Sisters of the Lost Marsh

Lucy Strange (Chicken House)

Sisters of the Lost Marsh

Review by Eve
One of the reasons why I enjoyed the book so much is the fact that all the sisters have such a close bond and I liked reading about how far they were willing to go to keep the others safe.

My favourite character is Willa; she is the main character as well as my favourite. The things that I like about Willa is her bravery and determination – no matter how hard her journey gets.

Silas Kirby is one of my least favourite characters because he causes Willa’s family so much pain and stress when he tries to make Grace (Willa’s older sister) marry him as well as constantly threatening them. Because of all the different feelings and characteristics, the book is filled with mystery of what will happen next: what will the characters do?

This book has taught me more about how superstitions were a big part of some people’s lives in the past and how some people lived their lives to not face the consequences of superstitions. I also found out more about the hardship some people lived in and what forced them to take desperate measures to stay alive.

This book is good to read because there are many different people, so most people will like someone in the book or they will enjoy different events and settings the story is filled with. If you like adventures, then you will enjoy this story. 

Review by Skye
It is a rare thing when a book captures your attention from page one. Sisters of the lost Marsh did exactly that. Lucy Strange presents 6 young sisters all different but their love for one another the same, trapped together by a magic curse. The beautifully written description of the locations in the book paints a picture of happiness, courage and even fear. Inspired by myth and folklore this book does not disappoint.

 Our main protagonist is Willa a strong-minded young women destined by the unknown curse to stay on her Grammy’s farm and personally my favourite character. Her brave attitude in times of misfortune will inspire all audiences. I liked how she continued her journey to find her sister even though she had troubles along the way. As secrets unfold will Willa’s determination hold strong? The characters I found were least attractive was the sisters’ Dada. He had a need to control and blackmail the sisters into believing the curse was real. The curse drove him away from the sisters when they needed him most. He was selfish but most importantly lost in a world of magic he could not handle. The Marsh king is one of the most mysterious antagonists and I would have liked to see him appear a few more times before the end so the reader can connect with his past and present.

When the book was set it gave a sense of struggle to Willa’s journey. If she had devices such as a phone or use of a car it would have helped her tremendously. When the story was set it was normal for young girls to be traded to men just for simple items such as horses to make the man of the household appear wealthy and strong. If the head of the house married his daughter off to someone who would benefit the family, he was respected. This is a period in history that I did not know so much about before, but this book gives a detailed glimpse of the times and has taught me what a role of young girls and women were like.

The plot of this novel is extremely thrilling and thought-provoking making itch to turn the page. At times you question what happens next to our mostly wonderful characters. The plot of the story made this book electrifyingly magnificent. The sense of fear and magic made me enjoy this dark, gothic tale very much.

I would recommend this to other students’ year 9 who love fantasy, strong female characters, thrill and most importantly history! If I could change one thing about this book it would be to give all the sisters a point of view to understand them in more depth and their opinions that we see in Willa’s story. Overall, 4.5/5 stars from me.

Review by Charlotte
The character I found most interesting was Willa. She is my favourite character because she is willing to ignore her father and go on an adventure to find her sister even though she has no idea where she is going. Also because she loves her sisters and grandmother deeply and is prepared to maybe sacrifice her life for her sisters.  

My least favorite character is Dadder (their father). He was my least favourite character because of his obsession with the legend of the 6 daughters. The legend has turned him into a mean father. He is especially mean towards Darcy because in the legend it says the sixth daughter – who happens to be Darcy – is said to bury the father after the father dies an unfortunate death.

I personally did not learn anything from Sisters of the Lost Marsh, but for those who do not know about the witch trials they would learn the following: that women who read and had no husband were considered a witch or a worker of the devil, that people believed in the Green man and the Earth spirit bringers of spring. Finally, they would also learn that in the 1600s people were very superstitious. Legends and myths like the curse of the six daughters and the will-'o-the-wisp were things villages and towns were going take seriously and view as real not just stories.

The book is set in the beginning of the 17th century, the years of the Salem witch trials. This period of history has always been interesting to me, but another reason it was interesting was the legends, myths, and superstitions. Author Lucy Strange managed to sew in so many parts of the Salem witch trials into the book, which made the history of the book absolutely fascinating.

The plot was thought-provoking, exciting and emotional. It made me think deeply about what pain and emotions girls and women would have experienced living and growing, in the Salem witch trials. It was exciting because of the adventure Willa embarked on to save her sister. Emotional because you learn that the six sisters have had it difficult all their lives. Their mum dying after giving birth to the triplets, their father treating them as vermin and more. So in the end you learn their emotions and the reader feels them as well.

For me the thing that stands out was the entire story. From the plot to the emotional side of the story, the book was amazing and you really learn to understand the characters from Dadder to Darcy.

I would recommend this book to all students, but especially those who enjoy older magical fantasy and for those who just want a really good book to read.

Review by Sharmain
This book is amazing! I would recommend this book because It could show you what’s happening to other girls in the world, it’s very sad yet very exciting: you could cry reading this. My favourite characters are the triplets: they lifted everyone’s moods, if something is happening to her sister they would try to make them feel better

This book is based around the [1600s] since girls would be called witches if they read books or tried to get an education. I felt very sorry for them because I would never be able to experience things they have to go through. You don’t expect what’s going to happen next. If you like reading definitely you’re going to feel sorry for them. I would read it again 5/5

Review by Deesha
This book is a truly fascinating and relatable book that most siblings may be able to relate to. It is a story of six sisters that are cursed because their parents have had six daughters. They were expecting the three oldest daughters and then the youngest twins, but little did they know that another child was coming. Their mother then unfortunately died after giving birth to the last triplet. As the sixth daughter meant that the curse was now a possibility, the girls’ father (Dadder) vividly disgusts the last daughter, but for some reason the third daughter really isn’t liked either. The eldest daughter (Grace) is traded out for a horse and now she is forced to go get married to a man she doesn’t want to, because they have to follow the curse rules. Here is the curse: Be sure the first girl marries well, The second in the house to dwell, A third maid can do little harm, If set to work upon the farm, Four and Five must both be wed, Or six will bury you stone dead. The daughters aren’t happy with these rules, what are they going to do? My favourite part of the book: I really like when Willa goes to the Full Moon Fayre even though her dad said not to. It really shows a rebellious and resilient side of her and she was very helpful towards the oldest sister who is having trouble deciding what to do because she doesn’t want to marry Silas Kirby (who they traded for a horse!). 

My Rating of the Book: Five Stars!

Review by Nicole
‘Sisters of The Lost Marsh’ is a historical fiction book written by the brilliant and gifted author, Lucy Strange. This book follows the story of 6 young sisters – Grace, Willa, Freya and triplets Deedee, Darcy and Dolly, with Willa being the main character. The girls live on a farm surrounded by marshlands with their protective grandmother and dreadful father. 

The story embraces unfriendly actions such as abuse, discrimination and loss which I think is important because it brings more realism to the historical period. The date in which the story takes place is not mentioned in the book but, based on the research I have done, the story should take place during the Elizabethan era. A characteristic that I would’ve enjoyed finding was the Elizabethan use of language in the book that was rarely used but, I still enjoyed the extraordinary use of modern vocabulary since it was easier to understand. 

There is a multitude of things that I was delighted to come across by in the book. For example, although the story is set in the past, the events feel relevant to our current social issues such as discrimination. Matter often addressed in the book. At the same time, I was also fascinated by the mixture of fantasy, adventure and historical fiction, all in just one epic story. 

Overall, I found this book amazing and would recommend it to other students because of its fast-paced story line, unique writing features and delightful characters. I would give this book a rating of 4/5 stars.

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