I put a call out to my Facebook peeps for book recommendations, and the author Juliet Marillier was recommended. The library only had one book on the shelf, Heart’s Blood. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.
Juliet Marillier writes Historical Fantasy. This is a new genre for me. I have never been a big fan of “traditional” fantasy…you know, castles and dragons and magical swords (outside of Tolkien, that is). But historical fantasy? Wow…I’m hooked!
Marillier’s books take place in ancient 8th and 9th century Ireland, when Christianity was fairly new to the island. Many people still followed the old ways and worshiped the ancient gods & goddesses.
Marillier herself is a member of the druid order OBOD (The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids), so she writes with authority on druidic spirituality and belief.
…her spiritual values are often reflected in her storytelling – the human characters’ relationship with the natural world plays a significant part. Juliet’s novels combine historical fiction, folkloric fantasy, romance and family drama. The strong elements of history and folklore in her work reflect her lifelong interest in both fields. However, her stories focus strongly on human relationships and the personal journeys of the characters.
After I finished Heart’s Blood , I found the first book of the Sevenwaters Series, Daughter of the Forest. Like Marillier, I also am fascinated with folktales, and I was delighted to discover that Daughter of the Forest is a loose re-telling of the German folk story the Six Swans.
Now here is an odd thing: The Okanagan Regional Library System only owns the first, fourth and fifth books in the series, which I find very odd! However, I am an intrepid library patron, and pursued books two and three through the inter-library loan program. Son of the Shadows and Child of the Prophecy both arrived a couple of days ago and are due back in less than three weeks. Both of them. No renewals allowed on inter-library loans. Guess I better get reading!
I was completely enthralled and eagerly let myself be led back through the mists of time to a place where Gaelic mythology comes alive. If you are looking for something to read while waiting for the snow to melt and the crocuses to bloom, I highly recommend Juliet Marillier.
What are you reading this weekend?