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Fainne, the daughter of Ciaran and Niamh, is sent to Sevenwaters to learn about her family and her heritage. Instead, the outing becomes a moral battle as she struggles with her grandmother’s orders to destroy Johnny, Bran and Liadan’s son and the child of the prophesy. Believing her father to be gravely ill, Fainne performs a multitude of tasks and gathers sufficient information to thwart the Fair Folk and their plans.
But even sorcery cannot ease the confusion in her mind, nor can it drive away those to seek to help rid her of the lady Oonagh’s influence. Fainne must make a terrible choice: fulfill the prophesy and risk losing all she holds dear, or fulfill the legacy of the sorceress and risk the future of Erin.
This book contains examples of:
- Ambition Is Evil: Eamonn spent the majority of the trilogy trying to achieve power and influence, just like his father (even though he never knew him). He redeems himself later by saving Fainne’s life.
- Awful Truth: Oonagh explains that Johnny cannot become the child of the prophesy because the job requires him to keep watch of the Needle, with no human contact. Johnny is a warrior by nature and isolation would drive him insane. Cue Fainne and Ciaran turning the Awful Truth tables on Oonagh.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: Fianne conjures Ring of Fire to separate Johnny and his opponent from the rest of the crowd.
- Break the Cutie: In an act of desperation, Oonagh tries to completely break Fainne’s will by killing Darragh. This backfires in the most epic way possible.
- Collateral Angst: Fainne sets a fire in Sevenwaters that burns Maeve horribly. While Fainne feels guilty and shows some remorse, it is nothing compared to the emotional distress the rest of the family is in.
- Death by Despair: Ciaran thinks that Niamh was Driven to Suicide because she never recovered from the years of abuse and neglect. He gets a much better explanation later on from his mother.
- Final Battle: And it’s been a long time comin’, folks.
- Final Speech: Oonagh launches into one that, despite a few interruptions, lasts for several pages.
- Heroic Bystander: Both Eamonn and Finbar step in to prevent Oonagh from killing more people after watching most of the action. One finds that Death Equals Redemption and the other is finally freed of his curse because of it.
- In Harmony with Nature: This seems to be a theme with magic practitioners, Fainne and Ciaran included.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: Conor is frequently consulted and is considered the most knowledgeable of the Sevenwaters folk. Ciaran is also portrayed as an extremely intelligent man. Both of them live in almost complete isolation from other people.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Making sure an entire race of beings doesn’t die out certainly sounds like a drag.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Oonagh uses this threat against Fainne to the point where it starts to get old. She takes it to the next level during the final battle, just to be a jerk.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After the discover that Oonagh had been duping her, Fainne gets a clear shot of the destruction she’s caused during her journey. Really, it’s laid out in the span of two or three sentences. This realization does not go over well with her.
- One-Woman Wail: Foreshadowed multiple times throughout the trilogy. Irish women have apparently mastered the Skyward Scream.
- Parent Ex Machina: Oonagh spends most of the book waiting for Fainne to do something terrible so she can suddenly reappear and gloat.
- Ciaran is an even worse offender. He’s supposed to be a powerful sorcerer and yet he makes no apparent attempt to contact his daughter or help her. He had to have had some idea about what was going on before he randomly appeared to try and stop his mother’s plans.
- Secret Keeper: The child of the prophesy is supposed to live in complete isolation and keep watch over the secrets and lore of the Fair Folk.
- Selkies and Wereseals: Darragh is turned into a selkie by the Fae.
- Shapeshifting: Both Fainne and Oonagh are masters of this. Fainne in particular is a master of the Full-Body Disguise, from altering her appearance to changing herself into animals.
- Stalker with a Crush: Some of the things Darragh does to try and be near Fainne are sweet. Others just raise an eyebrow.
- Street Performer: Darragh and the group he travels with are wandering entertainers.
- The Chosen One: Well, the book is called Child of the Prophesy.
- Unwitting Pawn: Fainne.
- Pretty much everyone who comes into contact with Fainne, since Oonagh’s trying to manipulate them all.
- Vain Sorceress: Dear god, Oonagh couldn’t be more vain if she tried.