Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Book description: 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.
My thoughts: I love books by Juliet Marillier. When I saw this book available at Netgalley, I knew that I had to read it. It took me a year to read it, but better late than never!
Juliet writes beautifully crafted books. She does a wonderful job at laying the foundation for her story and telling it in a seamless flow of words.
Neryn is a young woman who has faced tragedy. Because she can see the "Good Folk" she is hunted by the tyrant king. Anyone who has been touched and exhibits abilities dealing with the magic of the Good folk is killed or have their minds altered to become a tool for the king. She has watched her family, one by one, fall to the tyrant king's enforcers. She hides and searches for a place called Shadowfell, where rebels join forces to fight for the freedom of the people.
On her journey she meets friends who help keep her safe. One in particular, Flint, she is not sure whether he is friend or foe. A great deal of the book, she is on her own, sometimes running from Flint. But time after time he comes and saves her from her own folly or from the kings enforcers.
They live in a time when all live with secrets. No one is safe if they talk of, or believe in the old ways. It is a dark time for the people. When I read the book, I was thinking of an area in the Celtic region.
I really enjoyed this book and I am glad that I was approved to read the second book, Raven Flight. I plan on reading it within a week. I won't wait as long this time.