In lieu of my still being at the dorm, however, this week I'm going to look at some little known traditionally published fiction, which continues to be an old favorite. These books were what got me into writing seriously. These books made me discover my niche, as it were. Upon reading them, I latched onto the Celtic backdrop and never looked back.
So here it is! The Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier!
This trilogy is made up of the books: Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, and Child of the Prophesy. Genre-wise, it's a historic, fantasy, romance, saga of sorts. Each book follows a different daughter of the Sevenwaters line through their ultimate goal of defeating an evil fae sorceress and finding their own path through life, despite the mounting obstacles preventing them from happiness.
Since this is more of a series review, I'll be coming up with my own take on the plot summary, so here it goes!
The Sevenwaters Trilogy (as seen by B.E.T.)
In the dark ages of Ireland, when it was still called Erin and warring chieftains ruled the lands, a small province called Sevenwaters is tucked away within a forest ruled by the old gods, the Fair Folk. Based on an old pact with the Fair Folk, the chieftains of Sevenwaters prosper within a wood that defends its own. However, part of the Sevenwaters pact was that the chieftains protect the three islands between Britain and Erin that were sacred to the old faith. Those islands were taken by the British family of Northwoods, and now Sevenwaters loses resources and men year by year because of this feud. Luckily, there is a prophesy that sees an end to the conflict by a special child.
The Sevenwaters chieftain, Colum, brings disaster on his family when he takes a second wife. Oonagh is dangerous and proves that when she turns all six of Colum's sons to swans. Now it is up to the seventh child, Sorcha, to save her brothers. But the journey is not without a cost, and that cost may be the deepest desire of her heart.
Years later, the next in the line, Liadan, thinks she will care for her parents and marry for alliance with a neighboring chieftain. Fate has other plans, however, when she encounters a mercenary who will upset her to her core. Now she must choose between following the path the Fair Folk have set, or take destiny into her own hands and risk losing everything she holds dear.
More time passes and Oonagh is hard at work planning her ultimate move to bring down Sevenwaters, and the Fair Folk with it. Stuck in the middle is Fainne, a half-crippled girl of humble upbringing and mysterious origins. With her father's life in the balance, she must exploit her newfound ties to Sevenwaters and infiltrate the household. But as she grows to know her distant family, her only childhood friend follows her into jeopardy. Now she must pick a side and stick with it so she may somehow save those she loves without losing herself.
These books, what can I say? The prose is eloquent, yet genuine. The pacing is gradual, yet tense. The world is well researched and vividly convincing. The characters make you cry, laugh, and, in Oonagh's case, scratch at the pages with hate.
The thing I really love about these books though, is that they made me feel. Every time I read and reread them, I relive the struggles along with Sorcha, Liadan, and Fainne. These books left a serious impression on me, so much that I knew I wanted to become an author. I wanted to replicate that experience for someone else.
Even if you don't like fantasy, even if you cringe at romance, even if you hate history, these stories will resonate. And in my book, that's the highest compliment you can give something.