Monday, December 8, 2008

Review: Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

"It was best to keep on the good side of the Fair Folk, whatever one's opinion of them. The forest of Sevenwaters was as much their home as it was ours. Long ago, our family had been entrusted with the task of keeping the place safe for them. This was one of the last refuges of the ancient races anywhere in Erin, for the great forests were being felled for grazing and the Christian religion had spread widely, displacing druids and wise women. The old faith was practiced only in the most protected and secret pockets of the land. Sevenwaters was one of those."

In ancient Ireland there came a time when the fairy folk, the Old Ones, could no longer inhabit the land. Clodagh's family have protected the forest of Sevenwaters for generations, it is one of the last refuges for the Fair Folk and there has always been an fragile peace. Clodagh is one of six daughters and at long, long last the baby boy that has been so hoped for is born to her parents.

Baby Finbar is only a few days old when he disappears and a doll made of twigs is left in his place. To Clodagh's dismay, she can see that the twig-baby is alive. She can see it breathe and move and hear its hungry cries. No one else can see this, only Clodagh, and she cannot bear to see the little stick baby die. It seems to her that the Fair Folk must want an exchange. While her father and his men search for a missing man that they suspect in the kidnapping, she packs a bag and the twig-baby and sets out to find her tiny brother.

Before long Clodagh meets the fugitive that her farther is looking for, Cathal, in the forest. He claims not to know anything about the baby's disappearance and Clodagh desperately wants to trust him. He becomes her companion in a quest that will require every ounce of their strength and courage if they are going to venture into the fairy realm and return home once again.

Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite authors. She takes ancient folklore tales from Ireland and Britain and breathes life into them. Her books are full of complex and interesting characters who always have a quest or task to complete or a mission to fulfill. The old landscapes and fairy realms are vividly described. This one is no exception. I'm always anxiously awaiting her latest book and have never been disappointed, they are wonderful.

This is the fourth book she has written about Sevenwaters but it is not necessary to have read the others before reading this one. Earlier characters do occur, but only peripherally, and this story stands easily on its own. If you like historical fiction with a little bit of magic thrown in, give these a try!

Visit Juliet Marillier's website here.

Heir to Sevenwaters is published by Roc. ISBN 978-0-451-46233-6



Susan said...

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Ladytink_534 said...

I recently read an anthology that this would have fit in perfectly. Sounds really good!

The Tome Traveller said...

It was! All of her books are so good, I highly recommend them.


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tashiana said...

stupid spam
anyway ooooo a quest book
very kewl
the twig-baby sounds magical
what if the baby has just turned into twigs? interesting...

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.