- Series: Sevenwaters (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Roc Hardcover; First Edition edition (December 7, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451463552
- ISBN-13: 978-0451463555
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 120 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Seer of Sevenwaters Hardcover – December 7, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Sibeal of Sevenwaters, the teen fifth daughter of the Lord of Sevenwaters, has always known she wants to be a druid. In this romantic follow-up to 2008's Heir of Sevenwaters, Sibeal's uncle Ciaran, her mentor, orders her to spend a summer on the sheltered island of Inis Eala, away from her training, to determine whether the contemplative life is truly for her. At first, Sibeal thinks that Ciaran is punishing her. Then a sudden storm brings a shipwreck and several mysteries that challenge Sibeal's resolve and vocation. Why does the Norseman Knut seem to be holding something back from the islanders, and if Svala is Knut's wife, why is she so terrified of him? And who is the handsome, amnesiac man Sibeal has found washed up on shore? Readers will thrill to this strong, heartfelt tale of the Sevenwaters family and their magical exploits. (Dec.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The reader is thrown headlong into this story with the prologue, a first-person description of a shipwreck. The tale is set in the time of the druids, when Christianity has not yet driven the “old ways” out of northern Europe. A tale as intricate as a Celtic knot is woven between the two main characters, Sibeal and the shipwreck survivor. Sibeal is a young woman, determined to be a druid. She has all but completed her training when she finds the nearly drowned man, who has lost his memory. No details are too small, and altogether, they constitute a clear picture for the reader. As Sibeal struggles to bring the sailor up the beach, the reader will find themselves wishing they, too, could assist. When it becomes clear to the reader and also to other characters in the book that Sibeal has fallen in love, the confusion she feels is very familiar. This romance is sure to hold the attention of any reader fascinated by mythology, Celtic folklore, and druidism. --Rebecca Gerber
Top customer reviews
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This review is full of SPOILERS, because I just don't know how to make my point without using specific examples. I recommend scrolling past if you haven't read the book yet.
I thought it took a long time for the main character to figure out things I thought were obvious. Like that Knut was a lying bastard and that Svala was not his wife, but clearly someone he'd abducted and was keeping against her will. Sibeal, the main character, is a Seer, and it just drove me crazy that it took her forever to figure this out. I was also annoyed, when they finally decided they needed to go on this mission, to rescue possible survivors exiled on an island. The island was Svala's home and she wanted to return. Repeatedly, several people said that the mission had no point at all if these survivors turned out to have died before they get there. Because apparently Svala didn't actually matter to anyone at all. It really made me rather angry, actually, that no one really was advocating for her. She was an afterthought throughout the entire book.
As I said, the love story was weak, and overstated. It was told, repeatedly, rather than shown.
One thing I did enjoy, though, was seeing more of Clodagh and Cathal again. I got really attached to them in the previous book. I was actually really worried the author was going to do something horrible to them. But it looks like she's setting them up for future sequels, and I'm far more interested in their lives than in ever reading about Sibeal again. So, I'll keep buying Juliet Marillier's books forever and ever. I forgive her for writing one weak installment.
Personal ideological views aide, the book was plagued by technical issues. First, this was the worst paced story I have ever read. The whole book builds up to some grand mission Sibeal and Felix must go on, which amounted to about 30-50 pages of easily surmountable events. They might as well have just had the epic mission to go around the corner for milk. The rest of book is 350 pages of Felix useless in the infirmary and Sibeal angsting about what turned out to be no big deal. And the plot itself just felt like a slew of easy to go to clichés placed there just for the characters to angst about: amnesia, "forbidden" sexual desire, a displaced mythological creature that someone with a background in lore should have seen from a mile away (heck, I did and I'm no expert) and some rape for good measure. The story and atmosphere are desolate, depressing, obsessed with death and illness, and without a larger conflict or journey as the central focus, the sentimentality of the series goes from tolerable/even charming to insufferable. What really got heavy handed was the endless prose about how great druids are, coming from the OBOD member author. If I had to read the phrase "as a druid," followed by some amazing skill Sibeal processes one more time, I was going the throw the book into the gutter. For that matter, the similes about how grand Sibeal and Filix's love is became far too effusive as well. All in all, high in repetition and low in actual plot points.
All that being said, I am normally one of Marillier's biggest fans. The rest of the Sevenwaters books stand out as the shining pinnacle of literary enjoyment to me. Everything was just off with this one. Please do not judge her merits as an author based on this book alone. I have high hopes for the next book in the series, and that is the one reason I forced myself to finish this one. This is a book to speed read to get the feel for the series as a whole if you are a literary completionist.