Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Release Date: July 1st 2012
Series: Shadowfell #1
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
The people of Alban are afraid.
The tyrannical king and his masked Enforcers are scouring the land, burning villages and enslaving the canny.
Fifteen-year-old Neryn has fled her home in the wake of its destruction, and is alone and penniless, hiding her extraordinary magical power. She can rely on no one – not even the elusive Good Folk who challenge and bewilder her with their words.
When an enigmatic stranger saves her life, Neryn and the young man called Flint begin an uneasy journey together. She wants to trust Flint but how can she tell who is true in this land of evil?
For Neryn has heard whisper of a mysterious place far away: a place where rebels are amassing to free the land and end the King’s reign.
A place called Shadowfell.
A story of courage, hope, danger and love from one of the most compelling fantasy storytellers.
SHADOWFELL is a book I wasn’t supposed to read for a while. I was meant to be studying for exams. Instead I started reading this (woops) and lo behold two days later it was finished. SHADOWFELL is not a fast book that will sweep you of your feet with action. It is not a book filled with shocking revelations and twists. It’s nice and slow and just… lovely.
The majority of this book features Neryn on a journey. Half the time she’s delirious and sick or plodding along her lonesome. If you don’t like slow fantasy, this really isn’t the book for you. But if you want something that is just beautiful to read, won’t make you think, and just want to immerse yourself in a deep world that we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of please read SHADOWFELL. I’d love to discuss it with you.
There is still action in this book. Conflicts within Neryn herself and those she does interact with. Many secondary characters were involved, and each had their own distinct personalities and motivations. I was surprised at how much depth could be packed into minor characters. Plot lines were also subtly woven together it was just marvelous. Same goes for the romance. It developed out of a care type relationship at a snails pace. The feelings were not there directly from the beginning. All this was so refreshing for a YA.
If you are familiar with Juliet Marillier’s adult fantasies, the best way I can describe SHADOWFELL is like Sevenwaters and HEART’S BLOOD squashed into 300 pages and… “dumbed down” for a younger audience. By that I mean that there are less plot points that develop faster because it’s shorter, and there are less violent events more appropriate for the age group. The story telling and everything else is exactly the same as if Marillier had written for adults, which is how YA should be written I believe. SHADOWFELL really is one of the best YA fantasies I have ever read and is perfect for someone looking for a nice, slow, beautiful novel.