Thursday, 26 July 2012

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier




Title: Shadowfell

Author: Juliet Marillier

Date Read: 20.July.2012

On TBR for: 1 day

Format: paperback

Source: Won on a giveaway (Raiding Bookshelves)

Challenges: 2012 Outdo Yourself





Shadowfell is the new series by Juliet Marillier and I was so lucky to win a copy in the Raiding Bookshelves giveaway, and not wait till September to read it, and have the gorgeous Australian version of the book. I take this moment to thank both Alex and Juliet for this book. And now, on to the review.

Shadowfell takes place in Alban (read Scotland, oh Beloved Scotland), and the main character Neryn is on the run, soon to be very alone in a country ruled by a tyrant, and where people who have uncanny powers are either executed or made to work for the king against their will. The odds are not very good for Neryn, even worse because she also has an uncanny power herself, one that allows her to see and talk with all sorts of Good Folk. She is in search of a place called Shadowfell, a name that is only whispered and is the synonym to the fight against king Keldec, but that to her it's a place where she can be safe.

And then there is Flint, a stranger who won her in a wager, saved her from the king's Enforcers, and said that all he wanted was to give Neryn a choice. But in these dark times of Alban, trust is a foreign concept, and Neryn would much rather make her way on her own than be with this mysterious man.

The journey to Shadowfell is fraught with dangers and perils and misfortunes, but also with unlikely friends. It's a journey of growth, self-discovery and some healing.

So, did I like it? Yes, of course I did. I didn't fall in love with it from the start, but once I closed that last page, I wished to still be in Alban with Neryn and Co., to not have to wait for book 2 to be written/published. I came to love the characters, main and secondary. Actually, one of strengths of this book is the richness of the supporting characters. I absolutely adored the ensemble of Good Folk characters.

Yet, this book feels like it is just the first leg in a very long journey. I am not sure if I should consider this a good thing or bad thing. I think it ties with the fact that it is written for young adults, and for a Juliet Mariller book, it felt shorter than it should have been. Maybe it was just me wishing it had been longer, because as a reader, I always want more.

And for all the downsides of books targeted to young adults, this one is all that such a book should be. In some ways, I would have loved to have this book as my first contact with fantasy (and Juliet Marillier for that matter). There is magic, but also the price of it, the consequences of actions, and how everything will help you grow. In fact, I think Neryn's growth throughout the book is one of the things that makes you like it so much (besides the Good Folk. And Flint.).

And so, after all this, how much did I like this book? A lot, though it was a gradual love, but like I said before, once I was done with it, I wished I was still there. I will anxiously wait for Raven Flight, hoping there will be more of Flint, of tyrant Keldec, of Good Folk, of Regan and his warriors and, of course, of Neryn.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Other Reviews: Raiding Bookshelves | The Silence in the Library 

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