Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives and they are determined that she know only contentment. But Sorcha's joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift - by staying silent.
If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever. When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs that she will never able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all....
©2000 Juliet Marillier (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I'm a recently retired software engineer, enjoying life in the great northwest, after emigrating from southern CA. Audiobooks are a godsend!
In a stroke of serendipity, I happened upon this trilogy as a consequence of Audible's recent promotional introduction of new series. What a delightful discovery!
I am still enjoying part three of the first book, and I can anticipate that I will be very sad when I finish the last part of the final book (but I can also anticipate that this is a series that will warrant another listen, or two). I have been thoroughly engaged from the start, and unlike so many other audiobooks I have tried, I can find NOTHING to criticize.
I think any revered author would enjoy the opportunity to explore the imagination and linguistic prowess of Juliet Marillier, and any listener would be entranced by the voice, emotional emphasis, and cadence of Terry Donnelly!
I have not read or listened to any of this author’s other works yet, but from this story, I feel I know something about her that I love. The characters in this book are like phrases from a piece of music with every note in its perfect place. They, and the scenes in which they exist are beautiful and memorable.
The narrator has added a significant contribution to the experience for me, which so often is not the case. I have so many times been able to recognize an author’s talent, but been prevented from enjoying it because the narrator distracts from it to some degree. Not so here. As I eventually look to explore more stories from Juliet Marillier, they will be even more compelling if Terry Donnelly is again chosen to read them!
I could go on to say more, but I will simply end by offering my recommendation that if you decide to try this book, you will likely rejoice the credit and time you spent to do so!
This book could have been much shorter and it would not have lost anything. I'd say around 20% shorter. There is way too much detail about her early life.
Having said that, Juliet Marillier is a great writer and weaves her tale deftly, if a little too verbosely. I did very much like the characters and her prose is almost poetic at times. That fits because the book is really a sort of extended fairy tale and that, in this case, is a good thing.
Terry Donnelly is a great reader for all of the characters and is especially good when portraying the evil ones. I always appreciate when female readers can portray male characters without making them sound like teenage boys. She does a great job here, no problem.
But now that I found out that the sequel is not about her and her immediate family but really more about her son, I'm less interested in getting the sequel. I grew to like these characters and wanted to experience more of their lives.
Avid Audible Subscriber...
I put off buying this book because I thought it would just be another fairy tale retold. I bought it in an Audible Sale and it is nice to know I was wrong. The series is wonderful. Magic, twists and turns. Very well done. The narrator is very good! I plan to listen to the remainder of the series.
This was a re-read of one of my all-time favorite fantasy books and I have to tell you I loved it just as much the second time through as I did the first and listening to the audio version only enhanced my love of it.
I still loved the characters of Sorcha & Red, this whole story is so beautifully written, Juliet Marillier is such a fabulous writer!
I thoroughly enjoyed this fairytale re-telling (The Wild Swans by, Hans Christian Andersen), this is not a story for the faint of heart, just a warning there is a rape scene, and this love story which to me is so secondary to Sorcha’s quest is chaste and doesn’t overpower the book at all. Sorcha’s quest will break your heart and it amazed me still even on re-reading/listening what a great strong woman she was.
I enjoyed the “magical” elements the Fair Folk and the Druids it all seems so normal and everyday that you totally believe these people truly lived in this time.
This was my first time listening to Terry Donnelly as a narrator at first I wasn’t sure about her because I was expecting more of an Irish accent from the characters at Sevenwaters but she really grew on me and I was enrapt with the book by the end and was very happy with her narration, I thought she put just the right amount of venom in the Uncle Richard’s voice. I see she narrates another one later in the series and I look forward to it and would definitely listen to this narrator again.
As I said I love Juliet Marillier’s writing she knows how to weave a tale so well that you believe every word. If you are a fan of the quest type fantasy give this series a try.
Still 5 Stars
I almost stopped listening after the first couple hours. The narrator is way too gusty and melodramatic, and pacing overall is slow. Then I checked the reviews and saw a few people recommending 1.25x and 1.5x speed. Unfortunately 1.5x was too garbled for me to understand (I think it was the rougher accents that got clipped), but 1.25x brought it up to a normal speaking pace, which was bearable.
To add to that advice, you should be liberal with the 30 second skip button. When the main character starts dreaming of her home or her family, she can go on and on and on and on, and we've heard it all before. Skip skip skip.
My rating is actually more like a 3.5 given my manual intervention, but I have to be honest - I got hooked somewhere in the middle, so I'm rounding up to a 4. Just don't be afraid to skip ahead a minute or two (especially during the antagonist's diatribes)!
I read too much, like most genre, & am picky about narrators. I like strong characters, great dialogue, & quirky bits!
The closeness of the family and the well developed distinctive characters. I have read this tale many times in many guises...this is one of the better ones. I liked both the tale and the telliing, the narrator is excellent.
no, but I will.
Trust me when I say that if you don't listen to this book via the Audible app so that you can speed it up to 1.5 (and 2.0 when the villain gives a creepy lecture), you'll either give up quickly or else want to tear your hair out before long. The narrator's dragging, snoozey pace and melodramatic, drawn-out wail will make you want to throw things.
HOWEVER: If you speed it up, she'll sound quite normal! Before I did so, I was hitting myself for not just buying the paper book. But after a few chapters of misery, I thought I'd try out the various speeds and settled with 1.5x...and then suddenly, I was listening to an honestly compelling story.
This is an elaborate retelling of an old fairytale made painfully, intricately human and present. It's no lighthearted fare, and far from a YA tone or style. Sadly, it probably won't attract as many male readers as it should since the main character is a young woman--even though her six brothers factor strongly into the story as characters you come to know well, and even though this is *hardly* a soppy romance (it's anything but that). It's brutal enough--and emotionally complex enough that instead, I wouldn't suggest this if you want a light fantasy adventure for your commute. It's character-driven by far and nothing comes tied up in bows. Hard times and more hard times. No easy answers and no easy justice.
My main criticism would be that it's overlong with its explication and is at times redundant, but that's why I'd say it's a good choice for an audiobook. If you listen at the speed I Forcefully Recommend, you'll probably only have brief moments when you wish she'd move forward, whereas I imagine otherwise skimming long paragraphs in a book while feeling you're missing something.
Overall, this is a very thoughtful, well-told story that gripped me on many levels. Not sure if I'll continue with the series, but there's goodness in that too, especially in the context of today's publishing world of cheaply-plotted, hurriedly dashed-off first-draft trilogies that make you buy at least three books to get any resolution. This is a stand-alone book that doesn't leave you empty or require you to soldier on to find a satisfying conclusion. Recommended for anyone who knows what they're getting into!
These books are so beautiful! I was teary eyed for most of this book.
I have no other books I know to compare this to.
wasn't sure if i was going to be able to get into this book...only because of the cadence of the narrator. there was a long pause between thoughts, or sentences that was quite distracting through almost all of the first part. but it seems by the second part she gained her stride and the story started flowing well as it should.
now, i am sooo glad i persevered, because i LOVED this story !!! the narrators voice has such depth, and emotion that it brought the story to life. i am now ready for the second book, and excited to get more of this story under way.
Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.
This is a fantastic book, and I am sure it will stay close to my heart.
This is the story of a girl, Sorcha, whose sacrifice freed her brothers from a dark spell, but until you get to that part, you will feel as if suffering every minute.
She and her six brothers live in a place called Sevenwaters, and each brother has a role on this tale. Her mother died 6 hours after giving birth to her, but their resemblance to one another is uncanny. Maybe that's the reason why her father hardly ever speaks or pays attention to her.
One day Lord Collum, the father, decides to get married, and that's where the story changes. It is not just the beautiful stepmother getting in the way, for she is a witch, and she wishes to bear a child so this child can inherit Sevenwaters, and she will stop at nothing to accomplish this task. So, she casts a spell on the 6 brothers and turns them into swans, but Sorcha gets to run away, and so a life of agony, suffering and pain begins.
There are parts where you just have to speed the ap to 1.5x, such is the agony! Don't get me wrong, for the narrator is good, but it feels like the story is dragging along, and if you can do something about it, speed up the ap.
There is also a love story building up, very slowly, and it later gets to be the hook of the book :)
If you like tales and fantastic stories, you will like this one.
"Spellbinding! I highly recommend this book"
I read the book years ago and loved it and the audio book brought it all back to life again. I can't wait to start on the second book in the series. The characters are true and life like, the story is gripping and the narration did the book justice in every way.
I don't have a favourite character. I liked them all for different reasons.
No. But I will look for other books narrated by Terry Donnelly
If I was on a long flight it would be perfect! Unfortunately I don't have enough spare time to listen for so long but if I could, I would.
"Adversity and trials, grief and stress..."
Hmmm- I seem to be in a minority here in that I'm not swooning with delight over this. The whole thing is a recounting of events, so has things like (I paraphrase here) "Little did we know this was to be our last happy day." , or "Three tradegies were to occur before the moon next rose" or somesuch, so you're constantly waiting for the next awful thing to happen. And boy oh boy, do they happen. Awfulness and pain and crushing burdens are heaped onto our poor young heroine, while she eats one of the most unsustainable diets imaginable, mostly bread, fruit, the odd smidgeon of cheese, a bit of barley broth, oh and bean curd (sounds a bit tofu'ish to me - did they have tofu in 1st millenium Ireland and England?).
There are the occasional lightenings of the mood, but they are brief and you know all too well that the next horror is just around the corner. There are times when I longed for a bit of editing - Richard's gloating towards the end seemed to go on for an eternity, and generally it could have been pruned without losing any of the lyricism. But I did hang on in there to the surprisingly romantic and, dare I say it, almost Mills & Boon type ending.
This is well read, with the narrator inhabiting characters from a naive 12 year old girl to seasoned warriors, I thought she read Red particularly well.
So, overall this is a not bad version of an old tale, with a stonkingly determined in the face of overwhelming adversity heroine, a stone faced, tormented and very decent hero, a two quite nasty baddies and an assorted cast of supporters. But be prepared for endless trials and tribulations - and while there is an ending to the main part of the tale, other parts are left very unfinished for the other two parts of the trilogy to deal with.
"As captivating as I remember it....."
I would definitely recommend this series of books to anyone you likes a fantasy novel. There is plots and conspiracy written in a wonderful way which will keep you captivated!
I couldn't choose a favourite piece in the book as I really thoroughly enjoy it from beginning to end. Sorcha has is a character that you can follow with ease as she works through the turmoils set upon her by the Lady Oognah and Fairy Folk of the Forest in a quest to save her 6 brothers.
Terry Donnelly does take some getting used to. I must admit to begin with she wasn't the easiest listening voice but as the story progressed you certainly get into it and relax into her style of reading.
The whole story is a quite a moving one in different ways. You'll find yourself annoyed and saddened by events, relief and happiness as some tasks are met and achieved,
I really looking forward to listening to the rest if the series. Each book has a different narrator so we'll see if that works or not.....
"A great book to read"
Yes I have read it again and currently going through the series of books. The book keep you in interested in what is going to happen next. The daughter of Severwaters was very strong, determined young teenager trying to get her six brothers back as her stepmother had changed them into swan.
Terry made the book feel real and made you want to listen more and hear more of what is happening to her. It was at the right tempo so that you didn't get bored or you couldnt keep up. I would listen to her again if she was the narrated another book
The first one was when she was gang raped by some men and then when she freed her brothers from the spell that her evil stepmother put on them.
if you like fast moving story and you like fantasy and magic it's a good book for you.
"A vivid and beautiful take on a classic fairy tale"
The books is written beautifully with a lyrical and dreamy tone. It makes you believe that the magic under the sprawling moss-covered depths of the oak forests is real and tangible, inextricably woven into the fabric of the life of those who have eyes to see it. If you love a book for the beauty of its language and enjoy a good fairy tale, this is the read for you.
Juliet Marillier remains faithful to the story, without resorting to horrid modern crudeness. Instead the myth is made real by a beautiful love story, realistic historical background, masterly infusion of magic, unyielding sibling love and loyalty and a couple of utterly hateful villains.
I will be following this series further to discover what lies behind the couple of unresolved loose ends.
Yes very gripping
the hole book
No it was all good
It is just very good lol
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