Reviews index

Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

cover image PanMacmillan, 2008.
(Age 15+) Recommended. What a thrill to find a new book, which can be read as a stand alone, from the Sevenwaters series. It comes after the books, Daughter of the forest, Son of the shadows and Child of the prophesy. If this is the first book that a reader tries from Marillier, its strong storyline, courageous heroine and wonderful setting of medieval Ireland and the Otherworld will be sure to entice the reader to sample more from this author.

This is the story of Clodagh, the third daughter of the lord of Sevenwaters. She a practical, domesticated young woman who supervises the household when her ageing mother is pregnant. At her sister's wedding celebrations, she meets taciturn Cathal, who guards many secrets. When her infant brother is replaced with a changeling creature and Cathal disappears, she must gather together all her courage and determination to rescue her brother from the Fair Folk.

Clodagh's talents appear to be ordinary but when she has to act, her selfless love gives her the ability to be brave and to find a way into the Otherworld, the kingdom of the amoral king, Mac Dara. She is willing to find a way to help the lonely Cathal, and to see beyond his curt manner and difficult childhood. In an interview Marillier talks about the big themes of love, loyalty, courage, faith, honour, which all abound in this book.

I couldn't put Heir to Sevenwaters down: I was so engrossed in the emerging characters of the book, its forest setting and the sheer adventure and peril that faced Coldagh and Cathal. I loved the story of the changeling, Becan, the love that Clodagh had for him, and the developing romance between Coldagh and Cathal with all its difficulties and misunderstandings. Marillier's flowing language brought her world to life for me, and I hope that there will be more books in this series.
Pat Pledger


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