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.
Sexuality: Graphic rape scene