Child of the Prophecy: Darker

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsJuliet Marillier Sevenwaters trilogy Son of the ShadowsChild of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier

While, like Son of the Shadows, Child of the Prophecy is never quite as wonderful as Daughter of the Forest, it is nevertheless a good book, and worth reading if you liked the first two.

This one is darker in tone. In Daughter of the Forest, the heroes and villains were clearly delineated; in Son of the Shadows the line between the two was more hazy, but the heroine herself was beyond reproach. In Child of the Prophecy the heroine, Fainne, is a conflicted and flawed character in ways that Sorcha and Liadan never were.

Fainne, child of the forbidden union of Ciaran and Niamh, is raised by her father in the lonely reaches of Kerry. When her father falls ill, Fainne’s grandmother, the evil Oonagh, takes Fainne under her wing. The sorceress has a diabolical plan that will destroy all of the good of Sevenwaters, and Fainne is to be her tool. Through threats and emotional blackmail, she presses the girl into her service; through trickery, she causes Fainne to do some truly terrible things. Fainne feels she is destined to be forever evil and forever alone, and so she does not fight back — until the people of Sevenwaters reach out to her, and she begins to understand love and family. “You forget,” says one character, “that every girl has two grandmothers.”

Once Fainne begins to grow a spine, the dark and depressing narrative turns passionate and exciting. How can she carry out Oonagh’s scheme? Is it possible to fight her? How strong can Fainne be?

Again, while this is not the romantic “fairy tale” of Daughter of the Forest it is an engaging story and a fitting ending to the Sevenwaters saga. Fainne is much more than she seems. If you can get through the first half of the book, you’ll love the second half.

Sevenwaters — (2000-2012) Publisher: Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment. But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift — by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever. When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all…

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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