|Age|| 16-17 (Son of the Shadows)
35 (Child of the Prophecy)
43 (Seer of Sevenwaters)
46 (Flame of Sevenwaters)
|Title||Lady of Harrowfield|
|Father||Hugh of Harrowfield (Red)|
|Siblings||Niamh (II), Sean (twin)|
|Children||Johnny, Fintan, Cormack, Coll|
|Other relations|| Unnamed Lord of Harrowfield (paternal grandfather)
Lady Anne (paternal grandmother)
Colum (maternal grandfather)
Niamh (maternal grandmother)
Richard of Northwoods (paternal great-uncle)
Maeve (foster daughter and niece)
Danny (cousin once removed/great-nephew)
Niamh (cousin once removed/great-niece)
|Significant Other||Bran (husband)|
|Allegiance||Sevenwaters, Harrowfield, Inis Eala|
She is the main character of the second book, Son of the Shadows.
Son of the ShadowsEdit
Liadan is sixteen years old. She has always wanted a quiet, simple life at Sevenwaters, but the Fair Folk seem to have other plans. She begins to feel shadows of darkness coming over her family, and feels a sense of terrible events to come. At first Liadan believes she is going mad, until her mother tells her that she may have the Sight, a gift that allows her to see future events.
On the night of Beltaine, the druids come for the festival and ceremony. Liadan notices a new druid with dark red hair and eyes carrying the torch during the ceremony. Later, during a dance, she notices him staring at her beautiful sister Niamh. During the next few weeks she notices Niamh returning from somewhere unknown and missing chores. Though Liadan reprimands Niamh for it she doesn't realise exactly what Niamh is doing until one day, when strange voices (later revealed to be the Fair Folk) lead her to a clearing where Niamh and the young druid Ciaran are making love to each other. Stunned and horrified, Liadan races back to Sevenwaters, where Sean hears of the events through Liadan's mind. Liadan begs him not to tell the men of the household, and not to make a big deal out of it, but Sean does not listen.
Outraged, the men of the household condemn Niamh for her impulsive act and send her away to be married to Fionn of the Uill Neill. Liadan accompanies Niamh to Fionn's holding, and as she is returning to Sevenwaters is abducted by a group of men known as the band of the Painted Man. They have heard of Liadan's gift of healing and want her to heal one of their friends, Evan. Liadan agrees to it.
During her stay, Liadan gets to know and like the men, and becomes attracted to their chief, who she calls Bran. She eats supper with them around the campfire and tells them old tales, namely the tale of Chu Chulainn. At first, Bran seems hostile towards Liadan, but then Liadan begins to see another side of him, a more vulnerable side. She witnesses one of his nightmares once while Bran is supposed to be on guard. She is given six days to heal Evan before Bran decides to kill him. However, the plan changes as Bran realises that men on horseback had been seen close to their hiding spot, and he moves the group, including Liadan and Evan, much to Liadan's outrage. In a place of the Old Ones, the band leaves Liadan and Evan, and Bran stays behind to help Liadan. Liadan at first is surprised, but Bran soon proves to be useful and helping in any way he can. Liadan tries to save Evan, but he dies anyway. He dies underneath the night sky, while Liadan tells him a long tale at his last request. Afterwards, Liadan and Bran bury Evan. Liadan is distraught at Evan's death, and Bran tries to comfort her. One thing leads to another and they end up making love to one another, partly because of the influence of the Old Ones in the area. Bran begs Liadan to stay with him, but she refuses, saying that she must return to Sevenwaters because her mother is dying. Then everything changes. Bran, furious, accuses Liadan of seducing him and tells her that her parents are the reason he is what he is. He insults Liadan and tells her to leave and never come back. Liadan goes, but not before slapping Bran for his cruel words.
On the way to Sevenwaters, Liadan does not tell Sean where she is until she reaches Littlefolds. She is approached by the Lady of the Forest and her consort who tell her to promise to stay in the forest. Liadan refuses to promise, for it is not her way to be unquestioningly obedient and they are not revealing why they want her to remain in the forest. At the time, she has no idea why they would make such a request out of her. Later, Liadan comes across a band of men in green on horseback, and witnesses as they beat a man almost to death. After they leave, she goes to see who it is and sees that it is Dog, one of Bran's men. He begs her to kill him, and she does it, slitting his throat.
Liadan meets Sean and Eamonn at Littlefolds. Sean demands to know who kidnapped her and what had happened, but Liadan refuses to speak, for she realises that no one can be trusted and she does not want to lead them to where Bran and his men are staying. Back in Sevenwaters, Liadan is told to rest, but instead fashions a candle holder and puts it on her windowsill with a candle, to protect Bran. Sorcha sees Liadan, and realises that Liadan is protecting a man that she loves, and tells the men of the household not to ask any more questions.
Liadan asks Sorcha to wait before telling Red of her pregnancy, for she wishes to tell him herself. However, Liadan is afraid of how he will react, remembering Red's reaction to Niamh's affair with Ciaran. She fears to be cast out like her sister. But Sorcha reassures her, telling her that Red would never do to her what he did to Niamh; he has realised that it may have been a mistake. Sorcha asks Liadan if the babe was conceived in joy, and Liadan assures her that it was.
Liam and Sean ask Liadan questions about her captors, but she refuses to speak, not wanting to endanger Bran and his men.
Later, Liadan approaches Red while he is helping a farmer decide whether to kill a ewe. Liadan suggests to the farmer that the lamb could be given a second chance. Red agrees, and tells the farmer to give the ewe a couple of days. After, Liadan asks him why. Red says that he did it because she bid him. Liadan tells him of her encounter with Dog, without giving away his identity. She also tells him of Evan and her failed attempt to heal him. Red tells her that not every choice can be right, and that forces outside her control have a hand in such things. Liadan then tells him that she is expecting a child, and that she cannot name the child's father. Red is angry, and comments to Liadan that while Niamh's lover had the courage to account for himself, Liadan's lover has taken what pleases him and has moved on to the next opportunity. Liadan, furious at her father's words, leaps to defend her relationship with Bran, and accuses Red of 'cheapening what was between them'. After Liadan shouts at Red to stop and listen, Red finally chooses to listen. Liadan tells Red that Bran asked her to stay with him, but that he rejected her after realising that she was Hugh of Harrowfield's daughter. They converse about that for a time, and then the conversation turns to Niamh. Red asks Liadan to go to Sidhe Dubh and try and speak with Niamh and find out what is wrong with her. Liadan agrees, though with some reservations, for she is not sure she wants to know what Niamh is hiding. She also does not want to visit Eamonn's home, even in his absence. Red tells Liadan that her and her infant will be safe at Sevenwaters for as long as they choose to stay.
After Liam and Fionn agree to it, Liadan and Niamh return to Sidhe Dubh with Aisling. There, Niamh and Liadan share a chamber, although Niamh is unhappy about it. Liadan becomes even more concerned about Niamh. Niamh refuses to eat, and refuses to confide in Liadan. Then when Liadan enters the chamber while Niamh is in the process of brushing her hair, she gets a shock. Niamh's hair has been cut, the hair that was once long and golden. Niamh cares much about her hair; she would never cut it. Liadan asks who cut it, thinking it was Fionn. But Niamh reveals that it was herself. Bit by bit, Niamh tells Liadan what has been happening to her in Tirconnel. She has been abused by Fionn. She feels worthless and ashamed, because her family abandoned her and Fionn abuses her. Liadan, using her gift of Sight, experiences Niamh's abuse and is furious at Fionn for doing this to her sister. She realises that Fionn has made Niamh believe that her abuse was her own fault. Liadan wants to tell their family, but Niamh makes her promise not to. Although she is not happy, Liadan promises. She vows to try and help Niamh on her own.
While exploring the fortress, Liadan is led by the Old Ones to find a passageway out of the fortress. She follows it and finds that it leads to the edge of the Marshes. Liadan begins to concoct a plan: lead Niamh through the passage and try to make their way through the Marshes. Liadan begins to take early morning walks through the passage, because she finds comfort outside. During one such journey, she meets Bran, who has come to Sidhe Dubh because he thought Liadan might be in trouble. She 'buys' his services to guide Niamh across the Marshes to safety in two days time, just before the arrival of Fionn. Bran tells Liadan that her trust is the price for his help. They make up a story to tell Eamonn about Niamh's disappearance.
However, as Liadan leads Niamh through the secret passage, Fionn and Eamonn return. They see Niamh fleeing across the Marshes with Bran and Gull, and assume that Niamh has been abducted by the Painted Man. As she has been seen with Bran, Niamh and Gull, Liadan is forced to relate a different tale than what she had planned to say originally. She says that she had seen Niamh go through the passage and she had followed her, and had been shocked when Niamh went with the Painted Man. Eamonn and Fionn believe her story.
Eamonn with some of his men pursue Bran, Niamh and Gull across the Marshes. When he returns to Sidhe Dubh, he tells Liadan and Aisling that Niamh is dead, drowned in the Marshes, and shows Liadan Niamh's necklace as proof. Liadan is horrified. Now she has no idea whether Niamh is really dead, or if Bran staged this to make Eamonn and Fionn believe she was dead. She realises that she may have possibly lead her sister to her death.
With no more reason to stay at Sidhe Dubh, Liadan asks Sean through their link to return and take her home. He does so, shocked at the news of Niamh's 'death'. On the way home, Sean questions Liadan about it, but Liadan will not give him any clear answers. Sean begins to suspect that Liadan is hiding something, but doesn't know what.
When Liadan returns to Sevenwaters, she tells her family of Niamh's so-called death. Sorcha and Red and saddened by it. Close to Beltaine, Liadan gives birth to a son, with Sorcha and Janis assisting in the delivery. Soon after, Sorcha begins to weaken rapidly, and it is clear that she is close to death. The uncles arrive, including Conor, who advises Liadan to stay in the forest with her son as the Fair Folk are telling her, and Finbar, the seer with the swan's wing. With Finbar's help Liadan sees a vision of Bran with Gull, and witnesses an argument between them which concerns herself. Bran claims that there was nothing between himself and Liadan, and that he has put the affair behind him. He calls Liadan meddlesome and sharp-tongued, and when the vision disappears Liadan finds herself in tears. She also sees a vision of a red-haired woman who she recognises as her sister Niamh, playing in a secluded cove with a small red-haired toddler with mulberry eyes. It gives her hope, for she realises that it is possible that Niamh did not die after all and has made her way to a better life. However, she also realises with Finbar's help that this vision could be wishful thinking on her part, and not the future at all.
On Sorcha's final night, Liadan finally tells her parents of her love for Bran, and the truth about what has happened to Niamh. It gives Sorcha peace, but Red is furious at Liadan for her deceit, hurt by her lack of trust in him, and pained by the news she tells, and speaks coldly toward her, though he apologises to her later. To prevent Red from losing himself after her death, Sorcha bids him to return to Harrowfield and discover the truth behind Bran/Johnny's history, and why he has become this forbidding outlaw. Red promises to go, and come back to Sevenwaters safely.
Later, when Liadan goes to the great hall with her son, thinking herself unable to sleep, she encounters Eamonn, who seeks to make amends for the loss of Niamh on his land. He also asks Liadan again to wed him, although she has already refused to do so. He tells Liadan that she will always be the only woman for him, and he will wed no other. Stunned and terrified by his intensity, Liadan again restates that she will not marry him, but Eamonn refuses to take no for an answer. Angered by her refusal, he insults Johnny's father, and insinuates that Liadan should marry him to appease her family and her mother who is dying. Still Liadan refuses him, and leaves, after telling Eamonn that she will not see him again in the company of others.
In the morning Sorcha dies. After the funeral Liadan encounters Ciaran, who had come at Niamh's request, to speak to Sorcha before she died (though he arrived too late). Ciaran tells Liadan the truth about his parentage and why his union with Niamh was forbidden. He also gives her a gift of a raven, to repay her for helping Niamh escape Fionn, and warns her that she can use it to call for help, but only when she is most in need of it. Liadan names the raven Fiacha, meaning 'little raven'.
Days later, the guests begin to leave Sevenwaters, including Red. Before Conor's departure, Liadan makes time to speak to him about Niamh and Ciaran, and calls him out on his choice to keep them apart, which has only led to misery. Conor feels guilt and regret at his role in what has happened with Ciaran, who he loved like a son, but Liadan does not soften toward him. He again reiterates his opinion that Liadan should raise her child in the forest.
Close to Mean Fomhair, Liadan is playing in the lake with her son, when she encounters Bran. They kiss, and before they lose control he tells her some news-- that Fionn has been found strangled in his home, and that Niamh is safe and with Ciaran (though Liadan admits that she knew this particular news already). Liadan realises that Red has killed Fionn out of vengeance for his mistreatment of his daughter, and is amazed that her father could do such a thing. Liadan and Bran make love to one another on the lake's shore. They are interrupted by Johnny, who demands to be fed. Stunned at the realisation that Liadan has a son, Bran assumes that Liadan has wed, and voices regret at coming to her. However, Liadan tells him that Johnny is his son, and that she would not wed to give his son another man's name. Even more shocked by this, Bran states his belief that he is not a fit man to look after Liadan and Johnny, for he is a killer-for-hire and an outlaw, and 'tainted and deficit'. He tells Liadan that it would be better for them all if she remained at Sevenwaters and moved on from him. Though Liadan wants to be with him and wants him to be in their son's life, he is adamant that it would be better if he were not.
Liadan also tells Bran of the history behind Johnny's name, and tries to uncover the part of Bran's history that he keeps hidden. She is unsuccessful, however, and Bran leaves her after stating his intention to see Sean and prepare for Sean's secret mission.
Over the next weeks, Liadan has visions which frighten her and cause her sleep loss. She has a vision of Bran and Eamonn fighting in a duel to the death, and of her uncle Liam being killed by an arrow while riding to an unknown destination. However, she chooses not to inform her family of it, for she cannot be sure that what she has dreamt will come true. She also has a true dream of her brother Sean, as an old man, walking through an empty Sevenwaters and mumbling, 'They are all gone . . . no sons, no daughters. . . 'How 'can the forest be saved if there are no children at Sevenwaters?'
Within the same dream, the scene changes and Liadan finds herself trapped in a small, enclosed space and deeply afraid. Then the scene changes yet again, to one of Aisling and Eamonn, who are arguing. Eamonn forbids Aisling to go to Sevenwaters and wed Sean, and Aisling, in her despair, committs suicide by falling from the parapet of Sidhe Dubh. Horrified, Liadan cries out, and wakes. Sean comes, along with Janis and the maids, and Liadan tells him of her dream and warns him of what will happen to Aisling and Liam if nothing is done to prevent it. Liam, however, has already departed for a secret meeting in Uill Neill, and though Sean sends riders to bring him back in the quickest, it is too late-- Liam has been struck down by a Briton's arrow. Shocked and grieving, Sean is angry at Liadan, thinking that she could have prevented this if she had only spoken of it sooner, though Liadan tells him her valid reasons for not doing so. He believes that Bran has betrayed him and killed Liam, though Liadan claims that Bran would not do such a thing.
After hearing of the danger to Aisling, Sean asks Liadan to go to Sidhe Dubh to fetch her. Hurt and angry at her brother's cruel words to her, and afraid of seeing Eamonn again, Liadan wants to refuse, but in the end decides to do as he asks. Before she leaves, she goes into the forest to get advice from Finbar about how to proceed. With his help, she sees a vision in the water, of Bran, imprisoned in Sidhe Dubh and tormented by Eamonn. Knowing that Bran, Gull and Aisling need her, Liadan travels with an escort to Eamonn's holding, with the intent of forcing Eamonn to send Aisling to Sevenwaters and set Bran and Gull free. Though he is reluctant, after Liadan threatens to expose his treachery to Sean and Seamus Redbeard he agrees to it. However, there is a catch-- Liadan must search the castle for Bran and Gull and flee with them across the marshes by sunset, or Eamonn's men will start shooting arrows at them. Liadan agrees to it, and sends Fiacha away to get help by sunset.
Liadan finds an injured, fever-riddled Gull and an unconscious Bran, and sets off with them across the marshes, with her son strapped to her back. As darkness falls, Eamonn's men do as Eamonn promised and shoot arrows, and begin to come after them. Just as Liadan begins to lose hope, Fiacha returns with the help Liadan asked for, and a pathway made up of plants and earth is formed before Liadan, Bran and Gull, allowing them to finish the crossing of the marshes safely. When they reach safe ground Liadan sees that their saviour is Ciaran, and thanks him for helping them. The two exchange words, and Ciaran leaves as Bran's men arrive on the scene.
Liadan takes charge of the situation immediately, telling the Painted Men to take them all to the place of the standing stones, where Bran can be safe. Once there, Liadan prepares to reach Bran's mind and pull him from the brink of death. Before she attempts to link with his mind, she convinces Bran's men to speak to him and tell the tales of how they came to join him and have their lives changed for the better because of it, hoping that this will convince Bran that he is loved and not alone. Then she bids the men to leave her alone and connects with Bran, and begins to lead him from the dark place he is in.
She is interrupted, however, by the appearance of the Lady of the Forest and the Bright Lord, who disapprove of her actions and order her to let Bran die and return with Johnny to the forest. Liadan refuses, and is furious when the Fair Folk attempt to abduct her child and leave her with a changeling. She orders them to leave, making it clear that she will not be swayed from the path she has chosen. The Fair Folk go, but not before warning Liadan that her choice will have disastrous consequences for Erin and her family. This leaves Liadan with a gnawing guilt, though she does not waver from her path.
Liadan continues to guide Bran out of his dark place, and learns somewhat of his terrible history. At some point, Red arrives, having been on his way home from Harrowfield, and Liadan bids him to tell her Bran's true story and his parents' love for him, so that Bran may hear it and be one step close to life. Red does so. He also gives Liadan a proposition-- that she and Bran go to Harrowfield to take over the running of that estate, for Simon's hold on it is weak and threatened by Edwin of Northwoods. Using the new information on Bran's parents, Liadan brings Bran out of his coma.
Afterward, Liadan asks Bran to marry her, and he accepts. She tells him of Red's proposal, and he agrees to it, though he tells Red that they plan to go north first with his men, to help them set up a community and school for fighting and covertsy at Inis Eala. Soon after Red leaves for Sevenwaters to advise Sean. Liadan, Bran and the men leave for Inis Eala soon after and a new life.
Child of the ProphecyEdit
Liadan is absent for the first half of the novel. She comes to Sevenwaters to heal Maeve. Later she returns with Maeve to Harrowfield so that Maeve can receive professional care for her injuries.
Flame of SevenwatersEdit
In this book, she only plays a very minor role. As Lady of Harrowfield, she has been helping to take care of Maeve since the fire which led to her disfigurement years earlier in Child of the Prophecy. She along with Bran tells Maeve that it is time for her to go back to Sevenwaters and confront her fears.
Liadan is small, with long dark hair and fey-green eyes.
Liadan has a much different personality than her mother, Sorcha. She is very downright and stubborn, and not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right. She is very dedicated to her trade as a healer, and because of this does not like the idea of killing someone even out of mercy. However, during the course of Son of the Shadows her view on this changes, after trying and failing to keep the smith Evan alive and seeing the unnecessary agony this brought him. Later, she is the one to suggest performing a mercy-kill on Evan, to end his suffering, showing how much her view on this had changed.
Liadan is also very determined, and unwilling to let go of what is hers. All throughout Son of the Shadows, although the Fair Folk and her uncle Conor say that she must let Bran go and stay in the forest, Liadan refuses to accept their words, and is always praying and searching for a way for herself, Bran and Johnny to be together. Despite the Fair Folk's warnings about taking her child away from the forest, Liadan does so, to be with Bran. Liadan's rebellious spirit is shown here, as she refuses to allow another person, even the Fair Folk, to choose her path for her. After what happens to Niamh, she is even more determined that no one chooses her life for her.
Liadan's courage can be seen when she marches into Sidhe Dubh to rescue Bran and Gull, despite the danger to herself and her child, and accompanies them across the marshes to safety. In Seer of Sevenwaters, Gull tells Sibeal that Liadan displayed the courage of a seasoned warrior during that time, and he was amazed at it. He'd courage is further shown when she stands up to the Lady of the Forest and the Bright One when they appear to her to force her to return to the forest with Johnny. Although they are much more powerful than she herself, Liadan snaps at them when they try to take her child by trickery and orders them to leave her and Bran alone. She does not give up on Bran and the possibility of a future with him, and in the end brings him back to life through sheer stubbornness, determination and her gift of the Sight.
Liadan is also very protective of those she loves. This is seen in Son of the Shadows, when she keeps a candle lit for Bran in a special candleholder to help keep him safe, and later in the same novel when she goes to Sidhe Dubh and blackmails Eamonn into letting Bran and Gull go. In Child of the Prophecy, after Coll falls ill with a supernaturally caused sickness, Liadan is afraid and furious, and comes to mistrust Fainne because of it, as Fainne is a sorceress and may have caused Coll's malady. Afraid for Coll, Liadan rejects Fainne and orders her to stay away from him.
In Child of the Prophecy, Liadan is seen to appear more hard-hearted, due to her years of experience as Lady of Harrowfield in a patriarchal society. However, she is still as warm, kind and generous as ever, especially to those she cares about, although she can be cold and suspicious toward those she distrusts and thinks a threat to her family, such as Eamonn and at one point Fainne.
Liadan first meets Bran after his men abduct her in order to save their fallen comrade from death. She at first thinks him to be cold and unpleasant, but as the days pass, she comes to understand him better and see a hidden 'good' side of him he rarely shows. There is chemistry between herself and Bran from the moment they meet, but they only realise and express their feelings for one another in the place of the Old Ones, who manipulate them into sleeping together and conceiving Johnny. Afterward, Liadan is steadfast in her love for Bran and determined that they and their child will have a future together. For a long time, as Bran is the Painted Man and distrusted by the men in her family, not to mention completely unsuitable in there eyes to wed a daughter of Sevenwaters, Liadan keeps her affair with him a secret, and refuses to betray his whereabouts to her family, even Sean who she has a mental link with. Eventually she does reveal her relationship with him to her mother and father, who accept it (though Red less calmly than Sorcha).
All through Son of the Shadows, Liadan is advised to forget Bran and stay in the forest. Liadan, however, refuses to pay heed to them, even when it comes from the Fair Folk themselves. She longs for a future with Bran, but this seems impossible, given the threat to her child, the machinations of the Fair Folk and Bran's own refusal to have her and Johnny in his life. However, after Liadan, Gull and Bran escape from Sidhe Dubh, it is clear that Liadan and Johnny will not leave Bran again and Bran does not want them to go. Liadan's father Red offers them a home in Harrowfield, allowing Liadan and Johnny stay with Bran without the risky out-law lifestyle Bran and his men previously lived.
To Fainne, Liadan describes Bran as her lover, her soul-friend, and the man she can share anything with. Years after Son of the Shadows, it is clear that Liadan and Bran are as in love as they were when they first met, and their relationship is a loving and tender one.
Liadan has a very close relationship with her brother, as he is her twin and shares a psychic link with her. Although events in Son of the Shadows strain their bond, they are still as close as ever.
Liadan initially likes Eamonn as a friend and almost-cousin, and surprised but not upset when he proposes to her and admits that he loves her. She considers his proposal, but when she becomes pregnant she is forced to tell him no, as she will not wed any other except Bran and the Fair Folk bid her to stay in the forest. When Eamonn refuses to take no for an answer, their relationship becomes strained, to the point where Liadan is afraid to see him alone. When Eamonn is revealed to have abducted and tortured Gull and Bran and betrayed Liam to the Britons, any previous respect Liadan has for him fades, and is replaced by dislike and suspicion.
- Father: Hugh of Harrowfield
- Mother: Sorcha
- Siblings: Sean, Niamh
- Spouse: Bran
- None as yet