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. Goodreads.
Note to self: Never ever start a series by Juliet Marillier before the last book is published. I'm not sure how I'll be able to function without knowing what is happening in Alban until the next book comes out! Okay, fangirl moment is over. Almost.
Seriously, you just can't go wrong with Juliet Marillier. Her skill at world building is one of the best I've ever read, and I read a lot. Her characters are always strong, yet realistically imperfect. They make mistakes, sometimes big ones. But even when the reader sees it coming, you can't get mad at the main character, because you also completely understand. Neryn is so scared and broken at points in this book that I have no idea how she could go on. But she apparently has a core of iron, because she's still standing at the end of book one. And now I'm going to be worried about what is happening to her until the next book comes out.
The love interest in Shadowfell does not disappoint. One of my favorite things about Juliet's writing is that she doesn't rely on cliches or "steamy scenes" to make you care about her characters love life. But the feelings she does use are so raw and real, your heart jumps (and breaks) right along with them. And the best part? They don't always end up with the "obvious choice." So even though I'm already falling in love with Flint, I don't even know that he's the one.
Okay, I totally lied about the fangirl moment being over. Bottom line: Read this book. ASAP.
Rating 5/5 stars
YA notes: none