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Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Shadowfell (2012)

by Juliet Marillier

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I can sum this book up in one word, "Amazing!" A coworker waxed poetic about this book several months ago. I had it on my "to read" list but could never quite get around to it.

I was definitely missing out. The characters are easy to identify with and well fleshed out. The world building is good and the plot is familiar in feel but unique in portrayal.

I am impatiently waiting for my shipped copy of book 2! ( )
  Angelina-Justice | Feb 3, 2014 |
Marillier never disappoints! Although this YA series is not as strong (for me) as her epic Sevenwaters series, it is still an excellent read. The novel follows the heroine Neryn as she attempts to escape the King's searchers and reach the mysterious safe haven of Shadowfell. Plenty of secrets, hidden destinies, and overcoming tragic circumstances and heartbreak--as well as a smattering of young love. ( )
  willowsmom | Jan 14, 2014 |
I have been a huge fan of Juliet Marillier for some time. When I saw this book on NetGalley and saw that it is YA, I jumped on it hoping for the chance to read it. I am so glad I got to.

Neryn is such a young, but strong character. Her canny ability to see the Good Folk made me envious, but I do not envy her her life. It is sad and full of horrors that no child should have to go through. But it is through all of this that she becomes who she is meant to be. My only frustration with Neryn is her inability to trust. As someone who is incredibly trusting (too trusting some would say) I was getting angry with her for not giving Flint enough trust.

Flint is probably one of my favorite guy characters right now. He is fierce, loyal, protective, and yes, a wee bit brooding. But one you read this book, he has every right to brood and look haunted all of the time.

This book is seriously beautiful. The descriptions thrust you into a world that is sad and wonderful. I can't wait to share my full review in August. ( )
  Ashley_McElyea | Dec 15, 2013 |
Fantasy is one of my absolute most favorite genres, and Shadowfell reminded me why. It had everything: a great heroine, fantastic (but conflicted) hero, the Fae, a journey, and action.

This is my first foray into Juliet Marillier's work, and I've been told that it's not her best. I'm on hold for Daughter of the Forest at the library, so I'm withholding judgment on that until I've read more. For me, this was an excellent introduction to the author. I really loved this book!

Yeah, it's slow going at times. Yeah, it takes awhile for the action to build (it's very subtle - if you're look for a slam/bang book, perhaps look elsewhere). Yeah, the romance is slow. You know what? None of that bothered me. I relished taking my time on the journey with Neryn and finding things out as she did. I loved getting into her head and sharing her fears. I loved the ending. It was so bittersweet and beautiful. It left me longing for more, which I consider one of the many marks of a great book.

I liked the characters. I liked that they were SO flawed. I liked that they had to grow up and discover things for themselves. I liked that nothing was just handed to them. (Yeesh. That makes it sound like a heavy contemp or something. :P) I liked that they worked through things and finally (FINALLY!) reached understanding. I liked that even the Good Folk aren't exempt from the trials of Alban. They had to pass through Hell as well.

Now, obviously, this is a fantasy. In the end, we all know that the good guys are going to win and the bad guys will get theirs. In this series, though, the good guys are going to have to walk a very twisted and hard path to get there. They're definitely going to earn their victory and I love that. I love that we're going to see their growth the whole time and get to experience things right along with them. WIN!

For me, this is a 4.5 Eiffel Tower book. Loved it and need to own a hard copy!

Content Advisory:
Language: None
Sexuality: Very Mild (hints of what Neryn feared if the Enforcers caught her - absolutely nothing inappropriate or explicit)
Violence: Moderate ( )
  emmyson | Oct 9, 2013 |
Marillier’s novel introduces readers to 15-year-old Neryn, a teen-aged girl from Alban who has seen her home destroyed, her family killed, and her own separation from her father (the last of her family) in a stunning act of betrayal.

Shadowfell has one of the most harrowing opening scenes I’ve read this year, and Neryn has to decide whether she trusts Flint, the mysterious man who comes to her aid, with the fact that she has “canny” skills and can see and communicate with the Fey creatures living among humans. Magical skills and others like it are forbidden by Alban’s despotic ruler, Keldec -unless of course you are one of his loyal followers using your power for his benefit. Neryn longs to go north to Shadowfell, where she has heard that a rebellion is being staged against the King. Chief among her concerns is whether she can make it there alone or if she can trust Flint to help here get there safely.

Marillier has written an engaging first entry in a trilogy exploring the bonds between humans and mythic creatures of early days Scotland. Marillier convincingly builds a world in need of a revolution and a new leader. Alban’s scared inhabitants have isolated themselves and turned on one another in fear of their King. Neryn is on a quest to find herself, and on her journey has to embrace the strength of her expanding power to communicate with the Good Folk and the courage that it takes to be true to herself.

Marillier takes care with the details of showing Neryn debating on whom she can trust, how to survive the harsh wildsand bad weather, while slowly embracing her gifts and befriending a variety of the creatures of the woods who become her friends. Her complex relationship with Flint, plagued by questions of his allegiance to King or revolution, develops in a satisfying manner. Neryn is, first and foremost, a young woman who has essentially raised herself under considerably difficult circumstances. Neryn’s history is revealed in tandem with the rich history and traditions of the land and its people.

Shadowfell is rich in Scottish history and folk culture, and has strong characters committed to doing the best they can, taking responsibility for the good and the bad in their natures and in their actions. I look forward to the unfolding of the trilogy as they struggle with the price for peace and how best to make its exacting payment. Recommended. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 25, 2013 |
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To my grandson, Angus
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As we came down to the shore of Darkwater, the wind sliced cold right to my bones.
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Fifteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured, but when she sets out for Shadowfell, a training ground for a rebel group, she meets a mysterious soldier and the Good Folk, who tell her that she, alone, can save Alban.… (more)

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