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UPDATE 2.99 on kindle US 3 15 19First let me give a shout out to the rapists and dog killer abusers in the book with a gif below Now let s crack on with a short review So Sorcha was not born the seventh son She was born a daughter with 6 older brothers Finbar, Liam, Cormack, Conor, Padriac and Diarmid These brothers take care of Sorcha and I forgot to mention she s a healer Well, one day their father brings home the evil sorceress that is to be the wicked stepmother Yeah, she puts an ole curse on the brothers and such Sorcha has to find out from the Lady of the Forest what to do Right before all of this though, she helps one of her brothers free a Briton captive named Simon Sorcha helps in his healing process until all of the curse stuff happens and she has to run away Bad things happen Then later on she is found find some Britons who save her from a certain death This would be Red actually Lord Hugh , Ben and John I loved all of these men Especially Red They were very kind to her, especially when they figured out what happened to her Anyhoo, they whisk her away to Briton and she has to face ordeals while still working on breaking the curse and getting her brothers back A bunch of stuff happens, the curse is mostly broken and we have a mostly happy ending Either way, I enjoyed it and will be continuing on with the books Happy Reading Peeps Mel All that he had of her was his memory,where he held every moment,every single moment that she had been his.That was all he had,to keep out the lonelinessDaughter of the Forest is one of those books.The ones that are scored on my heart,the ones that caused both my awe and respect for the story and for the author.For it takes a tremendous amount of talent and soul to write such a book.I recall the tale of the Six Swans,I remember being a little girl watching the animated version,and it made me so sad that the heroine had to go through so many hardships to save her brothers.Reading about it though,about Sorcha s adventures and misfortunes was something widely different.It felt like a fairytale,the descriptions and the evil witch and the Fair Folk and the brotherly love,but it was not one.Because fairytales show just the tip of the iceberg,the evil that is only necessary for the story to go on,or else the children that crave them would have trouble sleeping.It wasn t only Oonagh the villain,although this malicious woman casted the curse and brought misery to everyone.It wasn t only Richard and his ambitions.It were also those horrible men in the forest,the peasants and the household who tormented Sorcha,even the Fair Folk,who thought the mortals are toys for their amusement.But Sorcha survived.She is one the strongest and most extraordinary heroines I have ever met.So kind,so fierce,so devoted and loyal.She never had second thoughts about what she had to do to save her brothers,she put her family first.Except that one moment,when she couldn t let Red diePerhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt hollow and empty and achingThat is precisely how I felt during this story,especially when she bid Red farewell.This is a romance like no others.So tender yet so passionate,so impossible yet so right.I loved Red for loving and protecting Sorcha,for being patient,for being such a brave and kind man.He often brought me tears.The way Juliet Marillier unfolds the romantic element in this novel is proof enough that extended make out sessions or sexual tension is not the only way to make a love story memorable and worthwhile.Healing someone s wounds,being there for them,being kind when the entire world shows hatred and malice,protecting them and putting their happiness above yours,this is also true loveHe would have told her he would have said, it matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping You are you are bone of my bone, and breath of my breathDaughter of the Forest is a book I will always cherish deeply,that will always be a part of me.There is no better gift than that. Reviewed by Rabid Reads4.5 starsEverything I could tell you about Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier can be summed up in a single paragraph from the story itself If I were telling this tale, and it were not my own, I would give it a neat, satisfying ending In such stories, there are no loose ends There are no unraveled edges and crooked threads Daughters do not give their hearts to the enemy The wicked do not simply disappear, taking with them the satisfaction of vengeance Young men do not find themselves divided between two worlds Fathers know their children.But this was my own story. Daughter of the Forest may have a happy ending, but is not a happy tale It is full of terrible ironies, of monsters and men, of betrayals and heartbreak and endurance And it is absolutely beautiful Sorcha is the first daughter who should have been the seventh son Her mother did not survive her birth, and her parents had loved each other so deeply that her father never fully recovered from the loss.Instead he threw himself into the protection of his lands, and plotting to win back the three islands of great spiritual significance, stolen by the Britons.On the rare occasions he was at home He didn t smile at me Or at Finbar Finbar said that was because we reminded Father of our mother, who had died We were the two who inherited her curling, wild hair I had her green eyes, and Finbar her gift for stillness Besides, by being born I had killed her. It burrrrrrrrns us, preciousssssssssssssss But Sorcha had her six elder brothers who carried her along with them on their adventures, and so she was happy.For a time.But as her brothers grew, they began to leave, campaigning with their father, and when the eldest became engaged, Sorcha knew that no matter how hard she fought against it, her world was forever changing.And when the brother she has always been closest to enlists her help in freeing a prisoner, she begins her journey down a path with trials so numerous that the Fair Folk themselves have warned her of what she will face before the end.I laughed I cried I raged I pleaded I loved, and my heart was broken All b c of this book.If it wasn t for an ugly rape scene, Daughter of the Forest would have been my second 5.0 star read in over a year, so if you absolutely cannot handle that sort of thing, you have been duly warned If you re unsure, I strongly suggest you check out Kat Kennedy s review on Goodreads BUT If you think you can handle it I know this isn t the first time I ve sung Juliet Marillier s praises, but this time I entreat you if you love fantasy at all, if you love fairy tales or retellings at all, read this book.It is magic Highly recommended. I want to call this book a combination of Kushiel s Dart and Assassin s Apprentice But in reality, Daughter of the Forest is a category all its own A gorgeous mix of historical fiction and fantasy, an insightful hero s journey with a dash of romance It s been some time since I ve had the pleasure of reading a book so deserving of five stars.Sorcha, daughter of the forest, tells her own tale in this book about an ancient Celtic British feud and the magical undertones that influence it She is born the seventh child of a powerful Irish warlord, raised by six brothers as a healer They grow up surrounded by the spirits and fae of the forest, who entangle Sorcha s fate with two brothers, part of the enemy side.There is something truly alive about Sorcha s character and her voice as she recounts the horrible suffering and passionate love she experiences It gives the impression that Juliet Marillier knows her heroine as completely and clearly as an enlightened guru knows himself The author doesn t just tell a story through Sorcha Sorcha is the story I personally have a lot of love and admiration for old Celtic culture The music, the tales, the mythology, the history all of it is fascinating My friends like to tease me for listening to fiddle music in public places, but that s the life of a Celtic superfan, I suppose So the Sevenwaters series is directly up my alley Marillier immerses her readers in the old Irish countryside and the culture of its residents The setting is absolutely vital to this book, descriptions and imagery not just enhancing the story, but dictating the plot and creating a breathtaking writing styleWe draw our strengtyh from the great oaks of the forest As they take their nourishment from the soil, and from the rains that feed the soil, so we find our courage in the pattern of living things around us They stand through storm and tempest, they grow and renew themselves Like a grove of young oaks, we remain strongReading this book, you will feel like you are standing in a clearing with Sorcha and her brothers, waiting for a recently healed owl to take flight into the starry sky, and sensing the sentient presence of the ancient forest You will experience every setting like in a 3D surround sound movie The imagery is that good.As for the love interest s , I couldn t help but fall in love Even though romance is not the biggest plotline in the book, the feelings that develop are so deep that it feels earth shattering every time Sorcha meets her love interest Their every interaction seems to shift the world off its axis Strangely enough, despite the passion behind Sorcha s love story, it took me a long time to even be sure who her love interest would be Or whether there would even be one That uncertainty was part of the intrigue of the romance, and what made it so emotional when their love finally became a reality This one s going on my instant favorites shelf Nothing could keep it off ( DOWNLOAD EPUB ) ☮ Daughter of the Forest ♴ 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 ContentmentBut 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
Real life is not quite as it is in stories In the old tales, bad things happen, and when the tale has unfolded and come to its triumphant conclusion, it is as if the bad things had never been Life is not as simple as that, not quite The above quote, hands down, sums up Daughter of the Forest for me Yes, this is a fairy tale, but it also speaks truth about life about how once you go forward, you cannot go back to the beginning because things are never the same again This holds true for the heroine, Sorcha, as well as for the other characters in the story No matter what she accomplishes, in the end, her life and that of all the characters is permanently changed and sometimes that change comes in the form of wounds that will never truly heal But underneath it all is a powerful message of hope, to press on and not give up, and everything will be worth it in the end Daughter of the Forest is a retelling of The Six Swans by the Brothers Grimm Most fairy tale retellings I have read involve the tales being twisted or transposed in some way Juliet Marillier, instead, expanded the tale by retaining its literal structure and all its fantastic details, while also focusing her attention on the human story within the magical frame Despite the strong plot elements, this is principally a character driven book True, that the events in the story are beyond the characters control, but their reactions to these events, and the choices they make in response, truly shape the narrative For me, these intelligent, convincing characterizations are the book s greatest strength, and my major motivation to see the story through despite the heartache it was causing me The book tells about the lengths that one young girl will take to save her brothers There are really no adequate words to describe the heroine of this story Stating that Sorcha s path was simply filled with hardships would be a huge understatement Stating that Sorcha was simply a strong girl would not do her justice What she had to endure was beyond comprehension and yet very believable What she faces is heart wrenching and difficult to read at times, but she does not waver on her path And amidst agonizing trials , she finds help and guidance in the form of a beguiling fairy queen, an unlikely savior turned protector, and in her brothers who are willing to give up their well being to save hers These pockets of goodness weave throughout the story, creating a beautiful tale Even though the romance does not take center stage, it still brought the house down Let this quote explain it allIt matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping You are you are bone of my bone, and breath of my breath A beautiful slow building romance is embedded in this story It is the kind of love story that sneaks up on the characters It is quiet and confusing and lovely to watch Although Sorcha is the storyteller, the two tales that her hero tells are by far my favorites Pay attention to them Overall, this was a sensational read, and I am glad that I picked it up This is one of those books that you wouldn t want to end, though you know it must And when you ve read those final words on that last page, there s that sense of loss and the feeling that you don t want to forget these characters, the things they endured, and the places they inhabited This is one of those books that kept me on the edge of my seat with several wet handkerchiefs in my wake, and all that goes back to Marillier s writing It is descriptive , lovely, and evocative You could lose yourself in her words The pace is on the slower side, but it just gives you a chance to truly appreciate the author s talent This book is meant to be savored, to be cherished, and to be read again and again. Sale Alert 3 15 19 Daily Deal on for 2.99It has taken me forever to get to this review because I was just not sure how I could possibly pack everything I felt during this book into coherent words stuck together that would even possibly do it justice I still don t think that I will be able to manage it but I ll try.Daughter of the Forest DoF takes an old Irish legend fairy tale and breathes new life into it I was not familiar at all with the original version of this story so I cannot comment on how closely it follows but I will say this is not a Disney version of a fairytale It is dark, painful and horrifying at times but it is also balanced with extreme love, devotion and hope So even though it breaks your heart DoF will do its best to patch it up againThis hurts, I know But you have been strong before, and you will be now What is burned can be replaced what is destroyed can be made again In time you will win back your voice In time in time, you will find your path back homeThis is not a watered down version of a legend DoF follows Sorcha over years first chronicling the time she spent growing up with her brothers to the events that led to the curse It laid the foundation very well for how close Sorcha was to all of her brothers and the strife between the Irish and the English I really believed how much she loved her brothers and why she would undertake such a large task in an attempt to save them.Sorcha is not the normal kick butt heroine that you see in a lot of new fantasy She has a solid heart, kindness in abundance and a quite determination that she uses to complete her task She also has a type of subdued magic, not in the sense that she makes spells and such but natural from a time when people cared about the forest and treated it and the spirits within it with reverence A time when the realm of Fae was just a wrong turn away and you could easily be caught up in one of their schemes and games.The magic of the story isn t overpowering it feels natural and like it is meant to be there instead of forced I really enjoyed that and thought it fit well with the task that was given to Sorcha to save her brothers from the curse that turned them into swansEverything I LovedThere is so much that is really wonderful in this story It is told entirely from Sorcha s PoV and sometimes that doesn t work for me in fantasy but it made this story feel all the personal I connected with Sorcha right away and saw how she grew from an innocent giving child who knew nothing about the true dangers of the world into a resilient young woman who sacrificed much of her childhood to save the brothers that she was so close to.When Sorcha started her task she was but a child still and even though she knew a lot about healing, she really didn t understand how long it would take her to complete her task or any of the other obstacles that would get in the way of that The Fae had a plan set into motion for her and although not all of the pieces clicked together right away you could see how each obstacle set in her path shifted and changed her into the woman she was destined to become For part of the story she is completely isolated and the story was a little slower for me through this section as I felt all the loneliness that Sorcha was feeling I liked the story much once she found a companion and protector in RedTake this to light your way, daughter of the forest, she said You told me you were tired of being strong Maybe you will not need to be so strong, now She placed a tiny around candle, herb scented, in my open hand She turned to the Briton You hurt her with your unthinking words, she said, and her eyes had lost any warmth they had once had Make sure she is not hurt again And before he could draw breath, she turned and was gone. Red made this story for me He is EVERYTHING I love in a good hero He is the epitome of a quixotic character He is noble, kind and stoic He is a man that is strong and can be counted on in any situation and I ADORE HIM When he found Sorcha she had been beaten down and broken possibly even close to giving up, but Red is patient and so respectful to her even though she is technically one of the enemy Red never sits too close, he learns to listen to Sorcha s body, face and eyes to learn about her He takes the time to really get to know her and even though she cannot speak he learns to hear her The story of their time together is beautiful, frustrating, hopeful and probably every other emotion in between Here I am telling tales, and half believing them For I think sometimes that you, too, will go back one day, hear the call of the sea and slide away under the water as Toby s mermaid did Or maybe one night, as I watch outside your window, I will see an owl fly out and vanish into the forest and when I look for you, all that will be left is one small feather on your pillow. Sorcha has many other dealing with people and those never go as smooth but she did find a few friends besides Red in a land of enemies and they were all wonderful There are also quite a few people to despise and hate along the way for their cruelty and bias against Sorcha The fact that she isn t allowed to speak at all while completing her task made me even frustrated for her.There was so much TENSION that built and built and I really wasn t sure how things would end up I had a lot of hopes but I was left with so many doubts and I could just see things ending tragically This is not a traditional HEA story which actually made me love it in some ways There are some areas that had true happiness and others that didn t get the resolution that you might expect I really liked that not everything was tied up with a nice bow at the end It made everything in this seem so much real There are a few things that really worked in the story but that I didn t love due to the nature of them I will discuss those below Please note they may be spoilerish in details.Warnings and CautionsThere will be a few spoilers the general ones are not marked because they are part of the warning Like I mentioned before This is not a Disney Version of a Fairytale meaning there are some extremely graphic scenes of violence and abuse I completely understand why these are in the story and I think the author did a fantastic job with them and how they affected the character They aren t thrown in just to build drama they really did serve the story and really showed Sorcha s dedication to her task and everything she had to go through to complete it.I m really sensitive to two things in books The first is Rape and the second is animal deaths This story had both of those and I m not going to lie they were rough.really really rough But they served a really large part of the story Those events changed who Sorcha was and really showed how strongly she was willing to fight to complete the task and save her brothers The way she interacted with people and trusted was forever changed and it actually added to the love story the way that Red was so patient with Sorcha and how well he tamped down his own emotions and wants in an effort to never scare her and gain her trust DID I MENTION I LOVE RED I m so glad that it was never swept under the rug I think it showed a real account of how someone rebuilds her life after an event like that My one and really only complaint is that while the rape scene was really graphic the very much later scene involving sex was not quite fade to black but pretty close I would have liked to see a little of that transition and how it was dealt with by the couple.The other thing that was a little over the top for me was the villain Richard He is aweful and does some absolutely horrendous things to Sorcha, but it is mental abuse than physical Still it was really difficult at times to read those parts, as intended but non the less he is very graphic in some of his mental abuse as wellYou Should Still Read ThisEven though there are some rough patches this is still a highly entertaining story that will tug at all your heart strings I have thought about multiple sections of this story repeatedly over the last few weeks and have even gone back and reread some of my favorite sections It is a truer story than most where not everything is handed to you, at the end there are still questions in my mind and I think about the characters and where their paths led them If you, like me, are a fan of Melina Marchetta, like stories with complicated paths or can be happy with a story that isn t all rainbows and sunshine then this is probably something that you will enjoy. 4.7 starsAside from a couple of minor qualms, Daughter of the Forest is pretty much an example of an almost perfect debut novel.This book is a beautiful retelling of the Celtic Swans myth, which has been familiar to me since childhood through the Hans Christian Andersen s version The Wild Swans Sorcha is the seventh child and the only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters When Colum remarries after being widowed for almost 13 years, the evil stepmother and witch puts a dreadful spell on Sorcha s six older brothers The only way to lift the spell is for Sorcha to undertake a difficult task accompanied by a lot of pain, loss, and terrorThe best part about this book is that Juliet Marillier stays pretty close to the source material, not transforming the original into an unrecognizable horror fest as some modern writers often do Instead, she enhances the myth with a beautiful love story, realistic historical background, admirable characters, skillful infusion of ancient magic, stories of dedicated friendships and unyielding sibling devotion, and a couple of utterly despicable villains There are not many flaws to this wonderfully written book The story is intense, heartbreaking, and passionate My main complaint is its length While the book is only 400 pages, at times it felt it was twice that size No matter how much I read, I couldn t get through than 50 pages per day I don t know if the font was small or the narration was a little heavy, but it took me forever to finish this book I loved the story and there are some intriguing loose ends left unresolved and therefore I am pretty certain I will read the second book in the series Son of the Shadows, but I definitely need some time to regroup, because it s even longer than Daughter of the Forest. Incredible I know I ve said I ve been speechless when reading books before, but this time, I genuinely don t have the words to express what a masterpiece this novel is I actually finished this novel early today morning, at around 1 30, but it was only at 2 30 ish that I actually got up to go to sleep I couldn t get this story out of my head I simply kept thinking about it If Juliet Marillier hadn t already made a fan out of me with Heart s Blood, then I d be tripping over myself to fall at her feet for truly, this book is remarkable Daughter of the Forest is known to be one of the best fantasy novels out there, but it s hard to believe just how good it is until you read it From its cover, it seems to be a simplistic fairy tale re telling, but it s a fairy tale like no other We don t have any knights in shining armor instead, the princess has to save herself We don t have an innocent girl for whom circumstances clear up and solve her problem we have a broken girl who has to struggle to find happiness Sorcha is the youngest of seven children, six of whom are boys Thus, she has grown up sheltered, loved, and cared for by her siblings When her father re marries, however, bringing Lady Oonagh, a deadly sorcerer, into their peaceful abode, Sorcha s life is turned upside down Lady Oonagh turns her beloved brothers into swans and the only way for Sorcha to break the spell is to weave six shirts made of a prickly nettle and remain silent for her entire ordeal It is only when the shirts have been made and worn by her brothers that the spell will be broken, but the journey that Sorcha will embark on will change than just her future, it will change her very being and shatter her to her core Daughter of the Forest starts out slowly, introducing us to Sorcha, her world, and her close relationship with her brothers Thus, when her brothers are turned into swans, we, as readers, feel just as much pain as Sorcha herself I could feel myself visibly wincing every time Sorcha was reminded of her past life with her brothers, full of happiness and delight Daughter of the Forest is a dark tale A very dark tale I sobbed for a solid five minutes at one point in this story because of the utter horror of the situation Yet, despite all the darkness, there is a subtle undercurrent of hope, of happiness, of love It s all so beautifully interwoven that one cannot help but be reminded of life itself with its ups and downs and darkness and light.You see, Daughter of the Forest is a painfully realistic tale Sorcha has an incredible trove of inner strength I admire her immensely and she s one of those heroines I ll never forget I could simply be in the supermarket having a bad day and Sorcha is one of those protagonists who will come to mind and I already know I ll tell myself, If Sorcha could go through all that, I can get through today Sorcha isn t a saint she s only human and that is felt so palpably despite the ordeal she manages to go through Thus, despite the seemingly amazing feats she manages to achieve, Marillier weaves this tale in such a way that she is able to convey that each and every one of these ordeals is possible to overcome, just as anything is with the right dose of love, faith, and perseverance.Nevertheless, one of my favorite aspects of this novel is, hands down, the romance If Marillier is the Queen of Slow Burn Romance, I am the Glutton of Slow Burn Romance I can t get enough of it and Marillier writes it to pure perfection What I loved about the romance in this novel, particularly, is the fact that it manages to happen all without Sorcha uttering a word Somehow, against all odds, Sorcha manages to find someone who understands her very soul, who sees her task as a brave ordeal she is facing, and who can understand her with little difficulty, despite her silence Further, Sorcha never even realizes that she s falling in love As the reader, we can see this romance unfold in front of our eyes, but Sorcha s task remains to be the main plot thread, until eventually, Sorcha comes to realize the love she had and how, despite not realizing it before, she needs the very presence of her lover to calm her For, to be in love isn t necessarily to crave physical affection or even understanding, but often, it comes from the most basic, innocent, and true primitive instinct of needing that other person s presence and strength by you It is this that Marillier manages to embody so beautifully within this novel and I can t get enough of it Daughter of the Forest is a dark, emotional, and achingly bittersweet fantasy like no other It is one that kept me on the edge of my seat with a box of tissues within the grasp of my hand and a warm blanket draped over me It s one of those stories that continues to plague you long after you ve read it as you marvel over both the author s creativity and skill along with the characters and their complexity I can t recommend this book enough, but really, everyone should read this Everyone. Like all fairy tales, Daughter of the Forest contains a trove of themes and lessons and Marillier conveys all this in a subtle and beautiful manner that touches and stays with you like nothing else quite does Truly, if there s one book you should make yourself read before you die, it s this one. I have always loved the fairy tale about the sister with numerous brothers who had a wicked stepmother who enchanted her brothers to turn them into birds The number of brothers and the type of birds can vary I have seen it with ravens and with swans In Daughter of the Forest, Ms Marillier used the version in which the heroine has six brothers and they are all turned into swans I must say I truly enjoyed and devoured this heartbreaking, emotionally wrenching novel based on that fairy tale I like the way this version is set in Dark Ages Ireland, in which the Irish fight against the British to maintain their sacred islands and to keep their own faith In this case, the heroine is the seventh child born to parents who are mystically blessed Her mother died in childbirth and bequeathed a spiritual legacy and a deep bond to her seven children.The theme of family is a huge foundation of this story These siblings would do anything for each other, and their bonds of loyalty are severely tested This is one of those books where you scream to the heavens in agony, asking WHY in a loud voice So many trials and hardships I was prepared from the fairy tale, but the additional detail in this story and the foreknowledge of some major aspects make it that much wrenching to read And what happens to Sorcha while she is in the forest, that just about broke me.A person would have to be made of stone to not be moved by the trials that Sorcha endures Not just that, but the cruelty that is so much a part of life for people in this story Ms Marillier tackles the subject of war between cultures In this book, you start out seeing the Irish side, but Sorcha s brother Fimbar has always looked at the issue of warring cultures as a construct that falsely divides people who are at their heart just humans He wants to see both sides, and he wants to find a way for both the Irish and the British to see each other as allies instead of enemies His warlike father Lord Colum doesn t understand that at all His heart died with his wife, and his focus has become fixed on conquest and protection of their lands from the British, at any cost As this story progresses, and I met Simon, a Briton who was captured and cruelly tortured by Lord Colum s forces and liberated and healed by Sorcha and a kindly Christian priest that dwells on their lands and later meeting Lord Hugh, who saves Sorcha s life and protects on her dangerous mission to save her bothers,and his people I could see that there was good and bad on both sides For that s just the nature of humanity Alas, this reader has a very tender heart, and I was affected deeply by the dark times that unfold in this story I was also struck by the unfairness of it all As much as that bothered me, I couldn t imagine being the characters in this book Sorcha seems to be put in a position that no thirteen year old at the time her mission starts should have to face The Fair Folk have chosen her for this responsibility, and neither her nor I really truly understood what their game was What was the author trying to say here That life is pain, and it doesn t seem to make sense That we can make up explanations for it, but in the end, we just have to buck up and deal I guess that is true to some extent There are so many twists and turns, and life is full of these unfair situations Like Sorcha, I rely on my faith to make sense of it, and to keep me strong Even though my faith is different from hers, I could identify with her in that sense, and in the love she feels for her family.There are many memorable characters in this story Of course, Sorcha Sweet, loving, enduring, fiercely determined Sorcha She is the willow that will bend but won t break Her brothers all distinct and lovable , Simon who formed a bond with Sorcha that affected them both deeply , and Lord Hugh who is called Red , just to start with Characters that I loved and cried for in my heart at how they suffered I wondered how the author could be strong enough to show her characters hurting, dying, and being subject to the cruel actions of bad people I know it wasn t at all easy to read The villains are so evil, you just want to tear them limb from limb Just evil because they can be Lord Richard seemed even worse than Lady Oonagh, despite her dark witchcraft He was the type who was pure human, but with the mentality of a devil Both with secret ambitions brewing in hearts so black they don t even seem human As I read, I shook my fist at them both, and willed Sorcha and her brothers to be strong Like Sorcha, I could not help but love Red What a wonderful man This was an absorbing story It s truly angsty and sorrow filled The kind of book that leaves a lingering essence of melancholy in me after I finish it, even though the ending is relatively upbeat, for the most part But the emotional scars of what occurs in this book didn t fade even when the book was over They stayed with me That s the power of a good book You don t want to finish a book and think, What did I just read, because I don t feel a thing Nope, that s not this book For those fairy tale lovers, this is a must read It captures this beautiful story of a sweet but enduringly strong heroine whose love for her brothers takes her to very dark extremes, but that love is pure enough to help her save them and herself People say that fairy tales are chauvinistic and show women as weak, under others control, always needing a prince to save them I don t think they have read this one, or they wouldn t dare say that And what is strength anyway Did Samson s strength protect him from Delilah s wiles Did Hercules fare any better in his tragic life for all his strength No, to me, the greatest strength is that of a loving, enduring heart And no one has strength than Sorcha in that regard.