Friday, April 3, 2015

Shadowfell

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 8:49 PM

Age: Young Adult
Category: Fantasy; romance
Rating: 4 stars

She went on because there was no going back.”

Melissa Thinks: Growing up, one of the only things my sister would talk to me about was books. Although she was substantially older than I was, we both were enthralled with high fantasy YA novels. Juliet Marillier was a staple in our combined diet of books. Her Sevenwaters series was a great source of enjoyment for both my young self and my snotty teenage sister. It was these memories of a bridged relationship that convinced me to pick up Shadowfell this week.

Neryn is a sixteen-year-old girl living in a world where people with “canny” gifts are hunted and often killed by order of the King Keldec. Neryn has been on the run with her father for three years now, ever since her brother and grandmother died at the hands of the king’s Enforcers. After her Father gambles her away to a mysterious stranger, Flint, her journey of takes a strange turn. She learns her gift of seeing and talking to the Good Folk could mean a lot more than she originally thought. Now her only hope lies in Shadowfell, a mysterious place where she might finally find her freedom.


There are so many admirable pieces in the beginning book of this lovely trilogy. The entire plot is filled with exciting situations that strengthen Neryn’s characterization; the prose, rich with pieces that come together to construct Marillier’s extraordinary world, is threaded with a voice fitting of the fantasy genre. The romantic aspect of the novel is not a crucial feature of the plot. The story could very well continue without the relationship between Flint and Neryn, but it works to sweeten the story instead of dominating it. The most admirable part of this novel, however, is the amazing character development that Juliet Marillier builds so well for Neryn. When we first meet her, she’s a timid girl under the control of a drunken and selfish father, but as she continues on this dangerous journey, Neryn becomes stronger with each challenge she faces. In a sea of young adult novels with crumbling structures, problematic characters, and stale plots, Shadowfell sticks out so wonderfully there was no way I could leave it unreviewed.

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