Today, something a little different.
When Juliet Marillier’s Seer of Sevenwaters arrived for possible review, I could not find a librarian reviewer who had read all of the previous installments in the series. (I don’t know about you, but I tend to read the first two in a series, and as long as the reviews are good on the rest, keep buying them automatically. Especially when the series is as popular as Marillier’s Sevenwaters books.)
Fortunately, I do know a student who loves to read fantasy and had a hunch that she had probably read them all. Indeed she had. Serena’s eyes lit up when I asked her if she would like to read the latest, and lit up even brighter when I asked if she might want to write a review. Serena is in 10th grade, junior editor of the school’s literary magazine, and was a teen reviewer for VOYA last year. She is also well-read, which I know from our many conversations and bookgroup discussions.
Seer of Sevenwaters is a book that is very easy to fall in love with. Juliet Marillier’s lyrical and expressive writing style portrays vividly the novel’s host of realistic, empathetic characters against the backdrop of the world of Sevenwaters. This latest addition to the Sevenwaters saga is the first to take place entirely away from Sevenwaters itself, on the warriors’ island of Inis Eala, where Sibeal, a druid in training, has gone to spend some time with her sisters before she takes the step that will bind her irreversibly to her vocation. The arrival of the survivors of a shipwreck near the island complicates Sibeal’s plans, involving her in a mystery and a quest that test her and cause her to question the path her life has taken since childhood. The cleverly-executed plot is a perfect mix of suspense, magic, mythology, and true love, while at the same time exploring Sibeal’s very human (and very teenage) struggle to understand herself and to decide the path her life will take. The novel fits in with the rest of the series as a natural continuation of the story, and it would help to have read at least the novel that comes just before it, Heir to Sevenwaters, though Seer of Sevenwaters can also stand on its own and can be enjoyed without any knowledge of the previous books. This book can be ranked among the best of Juliet Marillier’s books to date.–Serena, student at Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City