Saturday, September 8, 2012

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

In Alban, being gifted is a terrible thing; they call you smirched and every year there's a Cull to wipe out those with unique gifts. This is a part of the reason why Neryn has been wandering for the past three years, to avoid detection; but it's more than that, her gift involves the Good Folk and even speaking to them is strictly forbidden by the King. She'll be rescued by a boy named Flint, journey to the North, and be tested left and right to determine her potential worth as a Caller, someone who can see, speak with, and command the Good Folk.

My favorite part of Shadowfell? The fact that Neryn doesn't exactly stick to Flint like glue--nor does she trust (or like) him for quite some time. Having said that, don't expect to fall in love with Flint automatically. No, he's not devastatingly handsome and no, he's not exactly the best of men--depending on how you want to look at things--but he saves Neryn more than once... and he definitely grows on you after a while. In all, Neryn and Flint's relationship is still in its fledgling stages and this is one of those times when I actually prefer it that way. 

As for the plot, Neryn spends a ton of time on the road and there were points during her journey that felt a bit sluggish to me; however, in all, I definitely ended up enjoying it--and in particular, the Good Folk. If you haven't guessed it yet, the Good Folk are faerie folk who have been a part of Alban for much longer than the humans. Although Neryn's gift is related to them, not all of the gifts are and the range of gifts is definitely impressive. As a character, Neryn starts off feeling a bit weak--she gives into her father and his gambling habit--but her journeys definitely make her into a stronger person and by the end of Shadowfell she's definitely capable of standing up for herself. So no, Neryn is definitely not a simpering, silly girl and I loved that about her. I really can't tell you much of anything about Flint as the mystery surrounding him is a part of the fun and, you know, spoilers.

In all, I definitely enjoyed Shadowfell and if you enjoy high fantasy, definitely check it out! Admittedly I wish that the pacing had been a bit more breakneck, but maybe that's just me. At the same time though, I loved how Shadowfell left off as it wrapped up Shadowfell while still leaving it open enough for the reader to understand that there will be another book. So yes, I'll definitely be checking out the next book once it comes out.

Overall Rating: ★★★★ and a half.

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, a part of Random House.
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Edition: e-ARC
* Received for review via publisher and NetGalley.


  1. I love Juliet Marillier so I'm excited for her new YA entry. She's one of my favorite high fantasy authors ever. I noticed a pacing issue recently in one of her other books though, so I'm definitely not looking forward to that aspect of Shadowfell, but I'm sure I'll still enjoy it too. Great review!

  2. All I need to hear is: Juliet Marillier. I will read everything from her, don't matter the subject. She is my all time favorite. The author I will buy everything from without blinking twice. I've seen some complain about the traveling and the pace, but I don't really mind. I'm currently reading it and I'm loving it so far :) Fantastic review!


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