Fantasy Book Review – Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

Synopsis: After years of comparative peace, darkness has fallen upon Ulster. Trouble is brewing and even those in the heart of the forest are not safe. Niamh, elder daughter of Sorcha, is required to make a strategic marriage, while her sister Liadan, who has the gift of Sight and her mother’s talent for healing, finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of the Painted Man and his warrior band. There Liadan begins a journey that is to transform her life.

Son of the Shadows, book 2 of the Sevenwaters series is told from the point of view of Liadan, the youngest daughter of Sorcha and Hugh of Harrowfield. Liadan has inherited her mother’s talent for healing, as well as her uncle Finbar’s unique gifts.

It has been around 18 years since Sorcha’s ordeal. Her and her family have been living happily until the oldest daughter, Niamh enters into a forbidden relationship and ends up being married off to a strategic ally. While on the road to see Niamh off to her new home, Liadan is abducted by bandits who need a healer to help one of their men who is gravely injured. This brings her in contact with the notorious leader of outlaws, the Painted Man, and changes the course of her life.

Liadan is mature for all of her 16 years. She is skilled at healing and shows quite the stubborn streak. She rarely does what people tell her she should do. She forges ahead, determined to make her own path. I liked this about her, although sometimes her blind faith in certain people got a bit on my nerves.

I didn’t really feel the natural progression of her relationship with Bran. He was down right cruel to her not only when they first meet but even after their relationship gets established. I honestly don’t know why she puts up with it.

Did I like this book? Yes, I did, though not as much as I enjoyed Daughter of the Forest. There’s nothing wrong with Liadan as a character, I just didn’t feel as invested in her story as I did with Sorcha. There isn’t the same sense of tension as in the first book.

That’s not to say that Liadan doesn’t face any dangers. Her life is in peril more than once and she goes through a great deal to protect the people she loves.

My rating for Son of the Shadows is 3 out of 5 stars and I would definitely recommend reading it if you’ve read Daughter of the Forest and want to continue the series.

Thanks for reading!

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