Series: Shadowfell, #1
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 26th, 2012
Source: Gifted from my awesome #OTSPSecretSister, Jamie from Vailia’s Page Turner
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.
This book is so typical Juliet Marillier- magic, strong (and persistent) female lead, unconventional (and awesome) male romantic interest, greater conflict/turmoil backdrop, and characters that are developed (even the villain) so that you feel every emotional punch. So of course I really enjoyed it. Not as much as Wildwood Dancing, but then, that book owns half my heart.
I like Neryn, especially her persistence. And Flint broke my heart. Breaks my heart? This is a series, and I will DEFINITELY be continuing it. I recommend it for fans of Juliet Marillier, magic (especially Old World faerie stories), slow-burn romance, character-driven YA, and sweeping stories.