Son of the Shadows focuses on Liadan, the daughter of Sorcha (the heroine of Daughter of the Forest), and her life and love as she struggles to reconcile her feelings for a man who is viewed as an enemy by everyone she holds dear. It reveals more of the overarching plot of the trilogy, but doesn’t have the same magical, heart-wrenching quality as Daughter of the Forest. It seems more a love story than a fairy tale, maybe because Liadan is not destined for Bran, while Sorcha and Red were obviously meant to be together. I did like, though, that it was obvious why everyone liked Liadan. Juliet Marillier does an excellent job of showing and not telling when it comes to her characters, and even backs up her description of enchanting Niamh with her behavior. I really enjoyed the return of many of the characters from Daughter of the Forest and their continuing roles in this tale. Marillier’s writing is also excellent and extremely absorbing.
For some reason, though, I just didn’t feel as moved in this story as I did in the first, but perhaps the last, Child of the Prophecy, will return to that fairy tale, surreal quality.