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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love loved it!, 6 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Shadowfell (Hardcover)
This review will probably be rubbish and not do the book justice at all, for the simple fact that I was enjoying it so much that I actually forgot it was an ARC (for review read) and forgot to take ANY notes. Not. One. Single. Note. Normally, I keep a pad and pencil next to my eReader at all times and I'll jot down little scribbles whenever they come to me, but I was so engrossed, I forgot.

Oopsies?

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 unusual for this type of book.

Full confession time: this genre is fast becoming by own personal literary crack, I can't seem to get enough of it. So that will have upped my enjoyment and my rating because I was in my element, my happy place. It's a difficult genre to pin down, really. It's essentially a historical fantasy setting (in this case loosely based on a magical ancient Scotland) with lush world-building and a strong (either of magic, character or body) and often quite young, female main character, and usually has a slow-forming but very sweet romance. I may not know what the genre is called, but I know exactly who I would recommend it to. If you are a fan of any or all of the following, you should love this book.

Maria V. Snyder. (Study Series, Healer of Avry series)
Kristin Cashore. (Seven Kingdoms series)
R. L. LaFevers (His Fair assassin series)
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass series)
Kristen Britain (Greed Rider series)

And probably more I'm forgetting or haven't 'met' myself yet.

I've seen from other reviewers who have had the pleasure of reading Marillier before, that this isn't even necessarily her best or most thrilling book, no doubt due to the aforementioned lack of action or solid conclusion. But it's a great opener for a series I'm now extremely excited about continuing. The main conflict of the story arc--the evil King Keldec and his mission to cull every town of anyone who has Canny magic (unless they work for him, of course) by whatever ruthless means necessary--is all still to come. It was only talked about in the abstract in this book because, as of yet, our brave young heroine--a girl called Neryn of almost 16 summers--isn't ready to face him. I would have had to suspend all disbelief if she were to have had a showdown with him in this book. This is no Mary Sue character and there was no Deus Ex Machina ending. She's not ready yet. She's on a journey, and it's only just begun.

At the start of the book, Neryn has just about lost everything and finds herself on her own and on the run. Help comes in the most unexpected of forms and there are many a challenge and test of wills along the way. Much like in the great fairy tales of the past, our heroine first has to prove her worth, have her mettle tested to breaking point, and that's exactly what this book shows us. Seeing these early stages of our heroine's growth, while she still so young and even a little bit naive, will no doubt make seeing the rest of it that much more fulfilling.

Flint, who was the other main character in wide and varied cast, all of whom were vivid and essential, was a real treat. Not your typical hero by any means, but what an amazingly complex and conflicted character! I can't wait to see more of him.

Even lacking in action or any big, climactic ending as it was, this was not a boring book by any means, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page. There is a lot of time that Neryn is alone and travelling, but she's faced with constant challenges that kept me entertained. And then when Flint came on the scene...well, I was entertained for all kinds of different reasons then :)

Recommended to fans of all of the above authors, and to anyone who loved a good (and often rather gruesome) fairy tale as a child. Suitable for younger readers, but perfect for big kids too.

5 Stars ★★★★★
ARC provided for an honest review.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting!, 16 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Hardcover)
I couldn't put this book down. I have read all of Juliet Marilliers books and they never disappoint. I love a book with a 'journey' and this story of a girl who travels north to learn about her 'gift' and free the country that is her home is enchanting. Beautifully written and full of magical characters with a growing love story, it was exciting, uplifting and at times so sad that it brought tears. This reminded me of the 'Bitterbynd' series by Cecilia Dart-Thorton and The 'Pellinor' series by Alison Croggon although the writing style is very different, some of the terminology and creatures were the same which made them more realistic to me in a way. From the first page I was drawn into the book, into a different land and if I could I'd have stayed and read this in one sitting I would have! I can't wait for the next book to be released! Another success Juliette!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as one would expect, 16 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Hardcover)
Another masterpiece by Juliet Marillier, another book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading from start to finish, and one I look forward to read the next part of.

Juliet is capable of writing a world into existence where the term "power" isn't just destructive. She manages to make it clear that the magic present is very powerful without making it be destructive, and as simple as that may sound it is something I admire.

I chose to give it four stars because the story as a whole is one I could hardly put down, but I still think it was lacking a little when it came to the romance. I can't help but think they have been a little lackluster in both Sevenwater and now Shadowfell as well. Despite everything that happened, I think that the protagonist trusted too easily and that makes the whole romance a little bit shallow.

Apart from this, I am eagerly looking forward to the next installment of Shadowfell. I want to find out how the story progresses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review, 20 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Hardcover)
Fans of Juliet Marillier will love this book. It follows a similar formula to her other books but it works. Once again the main characters have depth and are engaging, the balance between fantasy and real life is well managed. A must read for Marillier fans!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 10 May 2013
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Hardcover)
have bought the series and this is a great book / series. I can't wait for the next one. service from vendor was very very good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally love this book, 17 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Paperback)
Shadowfell the first in the series of the same name. Wow! what can I say from the moment you picked up this book you just don't want to put it down. The character's come alive you feel everything they do. I am not going to say anything about the story that is for you to read, and I totally recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Paperback)
Another great read from Juliet Marillier. Easy to read, I couldn't put it down. Keep them coming Juliet. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another very good looking book nd terrific read for fantasy buffs., 12 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Hardcover)
Juliet Marillier in my opinion has not produced that you could put down reluctantly. Every novel has been a gem, very difficult to find outside of "Amazon" Even the book covers are a work of art. This is another great fantasy adventure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, true Marillier, 4 Sept. 2013
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Mrs. J. Packer (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Hardcover)
If you like the sevenwaters and Bridei chronicles, you'll like this too. What else is there to say? It's a cracking book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Marillier strikes again, 30 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Shadowfell (Paperback)
Although this novel is a 'teen' read, it makes a great adult book too if you want a quick read. There isn't the magic and mystery of the Sevenwaters tales so much, but there are the wee folk. A gripping yarn, well worth a read.
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Shadowfell
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier (Paperback - 7 Sept. 2013)
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