Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
Read for: What’s in a Name Challenge – Book title with a relative in it
This is the second novel in the Sevenwaters trilogy (First novel – Daughter of the Forest). It tells the story of Sorcha’s (the narrator of the previous novel) youngest daughter. Although the novel is part of the trilogy, it could be read without reading the first novel.
Liadan, Sorcha’s youngest, is sixteen when the novel begins. There have been tales of a band of vicious mercenaries in the area and as she is travelling home, Liadan, a healer, is taken against her will by this group of men. The men demand that she try to save one of their number who has been involved in an accident and is dying. She does as is she commanded, but the man is beyond saving. As she spends time with the men, she soon realizes that they are not as bad as the stories about them have led her to believe. And wouldn’t you know it, Liadan ends up having a relationship with the leader of this group of men, Bran.
Bran sends Liadan home and, of course, she soon realizes that she is pregnant. For some reason when her family finds out about the pregnancy, they don’t care who the father is and they allow Liadan to carry the child and remain at Sevenwaters with it. Liadan wants to be with Bran but she knows that her family with not accept him, because he is this crazy, evil murderer so she keeps the identity of her father’s baby a secret. Bran is a wanted man and Liadan does everything she can to protect him from the men around her who all want him dead. (They don’t know what a great man he is, you see…) Anyway, I don’t to give away the ending, but everybody gets to live happily ever after.
I liked this book almost as much as the first one. The story was great. I loved all the twists and unexpected turns (and the expected ones too). Marillier started telling this story in the previous book, without us even realizing it. (But you don’t need to have read the book to understand, she is very careful to give the reader all the pertinent details.) I also really like Mariilier’s writing, it just draws the reader into the story and I almost felt as if I was there.
There were a few things that bothered me about this book that I didn’t notice in the first one. Some of the characters were a little unbelievable. I had a hard time reconciling the two sides of the men Liadan meets as she is trying to nurse the injured man back to life. They were supposed to be hardened men, men who didn’t trust and had terrible secrets in their past but they were so ready to accept Liadan into their inner circle. It just didn’t make sense to me. There were also certain parts of the story that were almost cheesy. There is a very fine line in a love story between cheese and reality and Marillier might have left a toe or two cross that line a few times.
Overall though, this book was pretty good and I will definitely be reading the third one.