Daughter of the Forest : Sevenwaters

  • by Juliet Marillier
  • Narrated by Terry Donnelly
  • Series: Sevenwaters
  • 26 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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....

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, July 2013 - I loved two things as a teen: fairytales and history. After watching me give up on The Once and Future King for the umpteenth time, my first girlfriend gave me a little package of books. Daughter of the Forest was on the top, probably due to its size, but I like to think she hoped I’d read it first. I devoured it in one sitting. But let’s be clear: Daughter of the Forest is a coming-of-age story, but it is not YA. Set in medieval Ireland, this is the story of Sorcha, youngest child of Sevenwaters, an ancient fortress stewarded by a noble family tasked with overseeing the spiritually-important lands. When her father’s new wife turns her six brothers into swans and forces Sorcha to go on the run, she is set to a curse-breaking task by the Fair Folk inhabiting the dark and dangerous woods – weave six shirts of starwort, and speak no words while you are working, or your brothers will be swans forever. Sorcha’s magically-enforced silence lands her in serious trouble when she’s captured by a rival clan, and she is forced to try and complete her task in a stranger’s land. While ultimately a tale of what we’ll do for our families, Daughter of the Forest is great fantasy for the fairer set, those who are historically minded, or those who want a break from the heaviness of Game of Thrones. I’m thrilled to finally see it in audio. —Erin, Audible Editor

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Compelling story--but only at 1.5x

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!
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- barefoot rabbit

One of my All-Time Favorites

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
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- MissSusie66 "MissSusie"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-27-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios