Thursday, May 29, 2014

Juliet Mariller - Heir to Sevenwaters

The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest, and a new heir has been born. But the family's joy turns to despair when the baby is taken, and something unnatural is left in his place. To reclaim her newborn brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there...

Comment: After having read he previous trilogy by the author about Sevenwaters, which was the original, I knew there were three more books to please all the devoted readers out there. In previous months I've been purchasing them and this month I started reading. The Heir to Sevenwaters keeps the story going years after the happenings in the third book in the original trilogy.

This story is narrated by Clodagh, one of Lord Sean's daughters. The book starts with the marriage of Clodagh's twin sister, Deirdre. There is worry too because their mother is about to give birth and she very much wants a boy, but her health isn't as good as it could, plus her age and her worrying don't help. When a boy is successfully delivered, apparently things should improve, but something terrible happens and Clodagh is the only one who can help the family. She travels to the world of the Fair Folk and with the aid of one of her cousin Johnny's warriors she must do her mission and bring back her little bother before her mother despairs. But Clodagh also learns things aren't as obvious as that and maybe it's not about her at all...

The best thing about the books of Juliet Marillier's, I've come to understand, is how magical everything is, and I don't mean the magic in the stories. The author has a special talent of turning every little thing special and almost magical, which is alluring and so captivating, the reader feels part of the story. I don't now how many times I felt like crying when Clodagh was telling things that moved me or made me put myself in her shoes and imagine what would be like. We often say this about several author's writing, but in this case, I think this author is the queen of making the reader feel that way.

The story follows Clodagh's thoughts, actions and feelings. She's the narrator and we know everything from her eyes. There are many things she believes to be true or a certain way, but then she learns best and her mind changes and she isn't afraid of saying so, she isn't as proud as to be superior to others. I liked this side of her and how she was fair to those around her.
Being Clodagh a good character to see in the main position, we can more easily understand what is happening without her thoughts distorting what we see.

The action takes its time and is full of puzzles and little clues everywhere about what is happening. In a way, this is what slows the reading a bit, because most things have another purpose, a certain goal and the reader has to pay attention to all the details and that doesn't allow a super fast reading. On the other hand, it's better to savor and taste all the gifts such writing provides. I think it took me a while, as it happened with the previous books by her, to get into the mood and tone and s«pace of the story, but after being used to it, things progressed better.

There's a mystery in the story, one we slowly start to consider the more clues we get. At some point it becomes obvious and the main thing is how will that play into the HEA and how will be the path towards that. It's not easy and Clodagh and her helper have a lot to understand and solve before their final battle and success. Apart from the expected folklore about fae and myths from the old Ireland of the Celts, there are many details about the way of life in those times, it can be seen how much research the author has put into this, and her talent to write and to create an involving world.

There's a romance too, very cute, very encompassing. True love really conquers all and there's such beauty in these romances...
We also learn things about other characters that made me happy, namely about Johnny.

The reason I don0t give a better grade to this is the loss feeling. A couple of bad things happen, the moving forward of the books tell the reader what has been lost in the meantime, and I can't help but feeling sad over some things. There are deaths here that make us think and feel bad and it seems part of the author's trademark, that life has its share of bad things. I get it but it still leaves a bittersweet taste in my reading so...
But all in all, another great story and I can't wait for the next one.
Grade: 8/10

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