I offhandedly bought this series from Book Outlet one day and it’s just been sitting on my shelves. I’ve felt sort of reading slumpy after A Court of Mist and Fury, so I figured a new series would be just what I needed. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect the start of this series to blow me away like it did.
“It seemed to me it would be better to die standing up to a tyrant than to survive as a tool of his will.”
Shadowfell was everything I could ever want in fae story. It was so magical and whimsical, yet so full of adventure and mystery. Juliet Marillier’s writing flows so eloquently that it was impossible not to become addicted to this world after chapter one.
In this world, some people are blessed with canny gifts. There is a vast array of canny gifts, from being able to see the future, to altering people’s minds, to just heightened senses and skills. These are all outlawed and punishable by death, unless it would work in the favor of the king, Keldec. Not only is anything involving these gifts illegal, even talking to or housing fae (or people who have) is punishable by death.
Autumn is the time of the Cull, and is even more dangerous for wandering travelers. The king’s enforcers will kill mercilessly, seeking out these individuals and their entire villages. They do not hesitate…they exhibit no restraint. They take and they take and… Oh my gosh, I am such Hamilton trash.
This book surrounds Nerya, who has a very special canny gift. Normally the fae(Good Folk/Little Ones) only can be seen or heard by humans if they wish to do so. Well, Nerya can see and hear them all the time. Obviously it’s easy to see how useful that would be for the king, so she has been hunted, and on the run, for a very long time.
Nerya’s life has had a lot of sadness in it, but in her childhood her grandmother taught her some things about the fae. How to offer them food, how iron hurts them and will keep them away, how some things are worth a sacrifice.
After her father parts with her over three silver, this book becomes an adventure story of Nerya trying to get to Shadowfell. Along the way, the adventure becomes full of quests, questions on who Nerya can trust and, most importantly, survival.
There is also a little romance, but my bleeding heart wished there was much more. Flint is a double agent in this medieval world, who is also harboring his own secrets. Honestly, I fell in love with him from the start. Juliet Marillier lets the reader know from start to finish that Flint is not the drop dead gorgeous male protagonist we are used to the heroine swooning over, and honestly that made me love him even more.
“Be safe, my heart”
Also, I know I said above that the fae in this book are called Good Folk and Little Ones, but they aren’t magical humans with pointed ears. No, no, they are little creatures that come in all shapes and sizes. Some even are much more on the animal side when it comes to their looks. I completely loved this version of fae and, like I said before, I easily became addicted to these characters and this world.
This book was as amazing journey, and I felt so blessed to be able to come along for the ride. The world building is captivating, the prose is beyond gorgeous, and the characters evoked much emotion from me. This was my first Juliet Marillier book, but it will not be my last.
Like, I’m literally going to binge read Raven Flight right now.