The fey folk have been waiting for the child of the prophecy: the one who is of neither Britain nor Erin, but of both, and bears the sign of the raven. It was thought that one of Sorcha and Red’s children would be the child of the prophecy, but so far they have been nothing but disappointing: Niamh has been corrupted, Sean is too youthful and foolhardy, and Liadan has fallen in love with a man that would have been better left in the shadows.
The old evil is awakening, and Sevenwaters is at its most vulnerable. Still, there is a ray of hope that everything might go to plan after all… but for that to happen, Liadan must make a heart-wrenching choice.
I’ve been on a Juliet Marillier kick lately–I mean, she’s a fantastic writer that I should have been introduced to long before this!–but I have to say, this book was probably my least favorite of all of those I’ve read so far. I certainly liked the first book in this series better. Yeah, some of it has to do with being much more interested in YA books than adult, but I think my issues ran deeper than that. Which makes it all the more surprising that all of my friends who read it rated it a 5!
First, Liadan was basically Sorcha, but a little less likable. I saw very few differences between the two. She felt like a repeat character, a repeat narrator. She was also just a little too perfect and predictable in some ways: she only wanted to stay at Sevenwaters and never marry and grow old and tend to people who are sick. But then she meets a guy, and she now will do anything in her power to fix him. I mean, I’m not saying these are necessarily bad qualities, but she never really seemed to lose hope, which meant that there wasn’t that same sense of “how in the world is she going to accomplish this” like there was with Sorcha in book one.
While the descriptions and what have you are the same great writing that features in all Juliet Marillier books, the plot left much to be desired. I felt like it just plodded on and on, and as I already mentioned, it simply didn’t have the anticipation and build-up that book one did. I didn’t feel as compelled to turn the page. Plus, I’d already figured out who Bran was early on.
I’m not saying this book is completely without merit. It does further some plot points started in book one, and I imagine it provides an important stepping stone to book three (which, according to some reviews I’ve read, is much better!). I was just disappointed after reading so many fantastic Juliet Marillier books–this one just fell a little flat for me.