Fantasy Book Review – Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

Synopsis: Prior to making her final pledge as a druid, the young seer Sibeal visits the island of Inis Eala, where the Sight leads her to Felix, a survivor of a Norse shipwreck who has no memory of his past. As the island’s healers struggle to keep Felix alive, he and Sibeal form a natural bond. But Sibeal’s vocation is her true calling, and she must choose between the two things that tug at her soul-her spirituality and a chance at love…


I have so many mixed feelings about this book that it’s driving me a little crazy. I apologize in advance if this gets a little ranty and possibly contain some spoilers.

To begin, Sibeal was first introduced in Child of the Prophecy when she is quite young. She appears again in Heir to Sevenwaters. In both books she is established to be destined to become a druid. She is a seer with many talents, always calm and serene even as a young child. Seer of Sevenwaters begins with Sibeal on Inis Eala, sent there for the summer by her mentor before taking her final vows as a druid. On the first day there, a shipwreck happens just off their coast and Sibeal saves the life of a man who nearly drowned. Feeling a responsibility for him, she spends a great deal of time with him during his recovery.

Everything seems all fine and dandy until around 100 pages in when Sibeal is interacting with some of the other women on the island and they start asking her about her vocation. She’s happy to answer as best she can. Then it’s brought up that becoming a druid means she will never know love and the joy of having children. This is where the problems start for me.

Now, I know that this takes place in a different time when that is exactly what is expected of women: get married, have babies. However, though likely unintentional, I really feel a parallel here with things I have been experiencing in the real world. Even now, in 2023, there is this pervasive idea that people, women especially, cannot possible live a happy and fulfilled life without having children. As a woman who doesn’t want children I have gotten all kinds of comments from people about my choice. Like how I will regret it and I’ll die alone etc.

With this feeling, I continued on reading this book, both loving it and feeling annoyed by the inevitable outcome. I suppose I should have known better considering all the previous books have a romantic plot and the idea of love prevailing over all. I don’t mind romantic plots, I really don’t (it’s long descriptive sex scenes that bother me) but I felt like Sibeal was supposed to be different. She knew what her life was going to be and then it just all changes because of a man.

Don’t get me wrong. This book is great and I loved it. Reading through the first person point of view really makes me feel like I’m in the character’s head, feeling what they feel. Because of that, I felt Sibeal’s longing and her conflict. There was a part of me that wanted them to end up together, but I still felt annoyed by it.

Like I said at the beginning, I have very mixed feelings. However, this shouldn’t deter anyone from reading it. This book is amazing, it’s a great addition to the series and you should definitely read it.

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for reading even if this was a little ranty.

Fantasy Book Review – Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

Synopsis: The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest?and a new heir has been born. But the family’s joy turns to despair when the baby is taken, and something¬†unnatural¬†is left in his place. To reclaim her newborn brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there?


Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier is the 4th book in the Sevenwaters series. This book is told in the first person point of view of Clodagh, one of six daughters of Lord Sean and Lady Aisling.

Clodagh is seen as the “domestic” daughter. Her skills are thought to be that of a housewife, and therefore rather boring. Her other sisters have talents of their own, as a healer, a seer and just a more outgoing personality.

This book begins with Clodagh tying a ribbon as an offering to a tree in the forest to pray for the safe delivery of her newest sibling. Lady Aisling is older now, has already had six children and her health is not at it’s best. There is an oppressive sense of doom hanging over everything even though the house is also preparing for Clodagh’s sister’s wedding. With her mother mostly confined to bed, Clodagh is expected to keep the household running.

Clodagh is an interesting character, one I felt I could relate to. She is expected to keep the house running smoothly, take care of wedding preparations, as well as keeping her sister, the bride from going a bit crazy. I felt her sense of duty to her family, how she pushed herself to keep going even when she was exhausted and kept up appearances of being calm and in control. When the new baby is born, a son, Clodagh is the first to step up and help care for the baby. She even tells herself that there is no sense in thinking of what her own marriage might entail because she is needed at home to help her mother care for the baby. When the baby unexpectedly disappears and a changeling is left in his place, only Clodagh can see that he is a living being, the only one who can hear his cries.

Since she was the one watching the baby when the abduction occurs, she is blamed by her father for not watching every second. Although men are sent to search for the baby, Clodagh knows that this isn’t a normal sort of abduction and that the Fair Folk have something to do with it. Clodagh sets out on a perilous journey to find her brother, facing all kinds of dangers and heartache along the way.

This woman, who most dismiss as the “housewife” type of daughter has more courage and love than most people have in their little finger. When she puts her mind to something, she will see it through no matter the personal cost.

Based on the title of this novel, Heir to Sevenwaters, I had expectations of how the story would likely go. I’m so glad that my expectations were completely dashed. This story is in no way predictable and a complete rollercoaster of emotions.

After reading several books with multiple POV, this first person POV felt like a breath of fresh air. The reader doesn’t know anything that Clodagh doesn’t. We don’t see what the bad guys are up to, or even other people in the household. I love that.

Although I can rarely pronounce the names correctly, Celtic fantasy has to be one of my favorite subgenres of fantasy. The three books that precede Heir of Sevenwaters are all excellent and I look forward to the rest of the series.

My rating for this book is 5 out of 5 stars! I highly recommend it to anyone who loves Celtic fantasy, though I’d recommend reading the three previous books first.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!