Son of the Shadows – Juliet Marillier

Sevenwaters, book two


Beautiful Sorcha is the courageous young woman who risked all to save her family from a wicked curse and whose love shattered generations of hate and bridged two cultures.

It is from her sacrifice that Sorcha’s brothers were brought home to their ancestral fortress Sevenwaters, and her life has known much joy.

But not all the brothers were able to fully escape the spell that transformed them into swans, and it is left to Sorcha’s daughter Liadan to help fulfill the destiny of the Sevenwaters clan. Beloved child and dutiful daughter, Liadan embarks on a journey that shows her just how hard-won was the peace that she has known all her life.

Liadan will need all of her courage to help save her family, for there are dark forces and ancient powers conspiring to destroy this family’s peace–and their world. And she will need all of her strength to stand up to those she loves best, for in the finding of her own true love, Liadan’s course may doom them all . . . or be their salvation.


Well, I think I prefer Daughter of the Forest, but Son of the Shadows lived up to my expectations. The writing was consistent, the story engaging, and the characters just as vivid as the original.

One major difference, as far as the writing goes, this one isn’t so relentless. I count that as a small mercy, as I spent the majority of book one a sobbing, blubbering, emotional wreck, and I attribute the change to book two’s focus on courage in the face of uncertainty rather than in the face of suffering. Ms. Marillier didn’t let me off easy, though; I still shed enough tears that people started to ask me why I was upset.

Liadan, while not quite such a tragic heroine as Sorcha, is still her mother’s daughter in that there are no lengths she won’t go to for those she loves. I didn’t quite love Bran as much as Red, but that’s more indicative of my strong partiality to the one than anything less likeable in the other. I loved how they interacted with each other, clashing wits and opinions, and while they have a bond that transcends the norm, it differed from Sorcha and Red. Theirs was a match of souls, whereas Liadan and Bran are all heart. Liadan defied everything and everyone, even challenging the Fair Folk in her determination to keep her love. Eammon reminded me a lot of Wildwood Dancing‘s Cezar, not to give too much away. I guessed Ciaran’s origins right away, and I’m curious how his and Niamh’s story will play out. For the rest, I loved seeing so many characters again! One in particular, but I can’t say more…that would really give it away.

A feature I love about Ms. Marillier’s work is the balance of hope and helplessness. Her heroines face impossible odds, circumstances are taken far beyond their control, and they are put to the ultimate test, yet they never give up. They persevere through the worst trials and often discover the depths of their own strength and courage along the way. They might have a guiding, Otherworldly hand every now and then, but the tenacity, wit and bravery is all their own. I love that quality and the magic of her writing more than anything. She moves farther up the ranks of my favorite authors with every book I read, and I’m anxious to see where it all goes from here, from Sevenwaters and beyond.

About RisingPhoenix761

Hello! Glad to meet you! Long story short, I've got a young heart with an old soul, I love to think about stuff, and occasionally share what I think about. Stick around, if you like!
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