Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Publisher: Random House (Knopf)
Publication date: September 2012
Pages: 416
Source: ARC from ALA
For: Review
Series: Shadowfell, Book 1

Neryn must keep her gift hidden at all costs. The king has forbidden magic of any kind, except for his own purposes, and Neryn does not want to draw his attention. As she travels the length of her country, in search of a place that may not even exist, she must rely on the Good Folk to help her find her way. And a mysterious stranger, Flint, who seems interested in helping her remain safe.

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

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
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


  1. I dislike Daughter of the Forest so much I don't think I can give any of her other books a go. It's sad, though, because this one has a lovely cover and I love Irish/Scottish books as well.

    1. Aww, sorry Jenny! That is sad.

    2. That really is kind of sad, but maybe you could try a different Marillier book some day! :(

  2. I love Irish/Scottish/Welsh/British stories too ... Wonder what it is.

  3. Thanks for the shout out! I'm glad you liked this just as much as I did. I can't wait for the next book.

    1. Thanks for celebrating the series! I can't wait to read more of anything Marillier :)

  4. I didn't know that Juliet has a new book out! Thanks for the review!!


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