Book Review: Daughter of the Forest, Juliet Marillier

I had never read Juliet Marillier, despite having her work recommended to me on a number of occasions. After finishing this book (which I basically devoured in one sitting), I can understand why and am quickly rectifying what has been a huge oversight in my fantasy canon. Marillier’s work is beautiful – her use of language, the pace of the narrative, the character development and her creation of a time and place all too quickly forgotten is wonderfully done. You feel the life in the verdant forest, you smell the fresh morning air, the sun-kissed greenery, you see and sense the cool waters that flow through the land and lie, mysterious and inviting in a body of water that comes to represent the doorway between two very different modes of being. You feel the taint of corruption and the eerie presence of the Fae and the way they watch and influence the world of humans. The manner in which she uses an old folk tale to explore a complex family relationship and the terrible trials a wicked step-mother forces the siblings to endure, is beautifully and originally rendered. You’re constantly hovering on the brink of great love, loss and other disasters and triumphs and become emotionally entwined in a tale you don’t want to end. I don’t want to spoil the story by giving away too much except to say, this is a gorgeous book which I am so glad I read. Needlesstosay, i picked up the sequels and devoured them as well! The first book in a delightful and seductive series. I wish I’d listened to my friends earlier. The only benefit being, I haven’t had to wait for the subsequent books!

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