Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Juliet Marillier - Seer of Sevenwaters

The young seer Sibeal is visiting an island of elite warriors, prior to making her final pledge as a druid. It's there she finds Felix, a survivor of a Viking shipwreck, who's lost his memory. The scholarly Felix and Sibeal form a natural bond. He could even be her soul mate, but Sibeal's vocation is her true calling, and her heart must answer.
As Felix fully regains his memory, Sibeal has a runic divination showing her that Felix must go on a perilous mission-and that she will join him. The rough waters and the sea creatures they will face are no match for Sibeal's own inner turmoil. She must choose between the two things that tug at her soul-her spirituality and a chance at love...

Comment: This is the fifth installment in the Sevenwaters series. It started to be a trilogy but years after that one, the author kept the story lines going and this is another of those books, which I begun to read last month and will finish the next.

This is Sibeal's story, she's the seer in the family and she has known her vocation since she was a child. In the following years she has been educated and getting ready to become a druid. Now, her mentor and uncle Ciáran sent her to Inis Eala to spend the summer with her sisters and to get ready for her final pledge as a druid.
But when a shipwreck happens and only three people survive and are rescued, a series of strange things start to develop and everyone on the island is involved in what happens. And that is something so surprising, so different from everything they know, that Sibeal plays a vital part to help solve things. But what's the cost for her vocation..and her heart?

I've seen out there some sentences by readers who didn't enjoy this book much. I didn't read their reviews, just the first words in the book's page at GR and people complain about the lack of plot and how this was disappointing. 
I guess for the fans of the Sevenwaters world how it can be so because the scenes only happen at the island where Johnny has the warriors and their families. But I wouldn't say this was disappointing because this book has a story that grabbed me until the end and shows the author's imagination and how it seems to have no bounds. I was really impressed with the magical details about the beings we see in this book and about the kind of courage Sibeal and other characters showed.

The book is pretty much revolved around the shipwreck's survivors and their tale. From the start we see things that don't match up and lots of mystery as the plot moves forwards and we see more and more details about the 3 survivors and their personal behavior. 
Felix at first doesn't have his memory but he's a key part of the whole thing and it's from him we see what really happened. I have to say, I think this is pure fantasy at its best.

The characters we know are still their honest, wise beings. We see how their lives are being fulfilled, we see the fears still there, but also happiness. Clodagh, Cathal, Muirrin and Evan for instance have new things in their married lives and despite not always perfect, there's a certain satisfaction to know good always wins. 
Another interesting fact is Johnny's love life. I wish the author could write him a novella or something because he has been such a key element in all this and his fate is set and I'd really love to see more of him.

As for the main characters, Sibeal and Felix, of course there are setbacks, of course there are difficulties ahead and for the most time, their relationship is severely modest and full of doubts because each has a path they think they must follow and it's not always easy to accept there must be something else for them, it's not easy to take a risk, to follow one's heart..I got both their struggles, mostly inner ones, but all that helps shape their personalities and to give them the strength to keep going. I applaud their decision and the honesty with which they do things.

Did I wish for s different end for a way, yes. Because if there's one thing this author seems to be totally keen on is never to give a HEA where the couple's lives are easy and ready. There's setbacks before the HEA and even that comes with a all the HEAs in the series before. I get it's part of mystic energy the author imprints on her novels, and it's pretty consistent with the fantasy feel of the novels, but for a romance reader it can also be frustrating that all the happy endings come with a "but". Oh well...

This book was full of adventure and bravery and imagination and I had a great time reading, it were enjoyable moments for sure. I'd change some aspects but overall, it wasn't bad for me.
Grade: 7/10

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