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Shadowfell (2012)

by Juliet Marillier

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Shadowfell (1)

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5714532,896 (3.85)25
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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» See also 25 mentions

English (44)  Dutch (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Meh. Not engaging at all. A few bright sparks among a lot of tired telly prose. Disappointing. ( )
  VictoriaGaile | Oct 16, 2021 |
Alban is a land of great danger and sorrow. The people of Alban live in fear, fear of the raids that separate families, fear of the fires that destroy homes, and fear of the Enforcers who commit these acts in the name of the King. The old ways are being shunned, outlawed, anyone thought to be different is taken to serve the King, and any who refused or speak out against the injustices are quickly silenced for good.

At fifteen, Neryn has already been a victim of the King's rule having lost her grandmother in a raid and her village in a fire. But as one of the canny Neryn will never be safe from the Enforcers who hunt her. Left alone in the world with no family and no place that is safe for her; Neryn follows the only path she can to a place of safety that may not even exist, to Shadowfell.

Despite her connection to the Good Folk and the help they can provide, Neryn encounters many trials and hardships on her journey to find a safe haven. Even as the Enforcers track her every movement and the Good Folk follow her every step, she is challenged by her desire to find safety and a hope for the future. In a land where kindness and generosity are rare, Neryn discovers that the hardest lessons learnt are the most important.

Shadowfell is the only hope for a land in turmoil, the only safe place for a girl on the run. More then a story of one girls journey across a hostile land, this is a timeless tale of a life, love, friendships, hopes and fears. A beautiful and magical new series that introduces you to a world both cruel and kind, with characters as complex as they are intriguing. A story that will touch your heart. ( )
  LarissaBookGirl | Aug 2, 2021 |
I read so many books like this when I was younger, books full of journeys, magic, danger, adventure, and just a barest hint of romance. I was reminded of [a:Kristin Cashore|1373880|Kristin Cashore|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1273894652p2/1373880.jpg] [b:Graceling|3236307|Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)|Kristin Cashore|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1331548394s/3236307.jpg|3270810], but Shadowfell is much kinder and gentler. Neryn, our female lead is still somewhat sheltered even after having been running from danger on the road with her father for three years. The relationship that develops between her and Flint, her rescuer, is so tentative and fragile because both must guard their heart’s secrets. The adventure that follows has magical creatures, prophecy, and promise.

I think I’ll buy this series for the high school. There are only a select few who would read it without prompting, but I do think it would appeal to more with a good book talk.
( )
  readingbeader | Oct 29, 2020 |
I'm reviewing now that I've read this twice. Read it last year but didn't go right on to the sequels, so I reread it as a refresher.

Juliet Marillier is my favorite author of all time. Most of her books are adult fantasy, even if many of the protagonists are young women still in their teens. For anyone worried that Shadowfell might not be for them because it's labelled YA: it still reads as a Marillier novel--you can definitely tell that it's her. The descriptiveness of the landscapes and of the relationships between Good Folk and humankind that make her books what they are is still there, still beautiful.

Other reviews have mentioned the amount of walking. There IS a lot of walking/journeying in this book, filled with descriptions of the landscapes Neryn is traversing. In a way, that can make it slow, as there's really not a lot of action. This first installment, I feel, really serves as an introduction to the land of Alban, the terror its people face, and Neryn's part in abating that terror. The idea of a Caller is pretty neat, and I'm excited to see what else Neryn is going to be able to do.

Neryn herself is a strong and mostly likable protagonist. She has room to grow, and that's a good thing. She is a little frustrating sometimes because you REALLY want her to start being more trusting (with one person in particular), but her circumstances and experiences understandably keep her from doing so. She has a good, strong heart, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the next two books take her. (And Flint, musn't forget him, because he's wonderfullllll.)

Weapons sharp, back straight, heart high. ( )
  Octjillery | May 5, 2020 |
Lately I've been reading more stand alone adventures and adult style fantasy. Shadowfell was a refreshing return to the familiar cadences of YA fantasy. The general elements were predictable, in the best way: Neryn's former life burned up in first chapter, she meets a mysterious duplicitous stranger who Neryn can't help but see as kind-hearted, and there is set-up for development of Magical Powers and relational Angst and Pining in the second book of the trilogy. ( )
  Pascale1812 | Apr 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juliet Marillierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Almeida, Catarina F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meire, HenriettaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soester, SelmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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.

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Average: (3.85)
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