In A Nutshell

  • Genre: Fantasy, Romance (in that order)
  • Notes: You’ll enjoy it more if you’ve read all the books in this series before this one.
  • Recommended for: Marillier fans, Fans of The Mists of Avalon, and Anyone who enjoys reading about Medieval Irish  Folklore.

A New Kind of Sevenwaters Heroine . . . Around 5 years ago I read the first of the Sevenwaters Series and fell in love with Sorcha and Red and the entire world of Sevenwaters. I then grew to love the second novel, the third wasn’t my favorite, but I think I will do separate reviews for all of them later.

I was shocked to see that Marillier had continued the series as all the previous books in the series were written in 2007 and she really hadn’t touched it since then. Imagine my surprise when I found out she had written two more novels for the series. I was so excited I went and got Heir to Sevenwaters on my nook immediately.

For those of us who have not read the Series, I suggest you skip the rest of this review and go out and read Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier. You would not be wasting your money.

For those of you who have read the series or some of the series then you will enjoy this addition to the Sevenwater’s family. And in fact if you have not read Son of the Shadows many references to Johnny and his tattoo-faced warriors will be lost on you. As a side-note: I found SotShadows to be my favorite in the series so you really should read the first two. You can get by without reading Child of the Prophecy but I think that all of it is building to something so I would recommend it. Now that I have logistics out of the way, lets move on to what I thought. The general premise for the book is as follows:

The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest-and a new heir has been born. But the family’s joy turns to despair when the baby is taken, and something unnatural is left in his place. To reclaim her newborn brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there…

Clodagh is a really interesting protagonist. She is the oldest daughter living at home, her “more exciting” twin marries and moves away, and she takes over the running of the household while her mother, who is bedridden with a late-in-life pregnancy, cannot. She is told many times how well she takes over this role and while she is pleased to be helping, she finds it very sad that those comments might signify her greatest accomplishment in life.

I think perhaps the strongest part of this book is the fact that Clodagh is a completely different heroine compared to her predecessors Sorcha and Liadan. I could not really relate to Clodagh in many aspects but that made her more interesting to me. She’s an older sibling, used to taking charge, motherly, and able to be stern and exacting. In a great time of crisis for her family she rises above her stereotype and is brave enough to try to save her brother and her family and eventually her love through impossible odds.

Sorcha and Liadan were born leaders and seemed to be raised fearless. Clodagh has to face things she fears very deeply, but she learns things about herself she never knew. One of my favorite quotes from the book seems to convey that exact thought:

“A tree is never just a tree, it is bigger and deeper and wiser than a girl like you will ever be.”

Another aspect that really drew me to this book, compared to the others is how much our characters get to interact with the Olde Ones and other creatures of the Otherworld. Marillier has continued a story that started with DotForest with this plot line and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

As far as our Hero goes, Cathal isn’t traditional in everyday books, but very traditional as a Marillier Hero. He is awkward but strong, lonely but arrogant, and scarred with a mysterious past. I find many parallels between Cathal and Bran. But what I found to be very unique to Cathal was his brotherly-yet-rivalrous relationship to Aiden. As you read the book and see how we are introduced to them, the many different mysteries of their relationship are intriguing and their interactions with each other were never dull.

While I did not find this to be my favorite of the series – if you’ve read the others you will see why I think that way – that by no means detract from the value of this part of the series. I found this to be an invaluable addition to the series. I can state very firmly that The Sevenwaters’ Books are in my top 5 favorite Book series. If you are like me you will read them on a rainy day, in a comfy chair, with a warm mug of tea.

Overall Rating (Out of 5): ★★★★