• Daughter of the Forest

  • Sevenwaters, Book 1
  • By: Juliet Marillier
  • Narrated by: Terry Donnelly
  • Series: Sevenwaters, Book 1
  • Length: 26 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 27-08-2013
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.7 (50 ratings)

Editorial 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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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....
©2000 Juliet Marillier (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Serena on 13-08-2016

Wow

Beautifully written... Well told ... Sad in some parts but the rest make up for it .... Had me on the edge of my seat ...

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jennie on 16-01-2018

A walk in a forest in Erin is fraught with danger

Would you listen to Daughter of the Forest again? Why?

This is a long audio and much is retelling of familiar traditional lore so once is probably enough.

What about Terry Donnelly’s performance did you like?

It takes a while to adapt to the storytellers style - initially a little childlike and irritating but once you have tuned in you caught up in the flow. As much of the story is told in the first person, Sorcha's 'voice' can become a little dull.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Miachi on 01-11-2015

Glad I didn't give up on this book

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)!

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By MissSusie66 on 27-09-2013

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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25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Susan on 05-11-2013

Spellbinding! I highly recommend this book

What did you like most about Daughter of the Forest?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't have a favourite character. I liked them all for different reasons.

Have you listened to any of Terry Donnelly’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No. But I will look for other books narrated by Terry Donnelly

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By DebB on 26-06-2014

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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