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Twixt Firelight and Water

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Long ago, the sorceress Lady Oonagh cast a curse over her own child. Now a druid, an ill-tempered raven and an adventurous young woman are drawn together as the time approaches for the evil magic to be undone. Fans of the Sevenwaters series will love this new episode, which fleshes out the history of druid Ciaran and his constant companion Fiacha.


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Long ago, the sorceress Lady Oonagh cast a curse over her own child. Now a druid, an ill-tempered raven and an adventurous young woman are drawn together as the time approaches for the evil magic to be undone. Fans of the Sevenwaters series will love this new episode, which fleshes out the history of druid Ciaran and his constant companion Fiacha.

30 review for Twixt Firelight and Water

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A weird Sevenwaters spin-off story, in which Fiacha turns out to be Oonagh's older son whom she turned into a raven because she's eeeeeevil and because he guided Liam to finding kid Ciaran, and the only way for Fiacha to break the curse is marrying a Sevenwaters woman. The long-lost Padriac's daughter Aisha shows up in the woods and grown-up Ciaran offers to "guide" her back to the keep but actually leads her around in circles until she agrees to marry the raven, aka Conri. There's some more kid A weird Sevenwaters spin-off story, in which Fiacha turns out to be Oonagh's older son whom she turned into a raven because she's eeeeeevil and because he guided Liam to finding kid Ciaran, and the only way for Fiacha to break the curse is marrying a Sevenwaters woman. The long-lost Padriac's daughter Aisha shows up in the woods and grown-up Ciaran offers to "guide" her back to the keep but actually leads her around in circles until she agrees to marry the raven, aka Conri. There's some more kids-are-the-best-thing-ever-and-everyone-must-want-them preaching (good lord. All Marillier's heroines have married and had kids and I had no problem with that. But lately she's taken to introducing female characters who say they don't want marriage/kids only to have other characters try to convince them otherwise and the women finally fall in love and "see the light" and decide that's what they do want after all. Only evil women don't love/want babies in Marillier world). Then everyone lives happily ever after. Or something. Also, Aisha is black, but nobody minds because Sevenwaters exists in an alternate version of medieval Ireland in which interracial marriages routinely pass without comment (this is, like, the fourth?), gay men live together openly and the only reason women don't have careers is because they all really, really want to be homemakers. Marillier describes this story in the Afterword as "brimful with courage, hope and love" and that's pretty accurate. In a recycled, manipulative kind of way. Remember when her books were actually dark? When Colum was a lousy father and Sorcha's beloved dad and older brothers tortured a kid for being a spy? When Liadan realized her sister was being abused but couldn't turn to anyone in her family for help because they'd forced Niamh into marriage without ever explaining why? When Fainne could never bond with anyone for fear Oonagh would kill them? When, yes, there were (mostly) happy endings but there was enough pain and suffering along the way to make them feel meaningful rather than saccharine? When you genuinely worried for the characters? God I miss those days. I dunno, I keep reading this Sevenwaters stuff because I loved the original trilogy that much--I can't even tell you how many times I re-read those books during my teenage years and even in college. Seer is the only Marillier story before this that I've genuinely disliked and I was sort of able to write that one off since she wrote it during cancer treatment. And I do think I'll read the next one because I'm interested in Maeve. But this story makes me more apprehensive and if Flame of Sevenwaters turns out to be like this, it'll be time to for me to jump off the Marillier bandwagon for good.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susana

    As someone who loves the first four Sevenwaters stories, it pains me to say this, but these two short stories felt really subpar when compared to those novels. I didn't feel anything reading this. The writing felt wish-wash, completely deprived of that overflowing emotion that would keep me up almost all night reading, just so I could find out if the characters were going to make it or not. And it's too bad, because Fiacha's story deserved so much more than what it got here. Also, no woman would ag As someone who loves the first four Sevenwaters stories, it pains me to say this, but these two short stories felt really subpar when compared to those novels. I didn't feel anything reading this. The writing felt wish-wash, completely deprived of that overflowing emotion that would keep me up almost all night reading, just so I could find out if the characters were going to make it or not. And it's too bad, because Fiacha's story deserved so much more than what it got here. Also, no woman would agree (view spoiler)[to marry a raven in a blink of an eye. Especially an independent woman as Aisha. -_- (hide spoiler)] Bottom line: I am afraid these shorts have no soul whatsoever.

  3. 4 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    How have I never read this before? Sevenwaters fans, this is a must! It doesn't answer all the questions you might have had about a few characters going into, and throughout, book six but it definitely sheds light on a few! Also it's Ciarán focused and lovely and emotional and arg I'll never be over this world. How have I never read this before? Sevenwaters fans, this is a must! It doesn't answer all the questions you might have had about a few characters going into, and throughout, book six but it definitely sheds light on a few! Also it's Ciarán focused and lovely and emotional and arg I'll never be over this world.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sotiris Karaiskos

    A nice short story that adds a few things to the story of Sevenwaters. We learn the story of one of the characters we do not pay much attention to, but it makes a significant contribution to the defeat of the enemies and we do a little exploration of a forgotten branch of our story. Of course somewhere there comes love and the puzzle is completed. Ένα ωραίο διήγημα που προσθέτει μερικά πράγματα στην ιστορία της σειράς Sevenwaters. Μαθαίνουμε την ιστορία ενός από τους χαρακτήρες στον οποίο δεν δίν A nice short story that adds a few things to the story of Sevenwaters. We learn the story of one of the characters we do not pay much attention to, but it makes a significant contribution to the defeat of the enemies and we do a little exploration of a forgotten branch of our story. Of course somewhere there comes love and the puzzle is completed. Ένα ωραίο διήγημα που προσθέτει μερικά πράγματα στην ιστορία της σειράς Sevenwaters. Μαθαίνουμε την ιστορία ενός από τους χαρακτήρες στον οποίο δεν δίνουμε ιδιαίτερη σημασία αλλά έχει σημαντική συνεισφορά στην ήττα των εχθρών και κάνουμε μία μικρή εξερεύνηση σε ένα ξεχασμένο παρακλάδι της ιστορίας. Φυσικά κάπου εκεί έρχεται και ο έρωτας και συμπληρώνεται το παζλ.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    3.5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathi

    Lovely short story/novella that sheds light on a couple mysteries from the Sevenwaters series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jael Anderson

    I sweet short story. I read it outside of its intended order - just after finishing Flame of Sevenwaters instead of after Seer of Sevenwaters. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to read it because I wasn’t sure where to find it, but it was on Hoopla so here we are! I loved seeing Padraic again, even if for a little. And I really enjoyed Conri’s entire story. The many questions I had were answered!

  8. 4 out of 5

    crashqueen73

    I love the beauty of Marillier’s writing. I don’t read it often because it leaves me all mopey because of this but I love her stories. Her characters are rich and her word building evocative. This story was short, as expected but I still fell in love with all of the characters. It has been a while since I read any of the Sevenwaters books but this makes me want to read them again. The pain, the angst, the lows and the triumphs, Marillier does it all brilliantly. 4.5 stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nadine in NY Jones

    Day 23 in my 24 Days of Shorts ‘In a vision. If you are open to it, I can reveal the story to you in the water of this pool. Indeed, that would be entirely apt, since the tale begins between firelight and water.’ This was a delight! It was longer than most short stories, but I wished it was longer still. (And I never say that!) It had the right amount of Conri, but not enough Aisha. It had been a long time since I read the Sevenwaters books, and I did have to brush up on the family tree a bit, Day 23 in my 24 Days of Shorts ‘In a vision. If you are open to it, I can reveal the story to you in the water of this pool. Indeed, that would be entirely apt, since the tale begins between firelight and water.’ This was a delight! It was longer than most short stories, but I wished it was longer still. (And I never say that!) It had the right amount of Conri, but not enough Aisha. It had been a long time since I read the Sevenwaters books, and I did have to brush up on the family tree a bit, but it mostly came back to me. I don’t recommend this to readers who have not read any other Sevenwaters books. read it for yourself here: Unfortunately, I was not able to find this story online. Luckily, I was able to borrow it from my library! My 24 Days of Shorts 1. File N°002 by Sylvain Neuvel 2. File N°247 by Sylvain Neuvel 3. Skinner Box by Carole Johnstone 4. The Weight of Memories by Liu Cixin 5. A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong 6. If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again by Zen Cho 7. Meat And Salt And Sparks by Rich Larson 8. Seven Birthdays by Ken Liu 9. Where Would You Be Now? by Carrie Vaughn 10. Old Media by Annalee Newitz 11. Nine Last Days on Planet Earth by Daryl Gregory 12. Sweetlings by Lucy Taylor 13. An Unexpected Honor by Ursula Vernon 14. Hell is the Absence of God by Ted Chiang 15. A Love Story by Samantha Hunt 16. The Lake by Tananarive Due 17. Ghost Hedgehog by Nina Kiriki Hoffman 18. Finnegan's Field by Angela Slatter 19. Among the Thorns by Veronica Schanoes 20. Rag and Bone by Priya Sharma 21. The Mothers of Voorhisville by Mary Rickert 22. As Good as New by Charlie Jane Anders 23. Twixt Firelight and Water by Juliet Marillier 24. The Christmas Show by Pat Cadigan

  10. 4 out of 5

    g i n n y

    A sweet companion story to answer all those questions I always had about Fiacha the raven. He and Ciaran are arguably two of my all time favorite characters in the Sevenwaters series, and I'm happy to have his history along with a suitable open future for him. Other familiar characters are touched upon as well, so we have a bit of clarification on what happened to those who ventured away from Sevenwaters. As merely a digital companion story, this does not have the depth or development I'm used t A sweet companion story to answer all those questions I always had about Fiacha the raven. He and Ciaran are arguably two of my all time favorite characters in the Sevenwaters series, and I'm happy to have his history along with a suitable open future for him. Other familiar characters are touched upon as well, so we have a bit of clarification on what happened to those who ventured away from Sevenwaters. As merely a digital companion story, this does not have the depth or development I'm used to in Marillier's work, but I like it for what it is - just a bit more of the magical history surrounding Sevenwaters. And I don't think it a spoiler to say it gives a happy ending/new beginning to the sad past both Fiacha and Ciaran endured!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sandrus

    What a lovely little story! Now I know Fiacha's wonderous story and what happened to Padriac. :) What a lovely little story! Now I know Fiacha's wonderous story and what happened to Padriac. :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I read/devoured the Sevenwaters Saga years and years ago before I was on Goodreads and this series remains on my all-time fav series’ shelf! So this was a nice little re-visit for me back to Sevenwaters. It provides a nice explanation on how Fiacha became a raven and links to Ciaran’s story. Written after book 5, I would recommend you read all this series in order and not read this as a stand alone. Juliet is an absolute treasure and I just love all her books and the worlds she takes me to.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    3.5 Stars Short, bittersweet, and very Juliet. I’ve read all the Sevenwaters books and somehow missed that this one even existed. This is the story of Ciaran’s raven Fiache and also features one of Padriac’s offspring.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Ok! As far as I will EVER be concerned Juliet Marillier can never do wrong when she puts her imagination to paper! I finally got my paws on this Sevenwaters short, and I tell you, it was beyond worth the wait for me! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!! I loved how it answered questions I really had, particularly "what did happen to Padriac after his sister's funeral and what is up with that darn raven?" Well this short answered both those questions for me! Did I mention that I loved it and the author for he Ok! As far as I will EVER be concerned Juliet Marillier can never do wrong when she puts her imagination to paper! I finally got my paws on this Sevenwaters short, and I tell you, it was beyond worth the wait for me! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!! I loved how it answered questions I really had, particularly "what did happen to Padriac after his sister's funeral and what is up with that darn raven?" Well this short answered both those questions for me! Did I mention that I loved it and the author for her amazing talent, and of all the authors that I am a fan of, it's Juliet's work that I am always the most excited about, and the saddest as soon as I've finished reading it because I know I'll have to wait the better part of another year before she brings anything else out! Anyway, this short was great, had great characters in it and an interesting story line. I also have to say, that as a black women who adores Juliet Marillier's writing and the time periods she is accustomed to writing about, I am always impressed and excited that there is at least one"DARK" person in her stories(LOL)! I loved the fact that Padriac's daughter was dark skinned, I can remember her mother from the earlier Sevenwaters book when he brought her with him before Sorcha fate was completed. Like I said, great short, it pulls you right in, as only her stories can, great writing, great author! I can't wait until Shadowfell and Flame of Sevenwaters comes out!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This is a novella in the Sevenwaters saga. It provides an explanation for Fiacha the raven's identity and links in to Ciaran and Padraic's story. It was written after book 5 but I read it after book 3 Child of the Prophecy. It feels more like a standalone tale than a spoiler for books 4 and 5. If you have not read the series, do not start here gt a sample chapter of Daughter of the Forest instead. For fans of the series it is a nice little 'filler' however it suffers due to the nature of the narr This is a novella in the Sevenwaters saga. It provides an explanation for Fiacha the raven's identity and links in to Ciaran and Padraic's story. It was written after book 5 but I read it after book 3 Child of the Prophecy. It feels more like a standalone tale than a spoiler for books 4 and 5. If you have not read the series, do not start here gt a sample chapter of Daughter of the Forest instead. For fans of the series it is a nice little 'filler' however it suffers due to the nature of the narrative. Being a novella Marillier does not have the scope to develop her characters fully so this is more like a caricature than a painting. In addition, we are given two points view, which is curious but rather unsatisfying given both the short length and a compulsion to build in a HEA from an unlikely scenario. This is a shame as the story idea could have been developed into a narrative just as strong as any of Marillier's first three books. I also felt that the explanation and resolution of Fiacha's tale contradicted some hints we had of the raven in book 2, and felt there was unease or inconsistency in relation to the world lore and depiction of Ciaran's early childhood. In summary, don't read before book 3 and perhaps this is a novella for existing fans, which should be read with an eye on the afterward.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    The writing, as usual, is beautiful and quite satisfying. I loved learning more about the backstory of certain sevenwater's characters. Marillier tied things together nicely. However, being a short story, there was only so much time for events to unfold; and unfortunately I felt that the inevitable end was quite rushed and stretched my suspension of belief just a tad beyond it's limits. (I'll buy transfiguration and Fair Folk mischief, if that means anything) I'd love to see it fleshed out a bit The writing, as usual, is beautiful and quite satisfying. I loved learning more about the backstory of certain sevenwater's characters. Marillier tied things together nicely. However, being a short story, there was only so much time for events to unfold; and unfortunately I felt that the inevitable end was quite rushed and stretched my suspension of belief just a tad beyond it's limits. (I'll buy transfiguration and Fair Folk mischief, if that means anything) I'd love to see it fleshed out a bit in a full length novel. The story will be enjoyed by anyone who is already enthralled by Sevenwaters, just be aware that the ending might disappoint. Not that it's not GOOD, mind you, just that it's rushed or hasty, even as she explains away the haste.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Oracleofdoom

    I really enjoyed the story of Fiacha's background. It was incredibly poignant and brought to mind Juliet Marillier's older stories, that were so incredibly moving and tragic. I loved Conri immediately. I did not feel as much care was taken with Aisha. I didn't really get a good feel for her as a character. I would have liked to, but there just wasn't enough there for a short story. I know because I'm told, rather than shown, that she is a formidable, strong woman. Exactly like pretty much every o I really enjoyed the story of Fiacha's background. It was incredibly poignant and brought to mind Juliet Marillier's older stories, that were so incredibly moving and tragic. I loved Conri immediately. I did not feel as much care was taken with Aisha. I didn't really get a good feel for her as a character. I would have liked to, but there just wasn't enough there for a short story. I know because I'm told, rather than shown, that she is a formidable, strong woman. Exactly like pretty much every other woman in the Sevenwaters family. I really would have liked to see her developed more, and see more play out from her interactions with Conri. Still, Conri's story alone was moving enough that it's worth the read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Considering Juliet Marillier is probably one of my favorite authors of all-time, I really enjoyed this shorter story. As with all of her books, her writing is brilliant and while I wished it had been full-length (what can I say, I love reading her books!), I thought the telling of Fiacha's story, tying in other characters from the extensive Sevenwaters family was very well-done. Because it was short, I felt like some elements of the story (don't want to give away the details) were a little rushe Considering Juliet Marillier is probably one of my favorite authors of all-time, I really enjoyed this shorter story. As with all of her books, her writing is brilliant and while I wished it had been full-length (what can I say, I love reading her books!), I thought the telling of Fiacha's story, tying in other characters from the extensive Sevenwaters family was very well-done. Because it was short, I felt like some elements of the story (don't want to give away the details) were a little rushed and some of the character's decisions surprised me, but being able to piece together other parts of the Sevenwaters drama was worth some of those discrepancies.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brin

    I have had this sitting on my kindle for some time now but only today decided to read it. I don't know why I didn't tear into this before. The tale is rather short, but has all the charm of a full-length Sevenwaters novel. I loved finding out Fiacha's true nature and also getting a further insight into Ciaran's past. I also loved seeing Padriac again, however briefly. The only criticism I would have is that I wish there was more of a chance to get to know Aisha a bit better, but due to the lengt I have had this sitting on my kindle for some time now but only today decided to read it. I don't know why I didn't tear into this before. The tale is rather short, but has all the charm of a full-length Sevenwaters novel. I loved finding out Fiacha's true nature and also getting a further insight into Ciaran's past. I also loved seeing Padriac again, however briefly. The only criticism I would have is that I wish there was more of a chance to get to know Aisha a bit better, but due to the length of the story there was not much room for this I suppose. Still, I really enjoyed reading this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This was an excellent little addition to the world of Sevenwaters and it answered questions long left hanging since Son of the Shadows. I was pleasantly surprised to see the momentary return of a character that I thought long gone as well as the introduction of a new one I think I could come to adore. I only wish it was longer and fully developed. I want to know more about these new characters, I want to see them grow and (I hope) fall in love. Hey. Hey, Juliet. Hint, hint?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I really enjoyed reading the story of Fiacha. I was always curious about him. A few reviews have seemed overly critical of this story. Twixt firelight and water is not meant to be a life-changing, epic adventure. This lovely short story was meant to tie up loose ends and bring hope to the reader. I for one, will take any opportunity to wander again through the forests of Sevenwaters.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carey

    Awh, what a sweet side story. It was so awesome to find out what happened to Padriac and what was up with Fiacha/Conri. I hope Conri & Aisha are in the last book. :) I would love to find out what happens. Wish this book was longer.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennykatz

    A short, entertaining tale. I love her gorgeous writing and I love the Sevenwaters family. Getting a glimpse of Padraic satisfied my continued curiosity about what the youngest brother had been up to all these years.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eskay Wolfersperger

    A short story really. I do not usually like short stories. But as part of Sevenwaters, this was a very interesting journey into a corner with the raven Fiacha and Padriac the youngest of the swan boys.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    This story takes me back to Daughter of the Forest. It's every bit as beautiful as the first Sevenwaters book(which will always be my favorite Sevenwaters). I can't wait for her collection of short stories! This story takes me back to Daughter of the Forest. It's every bit as beautiful as the first Sevenwaters book(which will always be my favorite Sevenwaters). I can't wait for her collection of short stories!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Filipa

    3.5-ish I had hoped that the author would write something about Fiacha. He did deserve his own story and it was a good one, by that matter. I am glad that in this short-story we get to know about what happened to Padriac and what exactly was Fiacha and the role he had throughout the series.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ela

    Hmm what to say about this short story. I'm still a bit confused by the whole thing. (view spoiler)[I think that Conri's story definitely had potential to be an interesting story but I felt the lack of time in getting to know him, in getting to know Loch, felt a bit distant and separate. Same thing with Aisha who was basically represented as an independent woman with different viewpoints of life and a no nonesense kind of attitude. I agree with the rest of the reviews that based on those personal Hmm what to say about this short story. I'm still a bit confused by the whole thing. (view spoiler)[I think that Conri's story definitely had potential to be an interesting story but I felt the lack of time in getting to know him, in getting to know Loch, felt a bit distant and separate. Same thing with Aisha who was basically represented as an independent woman with different viewpoints of life and a no nonesense kind of attitude. I agree with the rest of the reviews that based on those personality traits, she wouldn't seem the type to readily agree to wed someone due to what is essentially both pity and an act of kindness. I'm not sure how wedding ties are seen during this time or in this story but it would have almost made more sense for her to agree to marry him while also making it clear that she may or may not love him in time and may or may not stay with him. But in a story with magic, the union might seem more of an "unbreakable vow" but i would need more clarity on that. Which makes it even harder to beleive someone like Aisha would just so easily agree to it. They spent two days saying stories to each other but none of this time did Ciaran talk about Conri or offer any sort of backstory to have some sort of information. He was also able to somehow scry Conri's memories? All in all, i can kind of see the direction Marillier was trying to go but i can't help but feel like this was sort of.. a brush off just to tie some loose ends. (hide spoiler)] It certainly had potential but just felt overall very rushed and I was left feeling kind of bummed out by the end of it. I wanted something meatier and I got scraps.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    Honestly, I only liked the first part of the short story. It was interesting and it hed light on a mysterious character in the Sevenwaters series I was curious about. But the rest? It was completely unbelievable, even for a fantasy book. (view spoiler)[It seems improbable that Ciáran would ask a girl he just met to wed Fiacha/Conri when he barely knew her, even if out of guilt or something like that. Even more, that the girl would accept, just like that, especially when we're shown that she's an Honestly, I only liked the first part of the short story. It was interesting and it hed light on a mysterious character in the Sevenwaters series I was curious about. But the rest? It was completely unbelievable, even for a fantasy book. (view spoiler)[It seems improbable that Ciáran would ask a girl he just met to wed Fiacha/Conri when he barely knew her, even if out of guilt or something like that. Even more, that the girl would accept, just like that, especially when we're shown that she's an adventurer and wants to be independent. I think I could believe it if she ended up falling in love with Fiacha/Conri as she got to know him (even as a raven). But like that, after knowing him for two days and just because she found out his sob story? It's just too weird. (hide spoiler)]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mel Campbell

    I think this should have been longer. It was too short to really feel anything for the characters. I think Conri/Fiacha needed a longer tale, would have like to have seen him learn to love again, and not feel guilt for what happened. yes, it would be a long journey indeed but I think it would have had more of an impact than what we got unfortunately

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    What Do You Think You’d Do? Sweet resolution to a thread. All the Sevenwaters women are such brave heroines. They WILL write their own story: It’s their life and you get to live it with them. Twixt Firelight and Water is what you expect from Marillier and worth a few dollars, fersure.

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