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Literature / Heir to Sevenwaters

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Heir to Sevenwaters is the first spin-off of The Sevenwaters Trilogy, written by Juliet Marillier.

Clodagh, one of the six daughters of Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, finds that a shadow has been cast over her family. Her mother, past the safe age for childbearing, is heavily pregnant. One of her cousin Johnnyís warriors has something uncanny about him. Unease pulls at her mind and her heart, driving even the happier memories from her thoughts.

When the unthinkable happens and her baby brother is taken, Clodagh knows that she is the only one who can bring him back. She undertakes a perilous journey to the Otherworld, a once friendly place to her family that has been corrupted by a malevolent influence. With an unlikely ally at her side and her familyís future at stake, she boldly marches into the belly of the beast. Her courage is tested to the breaking point, but along the way she discovers that the reward may be far greater than she imagined.

This book contains examples of:

  • A God Am I: Mac Dara certainly believes this. Heís managed to take control of an entire realm and proves to be more powerful than most of the human population.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Eilis and Coll arenít necessarily annoying, but they do tend to get into trouble a lot.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Mac Dara pushes Clodagh into the river, then conjures a Ring of Fire to keep her from coming back. Silly Mac Dara, fire cannot stop true love! Or your silly verses!
  • Blood Brothers: Aidan and Cathal are extremely close, having been raised in the same household. Of course, this also leads to them becoming Bash Brothers.
  • Changeling Tale: Clodagh's baby brother is taken by The Fair Folk, and a glamoured Plant Person is left in his place. Clodagh must journey into the Land of Faerie to switch them back.
  • Deal with the Devil: Clodagh offers to spend a night with Mac Dara just so she can gain access to Cathalís room, knowing that she might have to make good on her promise if she doesnít escape.
  • Fiery Redhead: Clodagh and Deirdre.
  • Guess Who I'm Marrying?: Deirdreís initial reaction to Clodaghís news is not a happy one. Itís not mad or sad though. Just shocked.
  • Heir Club for Men: Among the stresses on Lord Sean is that he has six daughters, none of whom can inherit of course, and no sons, forcing him to rely on his nephew Johnny, who has no interest in marrying or fathering sons of his own. The situation is resolved with the birth and rescue of Sean's son Finbar, who becomes Johnny's heir.
  • Heroic Neutral: CiarŠn wants Cathal to usurp his father's throne and restore order to the Otherworld after proving his capability. He immediately refuses, preferring to hide himself on Inis Eala, even though he knows that others are counting on him to return and save them.
  • I Am Not My Father: We know, Cathal.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Mac Daraís pretty happy about snagging both Clodagh and Cathal. For different reasons, of course.
  • Interspecies Romance: Cathal is descended from The Fair Folk and the Sea People. Clodagh doesnít seem to care.
  • Land of Faerie: The Otherworld, which was once a fairly friendly place for the people of Sevenwaters, has become much less hospitable with Mac Dara's rise to power.
  • Love at First Sight: Illann falls for Deirdre instantly.
  • Love Is a Weakness: And Mac Dara will use it to his full advantage.
  • Love Redeems: Cathalís mental and emotional transformation is much more remarkable when you consider what could have happened if Clodagh didnít step in.
    • Think about it: If Cathal hadnít allowed himself to fall in love with Clodagh (and for her to love him in return), itís very likely that he would have either wasted away or turned into his father after Mac Dara finally got a hold of him and started training him.
    • He had the personality of a rock in the beginning. A number of people on Inis Eala were probably happy to see the change when he got back.
  • Multigenerational Household: This is almost a Sevenwaters staple. Conor and CiarŠnís visits mean that three generations are under the same roof at the same time.
  • No Social Skills: For a child raised in a respected chieftainís home, Cathal has a hard time summoning any kind of courtesy.
  • Parental Abandonment: Twofold for Cathal. Or so he thinks.
  • Plant Person: Becan and his mother.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Clodagh and Deirdre may be twins, but they seem to have very different mindsets. Yet their bond seems to be the strongest among the siblings in Sevenwaters.
    • Must be a twin thing.
      • a Sevenwaters twin thing
  • Spot the Imposter:
    • Cathal apparently had a number of Clodaghs try and tempt him while the real one was trying to find him.
    • Mac Dara looks a lot like his son, which leads to some fairly tense moments.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Clodagh starts off as a normal child, interested in household duties and taking care of her family. She then journeys to the Otherworld, bargains with a multitude of powerful and magical creatures, saves her brother, then goes back to the Otherworld to save Cathal. The two of them then proceed to trick Mac Dara, the king of tricks and lies. Twice.
  • Transparent Closet: Johnny's relationship with his Number Two Gareth is an open secret among those who know them. No one really minds, but it causes awkwardness since as Lord Sean's nephew and prospective heir, Johnny would be expected to marry and father sons. Lord Sean resolves this problem by declaring Johnny as his heir, and his own infant son as Johnny's heir.
  • Trouble Follows You Home: Clodagh returns to Sevenwaters in one piece only to find that Mac Dara has followed her back. He clearly missed her company.
  • Twin Telepathy: Clodagh and Deirdre can communicate with their minds.
  • With This Ring: Cathal puts his motherís ring on Clodaghís finger to protect her during their Otherworld journey. A million readers sighed with happiness at that moment.