Heir to Sevenwaters is the fourth installment in the lovely Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier. Read my reviews of the rest of the books in the series in these links: Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, Child of the Prophecy.
Here’s the summary from Juliet Marillier’s website:
The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast forest, one of the last refuges of the Tuatha De Danann, the Fair Folk of ancient story. Human and Otherworld dwellers have existed there side by side, separated by a thin veil between worlds and sharing a wary trust. Until the spring when Lady Aisling of Sevenwaters finds herself expecting another child, and everything changes.
With her mother pregnant, Clodagh fears the worst since Aisling is well past the safe age for childbearing. Clodagh’s father, Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, faces his own difficulties as warring factions threaten his borders. When the baby is born the unthinkable happens, and Clodagh’s world is turned upside down.
To set things to rights for her family and for all the people of Sevenwaters, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who now rules there. Accompanied on her quest by a warrior of uncertain allegiance, she will have her courage tested to breaking point. The reward may be far greater than she ever dreamed.
Another excellent installment in what has become one of my favorite series: the Sevenwaters books by Juliet Marillier. I’m so happy that Ms. Marillier decided to write more books in this series! Like I said, I had a pretty lukewarm reaction to Child of the Prophecy but that’s okay because I knew that I could look forward to more adventures in the Sevenwaters world with this one and Seer of Sevenwaters, due out later this year. This one is different from the rest because it occurs only a couple of years after Child of the Prophecy, unlike the other Sevenwaters books which occur one generation after the one before it.
As always, the main character of this book is a daughter of Sevenwaters, Clodagh. What I like about Clodagh is she doesn’t have special powers like the other Sevenwaters heroines. She’s not the healer nor the seer in her generation. At the start of the book, it is even emphasized that Clodagh’s main skills lie in managing the household and she’ll become a nice little wife some day. However, Clodagh shows an exceptional capacity to love, which I think comes from her upbringing. The Sevenwaters clan is a close-knit one and the children of this remarkable family all exhibit their warmth and inner strength each in their own way. I love that even though Clodagh was terrified to journey to the Otherworld, she knows she must do it to get her brother back.
I know that the main characters in the Sevenwaters books are females but since all of them have their respective romantic interests, I thought I’d take a moment to praise Ms. Marillier’s heroes because they are just as amazing as their female counterparts. Red, Bran, Cathal. Very strong men and convinced of what they want in life until they meet our heroines and they become conflicted because they know that nothing will ever be the same. *sigh* I love these men! I love that they’re all so different too. In Cathal’s case, he was rude and arrogant because he wanted to push Clodagh away. He believed that she’ll be in danger if she comes near him but at the same time, he’s drawn to her like a moth to a flame.
As always, beautiful writing in a lush and vivid world that’s a blend of historical fiction and fantasy involving the fey. However, the Lady of the Forest and her flame-haired lord, those who personally watched over generations of the Sevenwaters family have moved on and a different breed took their place in the forest. Mac Dara and his kind are the fey that are common in the books that I’ve seen around – they’re tricksters and do not understand human emotions such as love so they’re bound to be cruel. These characters present a different kind of problem from the previous books because the prophecy has already been fulfilled. I like that there’s something unique in this book to keep things lively. I keep saying this but if you guys haven’t realized, I highly recommend this series and I look forward to more of Ms. Marillier’s work. 🙂
I found the artwork for the UK cover (which is the one I have) and it’s so lovely that I had to post it. I found it in the artist’s site:
Click to embiggen or click the link of the source to see an even bigger version. Isn’t it amazing? You couldn’t see all of the details on the actual cover. Like at the back, I didn’t even notice that Cathal was there because they had to reduce the opacity of the artwork to put in the text of the summary. When I saw the artwork, I thought to myself, “Why helloooo, Cathal. Didn’t realize you were there! So glad to see you.”
So excited for Seer of Sevenwaters, which is about Clodagh’s sister, Sibeal. Check out the summary on Goodreads. Due out December 7, 2010.