As a MASSIVE Juliet Marillier fan I feel privileged to live in Australia as it means I was able to buy her newest book Shadowfell earlier in the month (apologies to US fans who have to wait until September!). And I devoured it. I would have posted about reading it earlier, but I’ve been busy recovering from the book-hangover it induced.
It is marketed as a young adult novel, but I would argue (and my mother would agree!) that Shadowfell is the kind of book everyone can enjoy, no matter their age. I really enjoyed this novel – in particular the main character Neryn and Flint, and the Good Folk who surround them. As usual, Marillier’s novel is brilliantly crafted and entirely gripping.
I make no secret of the fact that I absolutely love and adore Juliet Marillier’s writing. I own at least one copy of all of her books, two copies where series have been re-released with different covers (or where I’ve had one signed!). And I would never consider a Marillier book money ill spent.
And I loved Shadowfell. It was everything I have come to expect from a Marillier novel, and so much more. This novel is the first of Marillier’s to be written in a completely fantastical setting (though the links to ancient Scotland are clear). It was also the first of Marillier’s novels to be written as part of a series that will have the same character for all three books. (While the Sevenwaters books form a ‘series’, each book features a different female protagonist: Sorcha, Liadan, Faine, Clodagh, Sibeal and Maeve, respectively.)
All this provides reason for my seven-day book hangover. Though I don’t think it’s quite over yet.
Normally, I would write a proper review, but unfortunatly my university studies don’t leave much time for that at the moment. So here’s some links to other reviews, from readers who thought Shadowfell was just awesome! And I honestly can’t blame them. Go on, read it! 🙂
From Satima Flavell at Specusphere:
Shadowfell is an easy read at under 350 pages, and can thus be expected to appeal to girls as young as twelve or thirteen. However, it will also provide a good read for their mothers and grandmothers, to say nothing of their brothers, for many Marillier fans are of the male persuasion, despite the fact that there is always a strong streak of romance in a Marillier book. But the romance is only part of the story. There are also journeys, battles and magic, and strong male characters that will appeal to both genders.
From author Kate Forsyth:
Reduced to a few lines, the plot of Shadowfell seems familiar to anyone who has read a great deal of young-adult fantasy, but as with any novel, it is the execution of the story that makes it sing. Marillier is a consummate craftswoman. The book is perfectly composed, and the writing is lyrical and full of grace. Fifteen-year-old Neryn’s confusion and fear will speak to any girl of the same age, and the mystery around the true identity of her rescuer is handled masterfully.