Juliet Marillier was born in New Zealand, and raised in the town of Dunedin, which is known as the "Edinburgh of the South," which explains her love of Celtic mythology. Juliet graduated from the University of Otago with advanced degrees in music and languages and has since worked as a high school and university teacher, a coral conductor, and a semi-professional singer.
She now lives in the Swan Valley, a wine-gwroing area northeast of Perth, in Western Australia, and divides her time between her writing and a day job working for the government. She shares her home with her youngest son, a cat, and two dogs.
In her won words…
"Fantasy is escapist: sometimes we don't much like the world we live in, so we bury ourselves in a genre which conjures a multitude of worlds. And fantasy can be a substitute: in an age of scientific rationalism and dwindling religious faith, it demonstrates clear moral codes; basic choices between good and evil, exploration of light and dark.
Still, that doesn't explain the fascination tales of the unreal, the imagined, and the Otherworldly have held for folk since well before Spenser or Mallory set quill to paper.
Celt and Norseman had their epics of magic and mystery, heroism ad romance. The Dreaming stories of Australia's indigenous people and the Icelandic sagas, the Maori creation myths and the lore of the druids hold universal themes; they make sense of the relationship between man and nature, between man and his own kind. They are our key to the world around us.
Once, we'd have head these tales around the fire after nightfall. This shadow time was for listening and reelection, and though the world could be confusing, the tales helped explain it. Fold understood their symbolism as they understood the patterns of planting and reaping, storm and calm, birth and death. In the stories the very pattern and purpose of existence were encapsulated.
Times change. The fantasies we read are now highly developed, cunningly crafted, drawing not on a single shared culture but on our multiplicity of backgrounds. Yet at their heart there are the same universal messages; their symbolism is that of our ancient folklore, a powerful code which we still crave, for all our apparent sophistication. Yes, they entertain and divert; we read them for fun. But in the nest of them we recapture something almost lost; a map for our own journey forward."
The Sevenwaters Trilogy:
Daughter of the Forest (1)
Son of the Shadows (2)
Child of the Prophecy (3)
(photo used with friendly permission from Tor Publishers. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: Design Images Perth)