex. As with the first book, much is set inside the forest at Sevenwaters and she writes each landscape so well. I really like the way she writes about the druids and subtly mentions the conflict between the old ways and Christianity at that time. Every time a character mentioned Alba (which is Gaelic for Scotland) I was so pleased!
Slight spoiler: a character in this book has a baby, and I really liked what that added to the story. I’ve not read many books where a child is brought in and not just hurried away out of the action.
I really enjoyed this book and gave it 5 stars, but I found that the ending dragged a little. I don’t know if I am just used to books which end quite abruptly after the main event, but I found myself eager for the book to end and to be done with their story. This book, more so than Daughter of the Forest, left me thinking about all of the loose ends so I can’t wait to pick up the 3rd book, Child of the Prophecy.
I also have a spoiler-free review for Wildwood Dancing which is the first book in one of Marillier’s YA series!
You can add my first book, The Changeling’s Journey, on Goodreads here!