By Juliet Marillier
Publication date: Sept. 11, 2012
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 416 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley
Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill—a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk—Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.
During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death—but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban’s release from Keldec’s rule.
Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.
— Goodreads.com description
I can’t tell you how much I adore the fantasy genre and how it’s really “on trend” right now in YA literature. More more more! Are you listening, publishers?
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier got off to a slow start for me, but by the end I was in love and ran off to look up when I can get my greedy little hands on the next book in the series. Sounds like I’ll have to wait until next year. Sigh.
So, what was the holdup for me? Well, it’s book one in a series, and world building in such high fantasy takes some time. So the action was slow-going.
Plus, the fairies in the book were…not my type of fairies. My type is like The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. You know, sexy brooding Ben Barnes-ish fairies. These are more creepy, gnome-like fairies. They gave me the heebie-jeebies initially, but they did grow on me over time.
Anyhow, those are minor things…there was still plenty of great action, lovely writing, a likable (though not as “tough cookie” as we’re used to seeing in fantasy) main character and, of course, a boy to swoon over. There has to be a boy! Obvs.
Has anyone else read any of Juliet Marillier’s other books? Any recommendations? The author is new to me, and though I did have a few minor problems, the story stuck with me for days afterward. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!