Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
Series: Sevenwaters #6
Release Date: November 5, 2012
Maeve, daughter of Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, was badly burned as a child and carries the legacy of that fire in her crippled hands. After ten years, she’s returning home, having grown into a courageous, forthright woman with a special gift for gentling difficult animals. But while her body’s scars have healed, her spirit remains fragile, fearing the shadows of her past.
Sevenwaters is in turmoil. The fey prince Mac Dara has become desperate to see his only son, married to Maeve’s sister, return to the Otherworld. To force Lord Sean’s hand, Mac Dara has caused a party of innocent travelers on the Sevenwaters border to vanish—only to allow their murdered bodies to be found, one by one.
When Maeve finds the body of one of the missing men in a remote part of the woods, she and her brother Finbar embark on a journey that may bring about the end of Mac Dara’s reign, or lead to a hideous death. If she is successful, Maeve may open the door to a future she has not dared to believe possible…
I can't tell you how much I love this series. I have loved almost every single one of the books in the series. I was heartbroken to hear this might be the last. I bought this book back in November when it was first released, but have held back from reading it.
Maeve is a character that has been mentioned briefly in the past few books in the Sevenwaters series. She was badly disfigured in a fire ten years ago, and was sent to live with Liadan and Bran. At Harrowfield she learned to live with her disability. She is no longer able to use her hands and requires a maid to dress and feed her. Throughout this she still remains fiercely independent and refuses to accept anyone who pities her.
Maeve is an an amazing character. She didn't let herself be held back by her disability. She was strong, but vulnerable at the same time. The author knows how to write such strong, likeable characters, and I think that's what has made the series so successful.
My second favourite character in this book was Finbar. He was so wise for his age, but it didn't come across as fake or pretentious. He was a quite and odd little boy, who with the gift of a seer knew too much. Finbar and Maeve's relationship was strong from the start. He was like any other little boy who looked up to his older sister. He saw her as a heroine, even before she become one.
"Going home now is giving up the mission. You're brave. You'd never give up a mission."
This wasn't a traditional love story. There wasn't even an inkling until almost the end. I did love who the author chose for Maeve in the end. The ending was a perfect ending to the series. I hope there will still be another book (there was hints in the book about maybe Elis?) It brought the Mac Dara storyline to a close and he was a terrific enemy for the Sevenwaters clan.
"The tale was one thread in the complicated family tapestry of Sevenwaters"