Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daughter of the Forest

I sat in my recliner for two hours last night so I could finish Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Marillier. I HAD to finish, because the book was distracting me from work and life. I was going crazy.

At one point I had to get up and grab a roll of toilet paper, because I was crying and it wasn’t even the end of the book.

This novel is AMAZING. It’s based on the Seven Swans fairytale, but it’s so much more than that. For a while I thought it was just all right, but then it took off. This novel put me through an addicting and fascinating roller coaster of emotions that left my heart aching when I had to put it down. (Like after lunch break when I had to go back to work, at which point I could scarcely concentrate.)

The most amazing part of the book is the main relationship, and that’s all I will say for fear of spoiling. I don’t know how Marillier did it. So subtle, but so there, and every moment is wonderful and terrifying and all you want is a happy ending through all the crap this woman loads onto the main character. And this is her first published novel. She’s decades ahead of me.

So go read it. Fantastic book. Love it. There’s a sequel (a trilogy, actually), but they’re supposedly three separate stories in the same world. I’m not reading #2 and #3 for now. I think my system needs a breather. (And I have alpha reading to do.)

Excerpt of the day:
(This is from a short story I wrote my freshman year, about 2006. I actually managed to win an honorable mention in the Mayhew Contest with it.* It’s not really fantasy—maybe a little speculative.)

“Yes, he did, and I was going to get to that, but if you’re in such a rush, I’ll jump ahead.” Obala sighed and shook her head. “He found her just before she reached the sun. The sun is the portal to heaven, after all. He called her name and threw the net out to her. At first it looked like he had missed, but then the winds turned in his favor and blew the net right onto Maria Claire. He returned her to her body, and when Maria Claire woke, she was all better.”

“Then what’s in the jar?” I question.

Obala doesn’t answer at first, just squints at me funny and smiles. “Don’t worry, it’s not Maria Claire.”

Inside the Cloud Jar, page 4

*Unfortunately, this is about the extent my writing has gotten me—not even worth a mention on a cover letter, I’m afraid.


  1. Actually, #2 and #3 (Son of the Shadows and Child of the Prophecy, respectively) complete a much larger story that she has only touched on in the first book. The first book is my favorite of the three, but #2 and #3 are both amazing, as well.

    There's also a fourth book in the series that is more of a standalone, however. I haven't decided whether it or Daughter of the Forest is my favorite, though.

  2. I've read the trilogy too (although it was quite a while ago) and I remember it being quite fantastic - probably the best of all her books. I was in high school when I read them though and I remember thinking that they were probably more age appropriate for a slightly older audience... I can't remember if it was the first one or later ones that made me think that though.