I am just so sad. The Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier has quickly become one of my favorites. Book one, Daughter of the Forest, was a five star read and book two, Son of the Shadows, was a four star. Unfortunately, book three, Child of the Prophecy, was a massive disappointment. This review will have spoilers.
Magic is fading… and the ways of Man are driving the Old Ones to the West, beyond the ken of humankind. The ancient groves are being destroyed, and if nothing is done, Ireland will lose its essential mystic core.
The prophecies of long ago have foretold a way to prevent this horror, and it is the Sevenwaters clan that the Spirits of Eire look to for salvation. They are a family bound into the lifeblood of the land, and their promise to preserve the magic has been the cause of great joy to them… as well as great sorrow.
It is up to Fainne, daughter of Niamh, the lost sister of Sevenwaters, to solve the riddles of power. She is the shy child of a reclusive sorcerer, and her way is hard, for her father is the son of the wicked sorceress Oonagh, who has emerged from the shadows and seeks to destroy all that Sevenwaters has striven for. Oonagh will use her granddaughter Fainne most cruelly to accomplish her ends, and stops at nothing to see her will done.
Will Fainne be strong enough to battle this evil and save those she has come to love?
Each book in this series is told from the point of view of a different female family member throughout the generations. Child of the Prophecy takes place during the third generation and focuses on Fainne, the daughter of Niamh and granddaughter of Sorcha. Niamh, Liadan’s sister, was more of a side character in Son of the Shadows and I was never really invested in her storyline. Since I didn’t care that much about Niamh, I started this book a little less interested than I would have liked. However, I was hopeful that Marillier would create a story I adored… I was sadly disappointed.
This book was so boring. Fainne should have been a very interesting character. I wasn’t crazy about her mother but Fainne is the granddaughter of Sorcha and the sorceress, Oonagh. Oonagh has been the big bad of this world since the first book. I assumed that her having a role in Fainne’s upbring would create some drama and chaos, but it really didn’t.
I think we, as the reader, are supposed to see Fainne as being morally gray because of her upbringing but she’s really just timid and indecisive. She’s terrified of Oonagh (understandable) BUT she doesn’t stand up to her until the very end of this massive book. The entire story is basically Fainne being bossed around by her evil grandmother and being super depressed because she’s forced to do bad things. It wasn’t pleasant being stuck in her head all the time because if she wasn’t worrying, she was moping.
An aspect that I adored in the first two books was the romances but that’s also missing here. There technically is one and Fainne does end up with her love in the end but for the entirety of the book, she’s downright hateful to him. She does it so that he’ll leave her alone and be safe from her grandmother, which makes sense, but that doesn’t make for an interesting romance.
So, what did I like? I still absolutely love this world and all of the characters, except Fainne. That’s honestly all I liked because I can’t even be satisfied with how Oonagh finally met her end. I won’t spoil it, but it was extremely anticlimactic.
Child of the Prophecy was supposed to be the end of the Sevenwaters series but six years after its release, Marillier released Heir to Sevenwaters. I’m very happy that she chose to keep the series going because this book would make for a lackluster ending. I might take a short break to catch up on some of my Netgalley books but I’m excited to finish this series. Let me know what you think about it! Thanks for reading and have a great day!