Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

Son of the Shadows is the sequel to Daughter of the Forest, which I loved so it comes as no surprise that I’m curious about the rest of the books in the Sevenwaters series. I was assured by several book blogger friends that the second book is just as good as the first. Just a warning though, if you haven’t read the first book, there may be some spoilers in this post so I recommend that you read my review of Daughter of the Forest here instead.

Here’s the summary from Macmillan’s website:

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.

So all of you book blogger friends who said that this one is just as good as the first one, I definitely agree. This book occurs one generation after Daughter of the Forest and focuses on Sorcha and Red’s youngest daughter, Liadan. Liadan is very much her mother’s daughter but at the same time, she has qualities that make her uniquely herself. Like Sorcha, Liadan is a gifted healer and she loves Sevenwaters with all of her heart. She’d be content to stay in Sevenwaters for the rest of her life, even if it means she won’t get married and have a family of her own. Similar to her Uncle Finbar, she has the gift of Sight: there are times when she could she the past and possible events in the future.

Again, this story wasn’t easy to read. Liadan goes through a lot and she fights for her happiness and the safety of her loved ones every step of the way. This book is set in the same highly imaginative and wonderful world that Juliet Marillier created. There’s more Celtic mythology in this than the first book but so deftly written that it almost seems like historical fiction instead of fantasy. Lush and lyrical, Juliet Marillier’s writing will grab you and will not let go even after you finish reading. Stories are an important aspect of the lives in Sevenwaters and I love the little stories told in this novel. Liadan’s Uncle Conor said that one story resonates in different ways to every listener and I think the same goes with novels. We can all read the same novel but what we take from that story can be vastly different.

Anyway, I loved Son of the Shadows as expected. Both Liadan and Bran are wonderful characters. In order to be together, they had to fight even harder than Sorcha and Red. Liadan is strong and I love how she fought for what she wanted even if it went against the wishes of the Fair Folk. She made her own path and this may have consequences but I have a feeling she’ll be able to bear the burden. I have a favorite line in this book and I just have to post it here because it’s not that very spoilery anyway:

I wish – I wish I could dry these tears, I wish I could make this better for you. But I don’t know how.

*sigh* If you’ve read the book, you’d understand why this is such a lovable line. If you haven’t read it, I suggest that you give it a try. I think it can be read on its own but Daughter of the Forest is just as good so why not read it as well? šŸ™‚ I’m planning to read Child of the Prophecy next and I hope to see glimpses of Liadan and Bran in that one. Also, I just noticed that all of the Sevenwaters books involve females. Awesome!

21 thoughts on “Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

    • I’m glad I liked it too. I needed a good book to push aside thoughts of Kate Daniels and Curran in my head. I’ve finish the whole series days ago and I’m still thinking about them!

  1. Ahhhh. That quote. I about expired from awesome when I first read it. And then again every time I re-read it.

    Liadan and Bran have my heart. Always.

    So glad you read it and loved them, too.

    • It’s such a lovely quote! I love that it appears it the book twice. The second time is a winner.

      I love both Liadan and Bran. I really hope there’s more about them in the third book, I’d be happy with a little information.

    • Michelle, just found out that it’s your birthday. Happy Birthday, dear! šŸ™‚

      Yes, Liadan is fierce indeed. She’s such a great character. I love that Juliet Marillier’s female protagonists are all strong in their own way.

  2. I’m so glad you wrote this review. I can sometimes be a book snob and can honestly say that I wouldn’t have given this title a second glance. But your review changed my mind. Well done.

    • Read Daughter of the Forest first because that’s the first book in the series. I’m glad you’re going to give this a try. It’s such a lovely series.

  3. Yay! Glad to hear that you liked Son of Shadows just as much as Daughter of the Forest. I loved Bran so much *sigh*, and I loved that Liadan was so determined and always made her own decisions even when she knew that others would disapprove of her choices and she would likely have to face all the consequences alone. I’d forgotten much of Finbar’s heartbreaking story until seeing his name mentioned in your review. Such a great character.

    • I love both Liadan and Bran! I remember you left a comment in my review of Daughter of the Forest and said that I’m going to love this one just as much. I’m so glad I did. Liadan’s story is different than Sorcha’s because she decided to make her own path unlike her mother who chose to follow the path set out for her. But both of them are strong and brave that you can’t help but love them. Yes, Finbar is also a great character. Just finished reading Child of the Prophecy and there’s more of him in that one.

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  5. OH I how I loved this one. How I love Liadan and Bran and that sweet boy Johnny. And oh that sweet line *sighs* yes this one had it’s way with me.

    • I knoooooow! That line. *sigh* I love Liadan and Bran and yes, Johnny as well. Even when they all grow older in the latter books, I enjoy reading about the bits about them.

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