So I finally got round to reading the last book in Juliet Marillier’s incredible Sevenwaters Trilogy, and have now started on the follow-up books she wrote several years later.
Since reading Daughter of the Forest last year, Juliet Marillier has quickly become one of my favorite authors, and I love her writing even more with each book I read (although Son of the Shadows is still my favorite). If you haven’t already read her books, I seriously can not recommend them enough if you’re a fan of the magical and mysterious!
Check out my reviews of Child of the Prophecy and Heir to Sevenwaters below:
Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier
‘Good and bad; shade and sunlight, there’s but a hair’s breath between them. It’s all one in the end.’
Fainne has had a very isolated upbringing, living with only with her father – the sorcerer Ciaran – on an isolated patch of coastland in Ireland. However, her quiet life is thrown into turmoil when her grandmother, the evil sorceress Oonagh seeks her out and sets her a very important task, one that will save her father’s life: she must bring down the family of Sevenwaters, and ensure that the Old Ones fade away, or are destroyed. Torn between love and loyalty, and doing what is right, Fainne must find her way in the world, and make a terrible decision.
I’ve yet to be disappointed by a Juliet Marillier books, and this was everything I have come to expect: beautifully written, magical and heart wrenching. However, this probably wasn’t my favourite book in the Sevenwaters Trilogy purely because I didn’t like Fainne as a heroine quite as much as I loved Sorcha and Liadan.
However, it made for a refreshing change to have the main character be an outsider coming into Sevenwaters, despite her familial connection to the family (as the child of Ciaran and Niamh). I also liked the aspect of her unwillingly having to sabotage the family at her grandmother’s request, and this made for a good dilemma in which Fainne must reconcile her newfound love for her family at Sevenwaters against fulfilling her grandmother’s wishes, so that she can save her father from his clutches.
I loved the reappearance of the old characters from Son of Shadows, namely Liadan and Bran, who are probably my favourite love story of the series (although it really was close between Sorcha and Red!), and getting to see where they are years down the line.
I perhaps didn’t love the romance in this book quite as much as in the earlier books, and admittedly it was a smaller aspect of this book, beside Fainne’s mission. Darragh was definitely a great character, but seen as he was commonly absent from the story it was a little hard to warm to him. And despite the fact he was acting in Fainne’s best interests, the fact that he kept turning up when she had told him multiple times to go away and leave her to do what must be done got a little annoying.
As a conclusion to a series that I have absolutely loved, I really enjoyed Child of the Prophecy, although in some ways the ending was very bittersweet. I would probably consider this series to be one of my all time favourites now I’ve finally completed it, and I would highly recommend it to any lover of the fantasy genre.
Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
‘A tree is never just a tree, it is bigger and deeper and wiser than a girl like you will ever be.’
After six daughters and years of waiting, Lady Aisling of Sevenwaters is granted a miracle: in later life she has become pregnant again, and she gives birth to a son and heir for Sevenwaters. The family is overjoyed – and none more than Clodagh, one of Lord Sean and Lady Aisling’s daughters. That is until the child is stolen away in mysterious circumstances, the culprits leaving behind a strange changeling that only Clodagh can see. So she sets out on a perilous quest to the Otherworld with a mysterious stranger, intent on bringing back her brother. But the trickster Prince of the Fair Folk is a terrible force to be reckoned with…
I liked that whilst this book was clearly a Sevenwaters book it felt like the start of something new, as unlike the original trilogy it didn’t skip a generation. Instead the main character is Clodagh, a minor character in Child of the Prophecy, and the story is set three years after the events of the last book.
I really loved Clodagh as a character, especially because she differed from the usual characters who deal with the Fair Folk in the earlier books: she is a practical, logical kind of person with no supernatural gifts, aside from her ability to mentally communicate with her sister. She feels a terrible responsibility for the loss of her brother, and shows remarkable bravery as she resolves to go and find him, when none of her family even believe that it is the Fair Folk who are responsible.
Cathal as a companion on her journey was also something I loved, as he was a great character, and I was desperate to know the dark secret that surrounded him. Whilst on the surface he and Clodagh made a rather odd couple as they were so vastly different, I grew to really like them, and the chemistry between them was undeniable. They definitely became contenders for my favourite Sevenwaters couple (although I think Bran and Liadan still just about have the edge!)!
The actual journey into the mysterious world of the Fair Folk was also something I liked, as this wasn’t anything we had seen so far in the series, despite the Fair Folk’s frequent appearances. Their journey is fraught with danger as the try and pass through many obstacles and tricks, and this kept the pace moving along, and made the book almost unputdownable.
Whilst I had been slightly tentative about this book before starting, as it was written about eight years after the original three Sevenwaters books, and is part of a new series, I actually loved this every bit as much as the others. In fact I think I enjoyed this more than Child of the Prophecy! I’m excited now to have more books to read in the world of Sevenwaters (I say world…it’s Celtic Ireland, but with magic!), and hopefully I’ll get to reading Seer of Sevenwaters and Flame of Sevenwaters soon.
So have you read anything by Juliet Marillier? What do you think of her books?