Angelya (Tea in the Treetops)'s Reviews > Shadowfell

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
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Jul 17, 2012

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bookshelves: aussie-authors, fantasy, ya, high-fantasy, reviewed
Read from July 12 to 16, 2012

Review originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase on 17 July 2012 as part of the Discover Australian Fantasy month.

Neryn is alone in the harsh land of Alban. Hunted by the Enforcers, she turns north towards Shadowfell – a place rumoured to harbour those who would fight for the freedom of the land from the evil King. Along the way she must decide who to trust and which path to take to discover her own potential.

Shadowfell is a beautifully written tale of a young girl’s personal journey, away from her grief and pain and towards forgiveness and strength. It’s this very journey, though, that made this book a little tedious for me. The road to Shadowfell is long and hard and Neryn spends a lot of time stumbling along, hurt or sick. The gentle pace makes it feel almost as if you are making the journey along with Neryn. Perhaps I’ve been reading too many action-packed fantasies lately!

Another aspect I found a little frustrating was that Neryn constantly has to guard her tongue to keep the people and Good Folk (fae) helping her safer, in case the Enforcers come through behind her and try to get information out of people. I didn’t really understand how that would help keep them safe – surely the Enforcers would still torture people anyway for associating with a fugitive?

For this reason, the whole story becomes a huge communication breakdown, with no-one actually telling each other anything. This caused problem after problem, with Flint leaving without explanations and Neryn running off without waiting for one. They spend a lot of time in silence!

There are some beautiful parts of this story – especially when Neryn is dealing directly with her losses or with the Good Folk. Her slow-burning romance with Flint is lovely, but it broke my heart to never know whether he was to be trusted or not. Flint himself is a very deep character – much more interesting than Neryn herself, I felt. They didn’t really spend much time with many Good Folk for me to get a good feel of them – I hope they’ll feature more further on in the series.

I’ll be more than happy to pick up Juliet’s other works – her writing style is beautiful and the descriptions of landscapes made me feel like I was standing in the Scottish Highlands. If you love beautifully told fantasies then you’ll enjoy Shadowfell, but at the moment I personally prefer stories with a little faster pace.

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Reading Progress

07/13/2012 page 77
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Stephanie Just starting to read this :)
I've read nearly all her other books and particularly enjoyed the seven waters series. Although i last read it years ago and can't remember the pacing..

Angelya (Tea in the Treetops) Yay! I hope you enjoy it :)

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