Desert Isle Keeper
Son Of The Shadows
Juliet Marillier’s second novel Son Of Shadows is not only the perfect sequel to the first novel in her Sevenwaters trilogy, Daughter Of The Forest, but the perfect complement to it as well. It’s less gloomy, but more dangerous in atmosphere, and focuses less on family and more on romance this time. In fact, the only problem with it that I could find was that it left me distinctly grouchy over the fact that book three will surely not be published until February.
Liaden of Sevenwaters is a healer, like her mother Sorcha before her. And like her mother, she has the gift of silent communication – usually just with her twin Sean, but increasingly with her Uncle Conor as well. She has other gifts, too, gifts that don’t make themselves known until the fateful day when Liaden catches her sister Niamh meeting her young druid lover in the forest, and sets in motion a course of events that will change her family and the lives of others forever, and perhaps not for the better.
Soon Liaden is keeping secrets from those she loves, and is torn between two allegiances, and between two forces older than human memory – the Fair Folk, and their predecessors, the Fomhoire, or Old Ones. To the humans around her, she is sister, daughter, lover, and friend. But to those not so human, she is the unexpected, the child born outside the pattern. The one who can change fate. Now, she must make decisions that affect everyone and everything around her. And she must suffer the consequences.
Like Daughter Of The Forest, this book is deeply enthralling, as the magical storytelling steals the reader away to another time and place. Not as dark as it predecessor, Son Of Shadows, it nevertheless remains overcast by a danger far more frightening than that of the first novel. It is what lies in the future for Sevenwaters, and not in the past that will be most frightening, the reader realizes. Meanwhile, book two explores more fully the force of love that comes to those at Sevenwaters, and the romantic thread that was so subtly woven into the first novel’s fabric here becomes the pattern itself, in the great tradition of Irish faerie tale it so beautifully mimics.
Liaden is a wonderful and strong heroine, wholly individual, while carrying over some of the characteristics that made her mother Sorcha so admirable and beloved in the first book. Meanwhile, the characters from book one remain consistent and still as remarkable here as they were there. In addition, new characters – a whole new generation of them, in fact – populate the novel with people as real as the weight of the book in your hands. People like Eamonn, Liaden’s intended, and the soulless Painted Man, whom Eamonn has sworn to capture, and like the Son Of The Shadows, and all he promises for the future.
Once again, the brilliant storytelling and plot-crafting that Ms. Marillier displayed in Daughter Of The Forest shines here in her second book, and promises to burn ever brighter in the final book in the trilogy, Child Of The Prophecy. I personally can’t wait.