Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: 2012
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: Bestselling author Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series has been praised as a “magnificent saga” (Alernative Worlds) that is a “gripping tale of enduring love” (Publishers Weekly). Now, Marillier returns to Sevenwaters with the story of a young woman destined to unlock the secrets of the Otherworld…
Maeve, daughter of Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, was badly burned as a child and carries the legacy of that fire in her crippled hands. After ten years, she’s returning home, having grown into a courageous, forthright woman with a special gift for gentling difficult animals. But while her body’s scars have healed, her spirit remains fragile, fearing the shadows of her past.
Sevenwaters is in turmoil. The fey prince Mac Dara has become desperate to see his only son, married to Maeve’s sister, return to the Otherworld. To force Lord Sean’s hand, Mac Dara has caused a party of innocent travelers on the Sevenwaters border to vanish—only to allow their murdered bodies to be found, one by one.
When Maeve finds the body of one of the missing men in a remote part of the woods, she and her brother Finbar embark on a journey that may bring about the end of Mac Dara’s reign, or lead to a hideous death. If she is successful, Maeve may open the door to a future she has not dared to believe possible…
My Review: This book's protagonist is Maeve, who was severely injured in the fire in Child of the Prophecy and who went to live with her Aunt Liadan in Harrowfield. This book takes place three years after The Seer of Sevenwaters. Maeve returns to Sevenwaters from Harrowfield, and tries to reconcile with her family, whom she hasn’t seen in ten years. Soon, she and her young brother, Finbar finds themselves on a journey to the Otherworld to bring about the end of the evil Mac Dara's reign.
Maeve is an unlikely heroine. She is severely damaged and physically scarred. She has badly damaged hands, which she cannot use. The author wrote Maeve’s story beautifully because it shows that even though she is handicapped, she is shown to be proven capable of being a heroine. Maeve can at times be difficult and judgmental. She has some bitterness to her family, especially towards her mother, because they look at her with pity because of her disability. However, soon she grows into a strong, sensible, brave, and loving woman that is loyal to her family.
Also, Ciaran, who is Sorcha’s half-brother, also plays a major role in this story. Ciaran is the character in the Sevenwaters series who has changed the most dramatically. He has always been on a journey to discover his true self. In Flame of Sevenwaters, in order to protect his family, Ciaran realizes that he must make a choice of self-sacrifice. This book is a great conclusion to his life's journey, and it will leave readers rooting for Ciaran to the end.
Overall, this book’s theme is about family, love, loyalty, sacrifice, acceptance, and self-discovery. This novel has magic, romance, adventure, and mystery. I recommend this book for lovers of historical fiction, fantasy, and romance and fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Irish folklore. I also recommend this book for those who are looking for books that feature protagonists who are special needs or handicapped. This message of the book is to be proud of who your are, and that no matter what your deficiencies are, you have a special talent that makes you unique. After a slight letdown in the previous book in the series, this book finishes the series spectacularly. I am a huge fan of the Sevenwaters series, and I highly recommend it.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars