Title: Daughter Of The Forest
Author: Juliet Marillier
Published: Tor Books
Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with six sons: Liam, a natural leader; Diarmid, with his passion for adventure; twins Cormack and Conor, each with a different calling; rebellious Finbar, grown old before his time by his gift the Sight; and the young ,compassionate Padriac.
But it is Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter, too young to have known her mother, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect her land from the Britons and the clan known as Northwoods. For her father has been bewitched, and her brothers bound by a spell that only Sorcha can lift.
To reclaim the lives of her brother, Sorcha leaves the only safe place she has ever known and embarks on a journey filled with pain, loss, and terror.
The first chapter which is told by a much older Sorcha picks up on a day when the brothers and Sorcha are playing out in the sun by a stream. They are there to see the swans because Finbar said they are on the way even though there are no signs that say so. You see Finbar has the sight and is able to see bits of the future but the sight doesn't save him from the curse that comes to pass later on in the story. Sorcha smiles as the large swans soar down into the waiting water and reaches over to hold her brother Finbar's hand. Sorcha has a strong connection with Finbar and the two of them are able to talk with each other with their minds which comes in handy later on.
There are as Sorcha say many good memories like this day but with the good comes the bad as well she remembers the first day she held the Starwort plant with it's spine like needles which stick into the flesh when touched and sends painful burning through any part of the body it touches. The Starwort plant has a large roll to play in this story so I wasn't surprised at all that she remembered it so well.
Time passes and everyone becomes teenagers with Sorcha being just 12 at this time and the whole lot of them have spent many of their young years learning. The day of the dreaded Starwort was the very day that Sorcha decided that she wanted to be a herbalist, she wanted to use her all she has learned of herbs to help others. She Studied so much that she soon surpassed her Teacher as far as knowledge of the herbs. Sorcha soon becomes the towns healer and makes trips to town everyday with herbs to help the sick or wounded.
All is not so safe and sound though as her father and his armies are at war with the Britons who have taken their islands from them. War for land is very violent which Sorcha quickly learns when a young man with golden hair is taken prisoner by her father's army and brought to the Sevenwaters home. The golden hair is proof enough that the boy is a Briton and since they are at war with them he is taken for questioning and torture. Sorcha is a little shaken up by this since the boy looks to be close to her own age surely her father wouldn't bother with him and just let him go right? Wrong! That night as Sorcha sits in her room her brother Finbar comes to her for help. You see he needs something to put the prison guards to sleep so he can help the Briton escape. Sorcha agrees to help him and gives him a herb that should put them quickly to sleep, during that time Finbar slips away with the Briton who is near death. He takes the boy to their teachers house since he is a Christian he was perfectly willing to help the boy and has a spare bed.
A day or so passes and news of the escaped prisoner doesn't sit well with their father and his men. They have no idea what had happened that night right under their noses. That's when the teacher sends for Sorcha with word that the Briton is a handful and won't let the teacher anywhere near him. The teacher figures that Sorcha being a girl would be more welcomed. Sorcha makes up some excuse to stay at the teacher's place for a few days.
The Briton which Sorcha learns is named Simon is a bit more friendly to her but he is still a handful and is very moody which is expected since he is very hurt from being torture for information. To tell the truth they didn't think Simon was going to make it along with his wounds he was also unable to sleep without herbs from Sorcha. He wakes in the night screaming an shivering. Sorcha begins to get close to Simon and Simon is on the mend but slowly, he wasn't healed yet when she got a warning from Finbar that her brother's were coming and that she needed to hide Simon and come home.
After Sorcha leaves Simon becomes upset and runs off into the woods where he never to be seen again.
Sorcha had to come home quickly so she would be ready for her father's new wife. A with this new wife comes death and a curse upon Sorcha's brother's. There were little signs that something wasn't right with the new wife. She seemed to want Sevenwaters all to herself and which is why when the children of the house banded together to ask the Fair folk for help they got a curse instead of help.
The Curse is only on the brother's since Sorcha ran and while she was hiding in the trees she got a call from the Fairy of the forest which detailed the tasks in which Sorcha must complete in order to have her brothers back.
Thoughts: Action, adventure,and love! They all make for a really good book! If you like fairies and love with a bit of history. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!
"The future seems dark to you at present, and there is no telling where your way will lead. But there is a light on every path. In time you will find it."
"I climbed and wept, and wept and climed again, and at last I came to the Hermit's cave."
"and if he loved her, he must let her go."
MUSIC TO SET THE MOOD FOR THE BOOK!!!