Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You Disappeared Into the Shadows...

Expected Publication: September 11th, 2012
Shadowfell (Shadowfell # 1)
By: Juliet Marillier
Random House Children's Books
ISBN-13: 9780375869549

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.


   Neryn has been on the run with her Father for the last few years, after the King's men burned her village to the ground and the rest of her family died.  Now they are wanderers, with almost nothing to their names except each other - until her Father tries to gamble Neryn away on a Riverboat for a bet.  She's saved by a strange man named Flint, who doesn't harm her like she expects him to.  Instead he helps her to realize that the only place she'll ever truly be safe is one that might not even exist except in her brother's stories...Shadowfell.  It's a place where Neryn might be able to live without being afraid of dying because she is gifted.  Neryn has the ability to see the Good Folk (fae and other magical creatures) whether or not they want to be seen and to communicate with them.  In order to become the person she needs to be, Neryn has to pass tests laid out by the Good Folk, to prove her worth to them.  It is said that only a certain type of person can overthrow King Keldec's evil rule.  Could that person be Neryn?  Will she be able to find the strength and courage within herself to make it happen?  There was a lot of build-up in this book.  It's understandable considering it's the first in a new series.  At the beginning Neryn sort of annoyed me.  She acted really wimpy and frightened all the time, going with Flint after he won her in a game of chance.  I will say that she wasn't entirely unquestioning, but she didn't fight for herself as hard as a normal person would.  There is a lot of interaction with the Good Folk, who aren't exactly fond of humans due to Keldec's reign of terror (totally plausible) and are skeptical of Neryn from the start.  Some want to help her and manage to aid her in times of trouble but others want nothing more than for her to fail.  I am not normally fond of books involving Fae, but this one was more into other versions of little folk than just solely Fae.  The mythology of the land wasn't touched upon much, but what came across interested me a lot.  Flint was definitely not what I expected personality-wise, although the revelations about his identity weren't totally unwarranted.   One thing that bugged me was the lack of anything that actually had to do with Shadowfell, the place, until almost the end of the book.  I did enjoy the battle scene though and liked the overall plot and resolution to the first book.  I already liked Marillier's writing and this book was no exception, although not perfect.  I am excited to see Neryn's new adventures in the next novel.

VERDICT:  4/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is September 11th, 2012.*

1 comment:

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