Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shadowfell (Shadowfell #1)” as Want to Read:
Shadowfell (Shadowfell #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shadowfell (Shadowfell #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  9,736 Ratings  ·  1,069 Reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 287 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published June 26th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shadowfell, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Elias It's set in Alban, a nation that doesn't exist on Earth, but most closely resembles bonnie wee Scotland. As it's a fantasy land, it doesn't have a…moreIt's set in Alban, a nation that doesn't exist on Earth, but most closely resembles bonnie wee Scotland. As it's a fantasy land, it doesn't have a timeline that corresponds to ours.(less)
Ann A specific age is not given. Neryn guesses that he is 5-6 years older than her, and then his age is hinted at again in relation to where he was when…moreA specific age is not given. Neryn guesses that he is 5-6 years older than her, and then his age is hinted at again in relation to where he was when the king began his reign. So about 20-21.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kat Kennedy
There is something ineffably magical about Marillier’s novels. There are precious few authors, in my opinion, who create as earnest a fantasy environment replete with mysticism and magic as Marillier does.

I feel a little embarrassed and ashamed. I was desperate for this book. After loving Wildwood Dancing and Heart’s Blood with a fiery passion, I was sure I’d adore this one too.

The first thing that you should know about Shadowfell is that it’s not as much the same ilk as Wildwood Dancing and Hea
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

3.5 stars. If I had to choose a word to describe it I'd say that this book is ... quiet. Look, quiet is not necessarily a bad thing - it brings a different atmosphere along its path, almost soothing and completely enchanting.

There is a lot of walking in this book, and when I say a lot, picture Frodo and Sam wandering in the Middle-Earth. That kind of walking.

The plot is incredibly repetitive, the whole book revolving around the fact that a) Neryn has to go to Shadowfell, b) she doesn't trus
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

This book . . . was underwhelming.

For the first 100 pages, I was bored out of my eyeballs. It took me THREE DAYS to read this book. B/c BORED. Three days to finish a 400 page YA fantasy. On the bright side, I was very productive blog-wise . . . b/c I couldn't make myself read . . .

I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but I typically LOVE Juliet Marillier. One of my favorite books of all time is a book by Marillier ( Wildwood Dancing ), and I've very much enjoyed several
I offhandedly bought this series from Book Outlet one day and it's just been sitting on my shelves. I've felt sort of reading slumpy after A Court of Mist and Fury, so I figured a new series would be just what I needed. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect the start of this series to blow me away like it did.

“It seemed to me it would be better to die standing up to a tyrant than to survive as a tool of his will.”

Shadowfell was everything I could ever want in fae story. It was so magical
Carla *Jen7waters*
Before reading the book (I can't delete the little fellow, he got me a few likes)
September 11!!

After reading the book

I should probably start this review by saying I’m a HUGE Juliet Marillier fan (for those who don’t know this yet) -- she’s my favorite author, fantasy is my genre of choice, and every time I’m in possession of a new JM book it’s like Christmas, and it’s snowing outside while I’m inside the house by the fire, looking out the window, with a cup of cinnamon flavored hot chocolat
This is not a review, more like the ramblings of an addict.

When it comes to Juliet Marillier's stories, I love EVERYTHING. I really do.

I love everything from the captivating world-building to the gorgeous, enthralling writing style, and the likeable heroines who, like Neryn, all have a clever, enlightened and strong-willed nature.
I love the tales of these young girls embarking on a learning journey that brings all kinds of tr
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Shadowfell is, I am ashamed to admit, my first Juliet Marillier novel. While I doubt it is her best, I can already see why she has such a huge fan following. Not only is her writing simply beautiful, but her world-building also manages to be exceedingly unique as her story grabs you in, even from the start. Furthermore, each and every one of Marillier’s characters is wonderfully developed, containing an immense amount of depth. While Shadowfell’s main fault seems to lie wi
August 2014 re-read: Still just as good. Maybe even better than I'd remembered. I think most will feel the start is slow, but I find this an eminently easy read that's comfortable and enveloping to step into. The prose doesn't seem overt or in-your-face, but it's so perfect at being what it needs to be that you just flow over the words and are swept along.

September 2013 re-read thoughts: I love this even more on a re-read. Solid 4.5 stars. Strong characters, fascinating world, and beautifully de
Lynsey   • The Demon Librarian
Love, love, loved it!

This review will probably be rubbish and not do the book justice at all, for the simple fact that I was enjoying it so much that I actually forgot it was an ARC (for review read) and forgot to take ANY notes. Not. One. Single. Note. Normally, I keep a pad and pencil next to my eReader at all times and I'll jot down little scribbles whenever they come to me, but I was so engrossed, I forgot.


And, funnily enough, compared to other similar books of this genre, the book
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Mini Review:
“I thought of betrayal and how it came so easily - in a word, a glance, a gesture.”

Shadowfell is my first book by Juliet Marillier. Before the publisher contacted me about the third book of this series, and I admit, I had no clue who this author was. But now, I can definitely see where all the love for Juliet Marillier is coming from.

It's the writing. Juliet Marillier writes beautifully and I devoured every word of it; this was probably the aspect
Apr 02, 2012 Katy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars - Hmmm... now, to round up or down.

I thought this book was going to be about fairies - which I like but am not a huge fan of - but it wasn't about fairies at all. Yes, the Good Folk are magical creatures of the wilderness, but the book was more of your fantasy types - a kingdom with a "bad" king, rebels journeying through the land and a girl with magical powers when fully developed can save them all.

Once I established what the book was about, I found myself liking it quite a bit - thou
Sep 06, 2012 Krystle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Juliet Marillier, you haven’t disappointed me yet!

I was already a fan of her writing before I picked this book up. I know it’s shameful but my introduction into her writing didn’t begin with the Sevenwaters series but her Wildwood one, which I read and devoured like it was prized chocolate.

She writes the most wonderful fantasy stories that are subtle and have female characters that are all portrayed with depth, spirit, and personality. These are not your lifeless women pulled along by the plot o
Aug 24, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, 2012
Oh dear. This one was just delicious.

Full review to come when I can wrangle my brain into producing something other than delighted squees.

Also, please write faster Ms. Marillier. NEED MORE NERYN & FLINT NOW!

***UPDATED 8/24/12
Dealing the worst kind abandonment a girl could ever have to face, Neryn has become a wanderer. Unable to return to her home village for years now -- a place filled with so many memories of death and pain she'd hardly be able to return even if it was safe -- or to sett
Jul 21, 2015 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
August 30-31, 2014
Second time through, and I still loved Neryn. I see where people were put off by the pacing, but it is in the great classic journey motif pattern. It's hard to have your character's journey match what she is figuring out on the inside, but Marillier makes Neryn's internal journey mirror her physical one. Now, off to Raven Flight!

June 21-22, 2012
What can I say - I love Juliet Marillier! She always brings her A game to any tale that she tells. I loved this book, but she set the b
Steph Su
Sep 09, 2012 Steph Su rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I write this review from the point of view of a Juliet Marillier fan who, shamefully, has only read a handful of her books (so far!). SHADOWFELL, the first book in her new YA fantasy series, may not be as canonical as some of her other works, but it is still a solidly good fantasy read that will please fantasy and non-fantasy readers alike.

SHADOWFELL’s strengths lie, strangely enough, in its great use of common fantasy tropes. Say what? But you hate tropes, Steph! Yeah, well, sometimes you just
Sep 19, 2012 Lizzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm too loyal to Juliet Marillier to give her anything less than three starts, but I almost gave this one two. What a disappointing read, especially from one of my favorite authors! It was predictable and unoriginal down to the last supporting character. The whole shadowed and frightened kingdom ruled by a reincarnation of Hitler and the girl on the run from pursuers--I've heard it a million times, I've read it a million times. I've even PLAYED it a million times as an eight-year kid, complete w ...more
Giota Bourha
Apr 02, 2016 Giota Bourha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, samrecs
I removed one star because sometimes it was repetitive, which was annoying. There were, also, some chapters where all that happened was the recounting of the protagonist's lonely journey with little action or plot development. Lastly, the dialogue was sometime awkward and unnecessarily pompous.

Still, it was a wonderful book, heavily inspired by Irish folklore, and I can’t wait to start the second one. I loved the world and the main characters, especially Flint he goes straight in my top 10.

The n
3.5 Stars

Shadowfell was my first foray into Juliet Marillier’s YA books, and I have to admit I was nervous. I knew going in that there was no way it could level up to the breathtaking wonder that is her Sevenwaters series, and I knew it would suffer from comparison as I read Son of the Shadows at the same time. The unfortunate reality is, both these fears were justified, or maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I enjoyed Shadowfell a great deal, but still couldn’t help but feel a wee bit disa
Katie Stewart
May 16, 2014 Katie Stewart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a long-time fan of Juliet Marillier, I looked forward to reading this book and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, it was the first book in a long time that totally kept my attention to the point of neglecting other things I should have been doing, like sleeping. Neryn, the fifteen-year-old protagonist, is wonderfully drawn and develops well through the story. Flint, the man who saves her when her drunken father gambles her away, remains a mystery until almost the end. Is he really Neryn's friend ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

My first Juliet Marillier novel, and I am already considering myself a fan. Though primarily known and loved as a gifted fantasy writer for adults, this prolific and beloved Australian writer extends herself easily into the growing YA fantasy genre with the first in her new series about the oppressed magical land of Alban. Though rife with well-known and often overdone fantasy tropes - the "chosen one", the slow realization of virtues of the protago
(review in english below)

Uma boa história, bem contada, com a escrita especial de Juliet Marillier.

Andei ali um bocado enervada pelo facto de me terem apresentado o Flint para depois mo tirarem durante uma série de capítulos, mas valeu a pena. Sempre gostei do mistério que normalmente envolve os personagens masculinos principais dos livros desta autora.

A tradução e a revisão não são nada más, só não percebi a ideia de pôr uma vírgula a seguir a cada "mas"...

Lá vou eu atacar o segundo volume!

A go
Jan 18, 2015 Cat rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2015
Not my favourite Juliet Marillier book, to be honest, but I found it entertaining enough.

The story was predictable, despite some twists and turns thrown in, and sometimes boring. The characters were ok, not what I would call exactly exciting. Neryn-Flint's relationship reminded me of the Ananna-Naji's one in Cassandra Rose Clarke's 'The Assassin's Curse' series. Not so well developed or funny, of course.

On a more positive note, I absolutely adored the weird and quirky creatures of The Good Folk
***Will Flint make it into my 'Best Book Boyfriends' list? Update to come***

omfg I am so lame and immature how am I not single.
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

Neryn lives in Alban, where magic is banned by King Keldec. No one, but her father knows about the power that grows inside her each day. Yet she knows of a place where she will be safe, where people with powers like her will be welcomed with open arms, a place called Shadowfell. With help from a brooding man named Flint, she discovers exactly what she’s capable of.

I happened to love the hero in this novel. Flint was your typica
Sep 12, 2014 Tania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so if you have not read Juliet Marillier previously, here is why you should. She combines fantasy with historical fiction, folklore and mythology. Her characters are real people with real emotions, who have to deal with real every day issues like alcoholism and rape. Her magic is not of the fancy, modern, high-tech genre, but instead comes from the land and the Fair folk. I have read 16 JM titleS, and adore the way she slowly unfolds a story, and magically transports me to another country ...more
Apr 11, 2013 Jordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review at Miss Book Reviews .

I am a huge fan of Juliet Marillier’s writing and I love nearly all of her books. I think because of this I loved Shadowfell, like absolutely loved it. I’m used to her style of writing and as for the plot this reminded me of her Sevenwaters books and I love that series. So I do have to say that this book felt typical of her. The travelling, the good folk, the element of suspense of wanting to know why Neryn is running from the Enforcers, why she can’t ask for anyone
"I'm ready," I said. "Ready to be strong. Ready to take risks. Ready to learn."

In the land of Alban, a young girl with a rare and valuable talent, or Canny ability as they call it, must fight her way across her dangerous land, to the rebels who lay hidden high in the mountains of Shadowfell. For Neryn is a girl who possesses the ability to bring down the evil king Keldec and finally bring freedom to her people and the Good Folk of Alban.

Since she was a child, Neryn has always been able to see
Dec 18, 2012 Susana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, juliet-marillier, 2012
2,5 stars

Well...this one was somewhat a disappointment...for me of course. I'm perfectly aware that many Juliet Marillier fans (HEY, I'M of of THEM AS WELL!!) must be throwing daggers in my direction..but i really had to force myself to finish it. And i'm trying to be honest here...

Where to start??
Well first of all, i admit that i'm not a big fan of stories that envolve quests. Mainly because of the lack of originality of the plot...look i admit, Frodo's adventures bored me senseless. I don't ca
Oct 10, 2014 Leonie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been meaning to read this book for a fair while, partly because our daughter enjoyed it so much and we generally enjoy similar stories.

Shadowfell was a great read, and quite different to other stories I've read in this genre. I liked the way the backstory gradually became clearer throughout the book, and the way that Juliet Marillier wove myth and legend into the world she created.

For a decent sized book she kept the cast relatively small - at least to begin with - and each of the character
Shadowfell is the first Juliet Marillier that I have managed to read despite trying out one of her adult fantasies earlier. I prefer my fantasies a bit grittier, a bit dirtier and less stylized. A bit sexier too, actually. Not that I am a great judge of Marillier’s work having only partially read one book. However, Shadowfell sounded like something right up my alley so I gave it a try.

And I found it interesting. Perhaps not the best in terms of YA fantasy but certainly readable. Presenting a str
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Vessel
  • Dust Girl (The American Fairy, #1)
  • The Torn Wing (The Faerie Ring, #2)
  • Soulbound (Legacy of Tril, #1)
  • Troubled Waters (Elemental Blessings, #1)
  • The Cadet of Tildor
  • Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)
  • Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)
  • The Poison Throne (Moorehawke Trilogy, #1)
  • Liar's Moon (Thief Errant, #2)
  • Ironskin (Ironskin, #1)
  • Princess of the Sword (Nine Kingdoms, #3)
  • Hanging by a Thread
  • Magic Under Stone (Magic Under, #2)
  • Starling (Starling, #1)
  • Dragonswood (Wilde Island Chronicles, #2)
  • Legends of Australian Fantasy
  • Silver (Bandia, #1)
Juliet Marillier was born July 27, 1948 in Dunedin, New Zealand and grew up surrounded by Celtic music and stories. Her own Celtic-Gaelic roots inspired her to write her first series, the Sevenwaters Trilogy. Juliet was educated at the University of Otago, where she majored in music and languages, graduating BA and a B Mus (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a ...more
More about Juliet Marillier...

Other Books in the Series

Shadowfell (3 books)
  • Raven Flight (Shadowfell, #2)
  • The Caller (Shadowfell, #3)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“She went on because there was no going back.” 31 likes
“Every man or woman who makes a stand helps keep the flame of freedom burning.” 18 likes
More quotes…