Daughter of the Forest
HarperCollins, 2000 - 538 pages
A magnificent saga set in the Celtic twilight of 10th century Ireland, when myth was law and magic was a power of nature, brilliantly brought to life: the legendary story of an evil stepmother opposed by a seventh child. A wicked woman, an evil curse, and a love that must triumph over impossible odds Set in the Celtic twilight of ancient Ireland, when myth was law and magic a force of nature, this is the tale of Sorcha, seventh child of a seventh son, the forbidding Lord Colum, and of her six beloved brothers. The keep at Sevenwaters is a remote, strange, quiet place, guarded by silent men who slip through the woodlands clothed in grey, and keep their weapons sharp. For there are invaders outside the forest; raiders from across the seas, Britons and Vikings bent on destruction. But now there is also an invader inside the keep: the Lady Oonagh, a sorceress as fair as day, but with a heart as black as night. Oonagh captivates Lord Colum with her sensual wiles; but she cannot enchant the wary Sorcha. Frustrated in her attempts to destroy the family, Oonagh binds the brothers with a spell that only Sorcha can lift. If she fails, they will die. Then the raiders come, and Sorcha is taken captive.Soon she will find herself torn between her duty to break the curse, and a growing, forbidden love for the warlord who is her captor. Like Marion Zimmer Bradley's MISTS OF AVALON or Jean Auel's CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR, this is first-rate historical fantasy that can have the widest possible appeal, taking in also the readership of historical fiction writers like Mary Stewart , Mary Renault and Anya Seton.