Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

Completion Date: September 5, 2011
Reason for Reading: Carry on with series.
Beautiful Sorcha is the courageous young woman who risked all to save her family from a wicked curse and whose love shattered generations of hate and bridged two cultures.

It is from her sacrifice that Sorcha's brothers were brought home to their ancestral fortress Sevenwaters, and her life has known much joy.

But not all the brothers were able to fully escape the spell that transformed them into swans, and it is left to Sorcha's daughter Liadan to help fulfill the destiny of the Sevenwaters clan. Beloved child and dutiful daughter, Liadan embarks on a journey that shows her just how hard-won was the peace that she has known all her life.

Liadan will need all of her courage to help save her family, for there are dark forces and ancient powers conspiring to destroy this family's peace--and their world. And she will need all of her strength to stand up to those she loves best, for in the finding of her own true love, Liadan's course may doom them all . . . or be their salvation.
As with the first book in this series, I have reviewed this one with Melissa from Book Nut. She has the first part of the review and I have the second part, so be sure to visit her blog first to understand what is going on.

Me: What was your favourite scene in the book? Did anything stand out for you?

Melissa: I see your point about love triangles in YA books today. It does begin to grate, even for someone who likes love stories (as I usually do).

As for scenes, I liked the scenes when Liadan first met the outlaws, and her efforts to heal the smith. I liked how Liadan came in with her opinions and ways of doing things, and how she stood up to Bran and the men, winning them over by her spirit and knowledge. I also liked the scenes with Liadan’s Uncle Fiann (that was his name, right?), because we learned a little more about him. He was such an enigma in Daughter. What about you? What were your favorites?

Me: Well, I suppose I think that books can have romance and still be a bit empowering for girls. The love triangle and then the obsession is a bit annoying to me.

I actually enjoyed the story-telling the best. There were many scenes where everyone sat around and stories were told and I thought they were great. I enjoy listening to stories, so I would attempt to picture the scene and that someone was telling these stories to me. It was fun! The stories were all new to me except in a few instances where aspects of the stories were well-known, so I enjoyed that. I always enjoy a book that showcases a strong oral tradition. It is just something that appeals to me.

I found this book to be a bit of a dark read. What did you think of the darkish elements? Did you think Marillier captured it well? What did you think of her darker characters?

Melissa: It was a bit of a dark read; though to be honest, I found Daughter (and Wildwood Dancing) to be dark as well. Perhaps it’s just Marillier’s writing style? As for the darker characters; do you mean what’s his name (help me out here), the guy who wanted to marry Liadan? And Niamh’s husband? I think Marillier does an admirable job of balancing the light and dark in her books. Like Bran’s tattoo (oooh, good metaphor, there!), neither the dark elements nor the light ones take over the whole book. Which means, even though it’s dark, I didn’t find it oppressively so. What did you think?

Me: Yes, I agree. I think all of her books have darker elements, but they also have the lighter ones to balance it. She is also not scared to kill characters off or put them in very difficult positions. The guy that wanted to marry Lidadan was Eamonn. He felt dark to me from the very beginning. I figured there was more to him than met the eye. As to who else I was thinking of, I was also thinking about the druid that Niamh falls in love with. I have a funny feeling that he is going to play a major role in how the next book plays out. I also cannot remember his name. This is what happens when characters have names I don’t hear with any regularity! I think using Bran’s tattoo is a great metaphor for the book overall. I wish I had thought of that!

Melissa: I agree that Eamonn was dark; I hope he plays a role in the next book because I felt like his story was untold and unfinished. I wanted to know why he was the way he was, and why he had so much rage toward Bran and his men. I think the druid’s name was Ciaran? (I seem to remember thinking that because it’s the same as Ciaran Hines... *blush*) I agree with your funny feeling: he will most likely play a major role in how the next book plays out. I don’t know if he was “dark” though; perhaps Marillier wanted to play with the changes that come upon a person when they realize they’ve been lied to? Or maybe there’s inherent darkness in all of us, no matter what our upbringing?

Me: Well, he has the ability to learn from his mother and she was the bad character from the first book. I suppose it is hard to say. I am intrigued about how the next book will play out because I believe this started out as just a trilogy, but it has gone beyond that now.I am curious if the storyline will be wrapped up. I am looking forward to seeing how Ciaran plays out. He could either be exactly what we expect or he could be a very bad person in the next book. That being said, Eamonn is entirely possible of being a bad character. What else do you expect from the later books?

Melissa: I don’t know, really. I’ll be curious as well to see what roles Eamonn and Ciaran play, as well as Ciaran and Niamh’s child that Liadan forseaw. I’m interested to see what she does once they return to Britain, and what happens with the ultimate conflict about getting Erin (the island) back into the hands of the natives. Other than that, I don’t know what to expect.

Do you have anything else to add?

Me: Nope, I think we have covered everything of note. Thanks for reviewing this book with me!

Melissa: My pleasure. We’ll have to read the third one together!

Me: That would be great! I want to know how everything plays out.

The Sevenwaters Series:
Son of the Shadows
Child of the Prophecy
Heir to Sevenwaters
Seer of Sevenwaters


  1. Thanks for suggesting we read the next in the series; I wouldn't have ever thought to do that. I'm sure we'll get around to the third one, eventually... :-)

  2. Nice review format. This does sound like a good series. I too enjoy a good love triangle, when well written.


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