Mon, September 10, 2012

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier Review

Shadowfell book cover

Shadowfell book cover

Shadowfell
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!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: fairies, fantasy, juliet marillier, romance
15

15 Comments

  1. Lori said:

    I really enjoyed this one too! I wanted to shake the Neryn a few times because I loved Flint so much!! I can’t wait to read the next one!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  2. Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook said:

    Hehe: “There has to be a boy. Obvs.” Totally agree. Actually, there is a girl patron at the library where I work, and she told me the other day that she couldn’t get into a book she was reading because there was NO ROMANCE.

    Anyway, I’ve never read anything by Juliet Marillier, but I am interesting in this one. I usually have a hard time getting interested in high fantasy novels, but I keep trying them anyway.

    I will definitely give this one a try. Thanks for the review.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Are you sure that wasn’t ME, Quinn?! HAHA sounds like something I’d say. Love it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  3. Shira said:

    Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite books! There are a few more books in that series, but the first and second are the best, in my opinion. I have tried to make all of my friends read it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  4. Tara said:

    This books sounds SO you!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  5. Heidi said:

    Yay! I’m so glad you read a Marillier book. If you’re willing to give more of her stuff a go, I really couldn’t recommend her Sevenwaters series more. They’re some of my all time favorites, and Daughter of the Forest will probably make your head explode (you’ll also probably be told to read it a lot). 😛

    This one was a slow start for me too, it was a definite ‘set up’ book, and I never loved Neryn, but Flint kind of saved things for me. This was decent, but try her adult work–it’s amazing!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  6. Allison L said:

    I adore Juliet Marillier. I had my first experience with her earlier this year when I read Daughter of the Forest for the first time. It is SO GOOD! I’m really excited to read Shadowfell and I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it, even with the slow start. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  7. Mary @ My Sisters Bookshelf said:

    Seconding thirding nthing daughter of the forest! It’s wonderful! I’ve even reread it multiple times!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  8. Mundie Moms said:

    I’m moving this book on my to read pile! I LOVE how big Fantasy is right now. I swear there needs to be more fantasy books. Great review!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  9. Christina (BookTasty) said:

    Hi! I read Wildwood Dancing (listened to the audiobook actually) and LOVED it! It’s a fairy tale retelling/mash up and it’s great! I’ll have to check this one out!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  10. Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books said:

    As a long-time fan of Juliet Marillier, I am looking forward to reading her newest work! As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Daughter of the Forest is the book to read by Marillier. It’s an adult fantasy and, from what I’ve heard from reviewers, much better than Shadowfell. It’s also a retelling of the fairy tale “The Seven Swans” and just oh-so clever and wonderful.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  11. Bookworm1858 said:

    I like the sound of those fairies! I don’t like the sexy ones-I prefer the dangerous ones because they are dangerous creatures.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  12. Lisa said:

    I can’t even express to you how much I adore that you’re devouring fantasy books. My heart is bursting.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  13. Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books said:

    I have yet to read any books by this author, but it sounds like I should, especially as a fantasy lover. The one thing that makes me hesitate – the presence of fairies. I don’t really read fairy books… but I may just give this one a try!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

  14. heidi @ YA Bibliophile said:

    This one is one of the next on my TBR pile. Can’t wait to get to it!!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Mon, September 10, 2012

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