Monday, September 17, 2012

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Sixteen year old Neryn has been wandering all over the kingdom of Alban with her father in order to keep her alive. It is illegal to deal in magic and Neryn is able to interact with the Good Folk which makes her one of the few people alive with the ability. After being gambled away to a complete stranger, Neryn finds herself being led to a supposed safe haven called Shadowfell by the secretive Flint. Soon Neryn finds that she is a part of a greater plan to take down the king and save Alban, but what will she have to do for that to happen and who can she trust?

I liked this book, I didn’t have strong feelings of joy while reading it but it definitely held my interest and I am most likely going to read the next one.

The beginning was strong, and I loved the introduction of Flint’s character. The entire premise of Neryn’s abilities was also interesting and well explained. What threw me for a bit of a loop is the fact that the mythos that the Good Folk are based on is all Celtic inspired (or at least I’m assuming it is). I didn’t know this until about two-thirds of the way through. The lyrical chants that hadn’t really made sense did once I figured this tidbit out.

Helpful hint: Stanie mon = stone man

I really liked Neryn’s character, I thought she was rather fantastic. Obviously at sixteen she wants to be strong enough to go off on her own and be self-reliant, but she’s still young enough to want the guidance of another. This leads to her vacillating on whether or not to trust Flint, and running from him numerous times. This got a bit tedious, but was true-ish for the story. She has a very strong sense of herself and it moves the story along when it might otherwise lag.

The ending was also very strong and action-packed. I liked the fact that it wasn’t all tied up into a nice neat package. Of course not everything could be sunshine daisies as this is a series, but there’s some emotional ambiguity that was thought-provoking and a rather nice send off for the book.

Here’s my one thing that I got a bit weirded out by. Neryn is sixteen. Flint is twenty. They are headed toward a romantic relationship. In a high fantasy, should I be clutching my pearls because they are romantically involved? Or do I need to get over myself and the cultural norms I’ve grown up with because this is supposed to be a different world? As I was reading I leaned toward pearl clutching. Thoughts?

Shadowfell is quite good. You should read it and see if you too need smelling salts when Flint and Neryn kiss.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...