a prophecy is a prophecy

prophecyI finished reading Child of the Prophecy, the final installment in Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters trilogy, yesterday afternoon.

The trilogy follows three generations of the Sevenwaters’s clan, starting with a curse laid on the children of Colum of Sevenwaters by the Lady Oognah, a sorceress descended from a faerie cast out from among the Fair Folk.

Granddaughter to Sorcha and niece to Liadan, Fainne is raised os the shores of Kerry by her father Ciaran, a sorcerer and former druid, and son to the Lady Oognah and Lord Colum. Raised in near isolation, Fainne’s one true friend is the tinker’s son, Darragh, a boy with an uncanny ability to tame wild creatures. Fainne lives in relative peace with her father, accustomed to the solitude that marks their life, until the Lady Oognah seeks her out to complete her long-sought vengeance on the people of Sevenwaters. Fainne finds that her grandmother possesses a kind of cruelty that she never anticipated. Forced to act against her better judgment, Fainne must overcome the sorceress’ malice before she too is consumed by it.

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While I did not enjoy Child of the Prophecy as much as Daughter of the Forest or Son of the Shadows, the experience would have felt incomplete without Fainne’s story. The prophecy that is such an integral part of the trilogy is explained in a satisfying manner, but some of the plot lines seemed too easily resolved (like the matter between Eamonn and Fainne; it builds, disappears for half the book, and is tied together in the final pages).

The Lady Oognah also comes across as one of those classic evil witch types who cackle and wreak havoc, but there is not much depth to her actions. She’s evil, but it seems like her evil has no real motive; the explanation given for her desire to seek vengeance is weak and only made weaker by her continued inability to do more than manipulate her granddaughter into acting on her behalf. She serves her purpose as the witch who curses the children of Sevenwaters in Daughter of the Forest, but she didn’t really work for me as a character in this book.

[Queen] Elizabeth and the Fair Folk

slanderI tried, I really did, but I could not finish reading Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis’s By Slanderous Tongues. I was in the mood for a fantasy read and received a few recommendations on Yahoo! Answers, and Lackey was recommended by more than one. I know she’s really popular, so I was hopeful when I picked up the book at the library. I thought the premise behind By Slanderous Tongues sounded interesting: already a pawn in the mortal world, the young Elizabeth is also part of a dangerous plot being planned by the Unseleighe Sidhe.

The plot has potential, but I learned more about Elizabethan fashion than I did about the characters and their motivations. Everyone in this novel seems to wear slashed sleeves–the reader gets a full description of what each character is wearing… or not wearing in each scene. Titania’s rosy nipples made quite an impression.

I’ve read reviews that say that this novel is not indicative of Lackey’s usual storytelling, so I’ll give her another try, but I think I’ll check out Juliet Marillier’s Daughter of the Forest first.