Publisher: Random House (Knopf)
Publication date: September 2012
Source: ARC from ALA
Series: Shadowfell, Book 1
Things I Liked:
Whenever I pick up an Irish/Celtic/Scottish/Welsh inspired story, I remember just how much I LOVE them. Seriously, I'm such a sucker for them that I can't believe I don't know more about the cultures and history (hangs head in shame). This is one reason why every Marillier story I can get my hands on, I devour. She does beautiful historical fantasy stories with Scottish (or Irish) inspiration; you can't help but be swept away. The story grabs your attention from the start, but I truly love the way Scottish words/accents and the Good Folk are completely integrated into the story. You honestly can't help but imagine this is a true historical account, right down to the stanie mon and brollachan and pookie. I became so engrossed in the story that I'd sometimes end up using random phrases from the stories (with my terrible Scottish accent and pronunciation) when talking to people. It made for some fun times, I assure you. The romance in this one was understated and took a back seat to Neryn's journey. Flint was just so...fascinating; he began as such a mysterious person, but near the end I really began to understand and admire him. Great stuff, Ms. Marillier, but I wouldn't expect anything less.
Things I Didn't Like:
After I finished, I looked back at Neryn and some of the things she does and began to think she was pretty saccharine. I think she pales a bit in comparison to her other heroines (ok, I'm thinking of her Sevenwaters series) because some of them are just so amazing. The same goes for the story (it drags a bit in the middle) and other minor characters, but honestly these were little things for me. Hopefully this can serve as a gateway book for her other works.
Reminded me of Marillier's other books like Heart's Blood, Wildwood Dancing, and Daughter of the Forest
Also, hello The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
some, generally not graphic
Overall rating: ****
For more Marillier adoration, check out Book Harbinger's Seven Days of Sevenwaters celebration. Also, if you haven't read anything of hers, get on it!
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage