Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy Tales, Romance
“All that he had of her was his memory, where he held every moment, every single moment that she had been his. That was all he had, to keep out the loneliness.”
Daughter of the Forest is one of those books. The ones that are scored on my heart, the ones that caused both my awe and respect for the story and for the author. For it takes a tremendous amount of talent and soul to write such a book.
I recall the tale of the Six Swans, I remember being a little girl watching the animated version, and it made me so sad that the heroine had to go through so many hardships to save her brothers. Reading about it though, about Sorcha's adventures and misfortunes was something widely different. It felt like a fairytale, the descriptions and the evil witch and the Fair Folk and the brotherly love, but it was not one. Because fairytales show just the tip of the iceberg, the evil that is only necessary for the story to go on, or else the children that crave them would have trouble sleeping. It wasn't only Oonagh the villain, although this malicious woman casted the curse and brought misery to everyone. It wasn't only Richard and his ambitions. It were also those horrible men in the forest, the peasants and the household who tormented Sorcha, even the Fair Folk, who thought the mortals are toys for their amusement. But Sorcha survived. She is one the strongest and most extraordinary heroines I have ever met. So kind, so fierce, so devoted and loyal. She never had second thoughts about what she had to do to save her brothers, she put her family first. Except that one moment, the moment that changed everything.
“Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt hollow and empty and aching. ”
That is precisely how I felt during this story. This is a romance like no others. So tender yet so passionate, so impossible yet so right. I loved Red for loving and protecting Sorcha, for being patient, for being such a brave and kind man. He often brought me tears.The way Juliet Marillier unfolds the romantic element in this novel is proof enough that extended make-out sessions or sexual tension is not the only way to make a love story memorable and worthwhile. Healing someone's wounds, being there for them, being kind when the entire world shows hatred and malice, protecting them and putting their happiness above yours, this is also true love.
“He would have told her - he would have said, it matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment. I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind. I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night. You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart. You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping. You are - you are bone of my bone, and breath of my breath.”
Daughter of the Forest is a book I will always cherish deeply, that will always be a part of me. There is no better gift than that.