Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shadowfell: a review

Author: Juliet Marillier
http://www.julietmarillier.com/
Info: Knopf Books for Young Readers, copyright 2012, 410 pages

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A young girl seeking safety finds she might just be the key to saving the kingdom.

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.


~Goodreads Description~

The Breakdown
Neryn sees people that others can't (not dead people...it's not that kind of a story).  These abilities have put her in danger and on the radar of the evil King Keldec who is seeking out anyone with magical talents.  Her only hope at survival rests on finding a hidden community of rebels, known as Shadowfell, to the north, before the king's men find her.  But what Neryn doesn't realize is that her abilities go far beyond seeing fairy-like creatures known as the Good Folk, and her destiny is more important than she ever could have imagined.

The Awesome
Think Lord of the Rings...without a ring...but all the awesomeness of a great journey.  Companions (some small) travel great distances to combat an evil force that is threatening the kingdom, and there is more to each character than first believed.  And now add in a mysterious, tall-dark-and-handsome (also sword wielding) gentleman who is torn between what he should do, and what he must do.  Just about the definition of awesome.

The Not So Awesome
I can't dive into book two until October.

How is this my first Juliet Marillier novel?  Really?  How?  Her almost lyrical prose is an absolutely pleasure to read, and her characters are full of heart and indecision.  This isn't a quick journey.  It's one to be savored.

Similar Titles The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Sabriel by Garth Nix

Favorite Quote “She went on because there was no going back.”

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