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 was an utterly fantastic book! So enticing, and the mystery behind Flint, and the strange letters to and from Owen Swift-Sword, and then Neryn's journey, both the physical one retracing her steps of the past 3 years, and the psychological one, her learning about the power that she contains, and hat it's possible to do with that power, and the journey of her earning the right, really, to use it!
I really enjoyed all of the uncanny, or Good Folk, that inhabited Alban, from Sage, Red Cape, and Sorrel (so sad what happened there!) Hollow, who I really enjoyed, he was so awesome, to Silver, Daw, Gentle, they were individual characters, and they added a lot, from help to Neyrn, to entertainment for me!
As Neyrn's journey goes on, we see a lot of evidence of the destruction that Keldec has heaped on the land, from the yearly cullings, to the enthralments, and all the stories that are told to Neyrn, or what she witnesses herself, yeah. It gives her a lot of strength to keep going, and to make it to Shadowfell!
A weird thing to note for me, is that I've read Juliet Marillier's Bridei series, last year, and I didn't remember that until after I was done reading this book, and yeah, I didn't notice it, and that was a shock when I saw that when I was making this post. Yeah, just something I wanted to mention, because I'm weird like that! Especially since I enjoyed this book a lot more then the Bridei series, at least the first book.
Yeah, this was one of the best books I've read this year, and I can't wait for the next book!
Author: Juliet Marillier
Series: Shadowfell #1
Read: September 30th, 2012
Reason Why: Sounded like a really good book, and it's a YAHFC book!
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: September 11th 2012