I’ve been wanting this book for a while now. Seer of Sevenwaters is the fifth installment in the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier, one of my favorite discoveries in 2010. It’s such a great series and I knew I was in for a treat when I picked up this one. The books can be read on their own but there are references to some of the other stories so I think it’s still better to read them in order. Reading order: Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, Child of the Prophecy and Heir to Sevenwaters.
Here’s the summary from Juliet Marillier’s website:
Sibeal has always known that she is destined for a spiritual life, and is committed to it with all her heart. Before making her final vows, she travels to the northern island of Inis Eala to spend the summer with her sisters, Muirrin and Clodagh.
But Sibeal has barely set foot on the island when a freak storm out at sea sinks a ship before her eyes. In spite of frantic rescue efforts, only three survivors are fished alive from the water, and one of them, a man Sibeal names Ardal, clings to life by the merest thread.
As Ardal fights for his life, the island community discovers that there is something unusual about the three shipwrecked strangers. The beautiful Svala is mute and disturbed. Stalwart warrior Knut seems ashamed of his grieving wife. And Ardal has a secret he can’t remember… or won’t tell. When the astonishing truth comes out, Sibeal finds herself drawn into a perilous quest. At its end, she will face a decision that may break her heart.
Juliet Marillier is an amazing author and I’m so glad she decided to come back to the Sevenwaters world, years after she finished the trilogy. I love the Sevenwaters family and it’s always a good thing to get to know new characters and catch glimpses of old ones. I have been curious about Sibeal ever since Heir to Sevenwaters and I was glad she got her own story. This is the first time that we got the point of view of a druid from the family. Sibeal is a very reserved type of person – her vocation and her abilities (she has the gift of Sight) have something to do with that. She’s been training to become a druid since the age of twelve. Four years later, she’s ready to take her vows but her mentor and kinsman Ciaran thinks she should go to Inis Eala first. I’m glad we finally got a glimpse of the famous island community known for its unusual purpose of training fighting men because I’ve been curious about Inis Eala ever since it was established.
One of the reasons why I love the Sevenwaters books is because they have excellent characters. I was blown away by Sorcha and Red in Daughter of the Forest and also by Liadan and Bran in Son of the Shadows. I was hoping for the same reaction in this one, especially since the story is told from the alternating points of view of Sibeal and the man she names Ardal, so we get both sides of the story. However, I didn’t find Sibeal as compelling as her other female relatives. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy reading the novel as a whole because I did, I just didn’t love it as much as the other books in the series. The same lyrical writing that makes the setting beautiful is still there and I can’t find fault in that. I guess I just wasn’t as invested in Sibeal as I was hoping I’d be. I still highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction and fantasy but I suggest that you read the other books in the Sevenwaters series first if you haven’t yet. If you’ve read the other Sevenwaters books, I’m sure you’re already curious about this one because how can you resist Juliet Marillier and her superb writing? I can’t wait to read the next one, due to come out next year. Still no news on who’s the main character but I know it’s going to be awesome. There were hints about something big in store for Cathal and Ciaran in this book so the next one may have something to do with them. In the meantime, I can catch up with the rest of the Juliet Marillier books that I haven’t read. The Bridei Chronicles are already on my radar.