This is a review of “Heir to Sevenwaters” by Juliet Marillier. It is the fourth novel in The Sevenwaters Trilogy. It follows on from “Child of the Prophecy“.
Clodagh is the daughter of Sean and Aisling (“Son of Shadows“). She is twin to Deidre and is considered to be something of a homebody. When her mother becomes pregnant again, she does all she can to help out around the house. Her mother desperately wants the baby to be a boy. Clodagh becomes increasingly worried as the pregnancy progresses as her mother is well past the age of safe childbearing.
Deirdre is getting married. With her mother so preoccupied, much of the responsibilities fall to Clodagh, who is more than capable. A band of her cousin’s warriors travel to Sevenwaters on the eve of the wedding. Among them is a young man she’s had her sights set on for some time; Aidan.
Her brother is born after a hard birth. But soon it is discovered he has been taken, and in his place a crude effigy of an infant, made of sticks has been left. Who could do such a thing? The entire household is enraged and a search for the missing baby begins immediately. But Clodagh can hear a baby crying, when no one else can. And she can see a small, squalling baby fashioned from twigs and bark…
Conall is a warrior, he was trained on the island run by Johnny and his father Bran, the painted man. He is best friend to Aidan and is a mysterious and brooding young man, but a highly skilled fighter. At first meeting, Clodagh and Conall take a dislike to one another. But Conall can hear the baby too…
The rest of the household cannot “hear” the baby. Instead they see a lifeless mannequin a cruel effigy. Suspicions arise. Many believe Clodagh’s brother has been taken for political reasons, and people begin to be accused. Among them is the mysterious Conall and Deirdre’s new husband. But Clodagh suspects someone else entirely. The changing indicates to her that this could be an otherworldly matter.
Can Clodagh get her brother back? Will Conall help her? Or is he somehow involved in the whole thing? Is Deirdre and her new husband to be trusted? And will her mother stay strong until Finbar is returned?
I really loved this book. I was so surprised when I saw this book at my local bookstore a few years ago. I thought for certain that The Sevenwaters Trilogy had ended with “The Child of the Prophecy“. I was so pleased to learn that this wasn’t so. With new characters in the family of Sevenwaters and the return of many old characters, this novel was thoroughly enjoyable to read.