Title / Son of the Shadows
Author / Juliet Marillier
Publication Date / 2000 (first published)
Overall Star Rating / ★★★★
Goodreads synopsis: Second of the Sevenwaters trilogy of novels about the last days of heroic Ireland, Son of the Shadows takes up the story of the children of Sorcha, who saved her enchanted brothers, and Hugh, the Briton she married. Sorcha’s daughter Liadan is a gifted seer and healer who thinks, in spite of her visions, that she knows what the future has in store for her–caring for her dying mother and then an alliance marriage to Eamonn. A chance meeting on the road carries her off to care for a dying man–one of the mercenaries of the sinister Painted Man, Eamonn’s archenemy and a killer for hire. Liadan discovers that she cannot choose whom she loves and that she and the Painted Man are as bound up in destiny as her mother and father were before her.
This is the second book in the Sevenwaters trilogy, although it is now part of a bigger series. I think there are three more books after this original trilogy. The first book is The Daughter of the Forest. I am now going to start this review by saying that I loved this book. I had high hopes for it as the first book is fantastic and it didn’t disappoint. First of all, I think Marillier’s writing is fantastic. I find it so easy to become immersed in her worlds and characters, and it is just always a pleasure to read her books (I’ve actually only read two…). This one definitely has a different feel to the first book and I would say it is not a direct sequel as we follow the daughter of the main character in the first book. I quite liked that it was quite different. The story line is a lot looser, if that makes sense. In the first book the main character is given a task at the beginning and the whole book is her completely it, but with this you’re never totally sure where things will end up. The characters are very well written and you come to really care for them. I have to say it did take me some time to warm to the love interest, Bran. You just knew when they meet exactly what was going to happen and I felt the romance develops quite fast, but I ended up quite enjoying it. It wasn’t perfect but it was well done. To be honest, most of the male characters in this book are frustrating at certain points. I did love that fact that we got to see characters from the first book though. Generally I enjoyed the development of the characters, as well as the progression of the plot. The world is also expanded on in this sequel, which gives you more of an understanding of it. I was hooked from early on and couldn’t put it down a lot of the time because I wanted to what was going to happen next.
My one small complaint would be the ending. Without spoiling it for anyone, it just left me a little confused and was kind of anticlimactic. It’s hard to explain without giving things away but certain things didn’t make sense to me – mainly where Liadan ends up. I understand it but I don’t understand how it relates to her family. If you’ve read it you may understand what I’m talking about. Having said all that I was still mostly satisfied with the ending. Moving onto something completely different – I think the Celtic influences are so well done and unlike alot of other fantasy books I’ve read. It has quite a fairy tale feel and I love that about it. Fey do play a part in this book but not too heavily. The mystery behind them is really interesting. I am not a huge lover of fairies/fey – I’ve never really seen the appeal but I love that aspect of these books. I think the darker feel of the book works so well.
While I didn’t love this more than the first book, I definitely loved it as much. Overall I thought this was a fantastic continuation for this series and it has made me want to read more from Juliet Marillier. I will definitely be continuing on with this series, as well as checking out some of her other books. If you enjoy fantasy, and like fey or fairytales, then I highly recommend checking this series out. I can’t wait to read the next book. Just a quick note before I go to let you guys know I am going away tomorrow and so if I’m slow at responding or don’t respond at all that is why. I will get back to you as soon as I can. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.