Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4 1/2 Stars!! As a huge fan of Marillier’s Sevenwaters trilogy, I was thoroughly excited to get my hands on this book. Shadowfell sucked me in, held my breath, and didn't give it back until the very end. Marillier is queen of her genre.
Neryn’s life is always in danger. She has a canny ability that requires her and her drunken/gambling father to traverse the land, hiding from the King’s men who have been sent after her and others with any canny strengths. After a night when all she has left is lost, Neryn decides that the only way to survive any longer requires her to find Shadowfell. A whispered about place that tales say welcome those with canny skills.
The world is very dark and brutal. Throughout Neryn’s quest, it really seemed as if there was no hope for her, no light at the end of the tunnel. Through this feeling of constant doom, the story is propelled. Neryn gets by from sheer wit and a little help from some shorter friends and a tall, curious stranger. One is led to wonder continuously whether they are all really “helping,” or if they have an ulterior motive.
I enjoyed this roller coaster of a fantasy. I wished it was longer. There were people/creatures Neryn met along the way that I would have like to see more of. Perhaps Marillier will revisit them over the course of the next two books in the trilogy. I can’t wait!:-)
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