This is a review of “Child of the Prophecy” by Juliet Marillier. It is the 3rd book in The Sevenwaters Trilogy.
The sacred islands were taken by the Britons. There is a prophecy that states that a child that is neither of Britain nor of Erin- but at the same time both- and who is marked by the raven, is the only one that can take the sacred islands back. Without such a child, the quest to regain the sacred islands will fail.
This story follows Fainne, the daughter of Niamh and Ciaran (Son of the Shadows). Ciaran was not allowed to become a fully fledged Druid, because the blood of a sorcerer flowed in his veins. Niamh died when Fainne was quite young, and so Ciaran raised her on his own. She learns the art of sorcery, from Ciaran. Namely she masters the art of glamour: to change her appearance. She has a close friend, Darragh, who is the son of a local tinker.
She visits her cousins and her Uncle Sean at Sevenwaters. While she is there, her grandmother (evil sorceress from “Daughter of the Forest“) Oonagh contacts her and instructs her to follow her orders, lest she make her father Ciaran so sick that he would die. Oonagh wishes for the islands to remain as they are. She instructs Fainne to thwart the plans of her uncles and her cousin Johnny, who is believed to be the child the prophecy speaks of. Frightened, Fainne does as she asks, and a fire burns at Sevenwaters. Her cousin Maeve is terribly burned, and a young Druid is killed.
This tragic turn of events makes Fainne sick at heart. She doubts she can continue on with her grandmothers plan. But her Father’s life is in danger. She decides to make a deal with Eamonn (Son of the Shadows) . They will be married, and he will do his best to waylay the expedition for the islands. Fainne also vows to help Eamonn to get rid of Bran, whom he vehemently hates. However, her Uncle Sean rejects Eamonn’s proposal of marriage on Fainne’s behalf.
Fainne is sent to Inis Eala. Darragh follows, but as a warrior, Fainne cannot dissuade him. Can Fainne shake her grandmothers influence? Will the islands be won? Will the child of the Prophecy stay safe? And what of Eamonn, will he get his revenge?
I loved this book. Full of poignancy, love, self-doubt, shame, passion and the bonds of family, it is not easy to put down!