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.
I have always liked Juliet Marillier books. She knows how to create a beautiful adventure, Marillier seems to be so invested in each of her books, she sees everything and knows how to make sure the readers sees it too. I love her books, even though there are times she can get to involved with the descriptions and details that I’m like “hurry up with the story! I’m dying here!” but when I invest my times in her descriptions I’m never disappointed in what she sees.
Shadowfell tells the story of Neryn’s journey to land called Shadowfell after a tragic accident leaves her completely alone. Neryn lives in a land ruled by the tyrant who seeks to destroy anything and anybody who defies him and holds any sort of magical powers. Shadowfell is a land that allegedly hold rebels, and a place where she believes she’ll be safe from the servants of the king-the Enforcers, and from the king himself, because if he ever found Neryn and learned of what she holds and could do, he would use her for his benefit. Yes, the girl has powers. Neryn encounters hardships and setbacks as she tries to get herself to the place call Shadowfell. You get to meet new and enchanting creatures with their own story to tell that gives you an overall feel for the story. Neryn is a great character because she is realistic. Realistic in the sense of she gets sick, she has faults, she makes mistakes, she tries to do what’s right and do good and is an overall likable character.
Along the way she meets a man so mysterious who she should fear and hate but shows the opposite of what he is “supposed” to do/be. Flint our male lead who is completely swoon worthy and Marillier is a PRO at writing male roles and making them what they are -MEN- not cruel boys who are rude and cruel because he is in “love!” NO, this is a guy who you learn sacrifices everything for the greater good and you just love him. *sigh*
Overall I just love Juliet Marillier’s books and would recommend this to ANYBODY who loves a good story with great character development, world building, descriptions, adventure and romance. The romance doesn’t overwhelm the story it just is a small thread in the grand scheme of things. I love romance like that.
Sexual Content: mild
Violence: moderate (descriptions of death, battles being fought, memories of loved ones being killed)