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Shadowfell

(Shadowfell #1)

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  12,267 ratings  ·  1,239 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
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published June 26th 2012)
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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)
Siona Robertson Though this is a fantasy novel, "Alban" or, as it is sometimes called, "Alba" is the ancient name for Scotland (just as Eire or Erin are the Ancient…moreThough this is a fantasy novel, "Alban" or, as it is sometimes called, "Alba" is the ancient name for Scotland (just as Eire or Erin are the Ancient names for Ireland), so I would hazard a guess that this is set in an "alternate" Scotland that resembles something akin to pre-medieval to early medieval times, well before the Nordic, Roman and Norman invasions of the Brittish Isles.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,267 ratings  ·  1,239 reviews


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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
...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘


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
...more
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
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 it. 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 (view spoiler) (<------not really a spoiler), but I love Juliet Marillier. One of my favorite books of all time is a book by Marillier ( Wildwoo
...more
Melanie
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
...more
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
...more
Amaryllis
FINDING A CURE FOR MY OBSESSION
AKA MY WRITING THERAPY FOR SHADOWFELL
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
...more
Keertana
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
...more
Angela
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
...more
Lynsey   (A Bookish Life)
I love, love, loved it!

This was sooooooo absorbing! And, funnily enough, compared to other similar books of this genre, the book wasn't even particularly action-packed or fast-moving, so it wasn't that that had me flipping the pages. It was more that I was simply enchanted by it. By the world, the story and the writing. This is my first book by Marillier, but will definitely not be my last! Her writing style is immediately engaging, no doubt in part due to being in first person, which is quite u
...more
Melanie
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 aspec
...more
Katy
Mar 31, 2012 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
...more
Michelle
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, 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
...more
Krystle
May 27, 2011 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
...more
Steph Su
Dec 21, 2011 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
...more
Jo
Apr 17, 2012 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
...more
Heidi
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
...more
Lizzy
Sep 16, 2012 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
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: samrecs, fantasy
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
...more
Ashley Daviau
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely flew through this unexpected gem of a book. From start to finish I was completely enthralled with this story and just couldn't put it down! This book was filled to the brim with magic and I loved every bit of it. I thought the characters were really great, especially the fey ones. And I just adored Flint and couldn't get enough of him! Really I just loved everything about this book and can't wait to get started on the rest of the series!
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
...more
Katie Stewart
May 16, 2014 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
Elaina
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
2.5 stars

Ehhh...this book first of all took forever to get going in my opinion..it was so slow-paced to me and I just did not enjoy it as much as I thought that I would :/ Well, I actually did not know what to expect, but to me this book was not anything special. Who knows though, it could just be me and you guys might love it..But there were some other things about this book that bothered me that I do not think I will get into right now...I might continue on with the series just to see if I lik
...more
Eunice
***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.
Susana
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2012, juliet-marillier
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
...more
Jordon
Jan 10, 2013 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
...more
Giselle
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
...more
Tania
Jun 07, 2013 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
Cat
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lynne Stringer
I enjoyed Shadowfell. I liked the characters and the way the story progressed (most of it, anyway) and although there was a lot of detail, it seemed necessary, until the climax anyway. At that point I felt we could have done without a lot of the detail, especially since much of it was covering old ground. It made the pace slow quite a bit. As the story got into its later stages, there was also a bit of repetition in the action. However, it was still an engaging story and I liked experiencing Ner ...more
TheBookSmugglers
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Under the oppressive reign of King Keldec, Alban has become a cold, cruel land. Once, Albans embraced the fey "Good folk" with whom they share their land and history, revering the magical gifts born to some humans. But since Keldec's ascension to power, the fair folk have been hunted, and any human possessing magical abilities killed or worse: mind-scraped and turned to the King's cause by way of magic.

Fifteen-year-old Neryn possesses a strange, unique g
...more
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8,643 followers
Juliet Marillier was born 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 Bachelor of Music (Hons). Her lifelong interest in history, folklore and mythology has had a majo ...more

Other books in the series

Shadowfell (3 books)
  • Raven Flight (Shadowfell, #2)
  • The Caller (Shadowfell, #3)
“She went on because there was no going back.” 33 likes
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