Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: Review

Posted September 15, 2010 by Emily in book review, Uncategorized / 5 Comments

Daughter of the Forest
By: Juliet Marillier
Copy received from library

Summary (from Author Website):
First published in 1999, Daughter of the Forest is loosely based on the traditional story of The Six Swans, which appears in Grimm’s Fairy Tales and has been re-told in many versions, including one by Hans Christian Andersen.

In Daughter of the Forest, the fairy tale story – a youngest sister must maintain complete silence while weaving shirts from nettles in order to return her swan brothers to human form – is combined with a family drama set on both sides of the Irish Sea. More than anything, this is a story about the bond of love between siblings.

My Review: This was the August selection for Tell Me What to Read. I have to confess that I didn’t read this book until September. For some reason I was really daunted by it.

I think it is the rule with fantasies (epic and non) that at least 50 pages must be devoted to setting up the world. I am not sure how else to get around this, but I tend to skim the first parts of fantasies for this reason.

I could not for the life of me keep all the brothers straight. Thankfully, the ones that were most useful to the story stood out in a way that I was able to keep pace with what was going on.  So, if a lot of characters in a book scare you, be not afraid. Marillier has written over and over again what the key points of each character are.


I was told by Angie that there is a very graphic rape scene in this book. I kind of wish I hadn’t known that before I started reading. Through the first half of the book I kept waiting for it to happen and wondering how it was going to fit into the story.  When I finally got to it, I just skipped over it and moved on. I didn’t need the gory details. Just knowing it happened and why it was important to the story was enough for me.


I LOVED Sorcha’s romance. I saw it coming from a mile away, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was sweet, endearing and totally worth waiting the whole book for (almost).

Equally as heartwarming was Sorcha’s relationship with her brothers. I bawled nearly cried when they showed up the first summer and helped her chop wood and such. It was a heartwrenchingly beautiful display of family kindness that is so rarely found in literature. 

Sorcha was so real and wonderful. I ached for her. I triumphed in her small successes and mourned with her when she found herself in awful situations. By the end of her journey, I really felt like she was my best friend.

If you love fantasy, definitely check this one out. Thank you so much to Angie for recommending it.


My Rating:



Profanity: None
Sexuality: Graphic rape scene
Drugs/Alcohol: None
Violence: Moderate

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5 responses to “Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: Review

  1. I love this book, which surprises the hell out of be because I generally HATE anything that has anything to do with romance. The whole series is wonderful. I've been very interested to see your take on it, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think I gave this one four stars, as well in my review.

  2. I didn't know that there was a rape scene and I'm glad I wasn't aware of it because I might not have read the book if I knew. I was shocked when it happened and I had to pause for a bit. I ended up loving the book though and the Sevenwaters series is one of my favorites now. So glad you liked it!

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed it overall, Emily. Sorcha is such a strong character and I, too, love her relationship with her brothers. Especially Finbar. And, of course, Red.

    The scene on the beach will remain one of my favorites of all time.

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