Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Its name is spoken only in whispers, if the people of Alban dare to speak it at all: Shadowfell. The training ground for rebels seeking to free their land from the grip of the tyrannical king is so shrouded in mystery that most believe it to be a myth.
But for Neryn, Shadowfell's existence is her only hope. She is penniless, orphaned, and utterly alone - and concealing a treacherous magical power that will warrant her immediate enslavement should it be revealed. She finds hope of allies in the Good Folk, fey beings whom she must pretend she cannot see and who taunt her with chatter of prophecies and tests, and in a striking, mysterious stranger, who saves her from certain death but whose motives remain unclear. She knows she should not trust anyone with her plans, but something within her longs to confide in him.
Will Neryn be forced to make the dangerous journey alone? She must reach Shadowfell, not only to avenge her family and salvage her own life, but to rescue Alban itself.

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Publication Date: 
1st July, 2012

Publisher: Pan McMillian
ISBN:  0375969543
Age Group: Young Adult / Adult
Genre: Epic Fantasy / Adventure / Historical Fantasy
Source: ARC
Lootability: *****
Award-winning author, Juliet Marillier, best known for her Sevenwaters books will be releasing a new young adult novel in July.
Shadowfell is the first book in a trilogy following the adventures of fifteen year old Neryn, gifted with the ability to speak with the Good Folk in a time where such gifts are feared and destroyed.
She must travel to the mysterious Shadowfell where it is said a group of rebels are waiting for the right moment to over throw the cruel King of Alban.

What I Liked: Neryn had a level of mature resourcefulness that I have come to expect from Marillier, whether she is writing for teenagers or for adults. On her own after a life of hardship, Neryn knows better than to trust anyone but always, ultimately, listens to her heart. She is a dynamic character with more depth than most YA protagonists but she still maintains the level of innocence and confusion that something inside us recognises from our time as an adolescent, making her ideal for a YA fantasy heroine.
Other than Neryn, I also enjoyed any interactions with the Good Folk. Note: Do not going in expecting fairies - the Good Folk and fairies are different!
They possess similar qualities to Neryn, innocent wisdom, fear of the unknown and a steadfast, almost stubborn loyalty. I prefer Marillier's flexible interpretation of the Good folk - as both ageless, immortal beings and waif like children. I think it suits their mysterious nature.
The last think I'd like to applaud is Marillier's skill for telling tales within her tale.
Although it's not as obvious in Shadowfell as it has been in her adult novels, Marillier has a clear knowledge of what makes a story. Shadowfell presented us with a series of nursery rhymes and songs or through her interactions with fey characters like the Brollochan (a personal favourite of mine) and the Shadowman.
What I Didn't Like: One thing I have encountered in Marillier's work is that some parts of the story can drag. In Shadowfell it was Neryn's on again, off again, trust of Flint. I can understand the necessity of earning trust slowly and hate characters that fall together too quickly but it got a little frustrating that Neryn would change her mind just as she had made it up.
One think I'd really like to see more of in the sequel is Flint. He really started to shine at the end of the book and I wanted more of him.
Fortunately Raven Flight is undergoing editing and I'm hoping to get my paws on it sometime next year. In the mean time Marillier's adult series Sevenwaters has it's next instalment due out later this year and I look forward to reading Flame of Sevenwaters.
Raiding Bookshelves Rating
Cover Conversations: I have the U.S cover for Shadowfell but I think I prefer it! There is something so deep and considering in how she is looking into the distance. The colours all bleed into each other a little and really make it a beautiful picture.

an international Giveaway thanks to Juliet Marillier and Raiding Bookshelves



  1. Juliet Marillier is my favorite author! I can't wait to read this book!

  2. My favourite YA novel is Daughter Of The Forest by Juliet Marillier. I've read it over and over again and will certainly keep doing that: I love it!

  3. She made me reading my first book in english because I couldn't wait for the german translation! Says everything,huh? ;)

  4. Juliet Marillier is definitely my favorite fantasy writer. I like how she drags me into the story, every time I read one of her novels.
    Greetings, Ward

  5. Shannon Byriel6:27 PM

    Juliet Mariilier is my absolute favourite author! I would die of happiness if I won this book!!!!!

  6. Anonymous8:29 PM

    I really enjoyed Wildwood Dancing, by Juliet Marillier. I have it on my re-reading list, as soon as I finish War and Peace!


  7. Favourite YA novels are Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier and Dreamland by Sarah Dessen. Two fantastic and well-written novels, though Cybele's Secret is definitely the one I'd prefer to re-read (and have multiple times). Reading Juliet Marillier is always a great experience, I can't wait to read Shadowfell!!!!!

  8. My favorite YA novel is written by Juliet Marillier: Daughter of the forest. I can't wait to read Shadowfell!

  9. All of the Sevenwaters and Bridie novels are my favorites.

  10. Nikki Gianangeli-Strnad11:56 PM

    Juliet is my favorite :) I have read all her books and I am super excited about this new series!!

  11. Love Juliet- can't wait for Shadowfell!!!

  12. Can't wait for this book! Favorite YA novels (can't pick one, sorry) are Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

  13. My favorite young adult novel. That is a hard question, as there are so many. I think the one that made the biggest impression on me when I was younger was the True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

    Shadowfell might soon be usurping its place, though. :P

  14. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Juliet is my favorite YA author. :D

  15. Bethany3:39 AM

    Juliet Marillier is definately one of my favourite YA authors but I love Maria V Snyder's and Gillian Philip's (especially Rebel Angels) work too!

  16. My favorite YA author is Julier Marillier, for sure. I've been reading her books for ages now and eversince she replied to a message on facebook I loved her even more. Especially the sevenwaters series and Hearts blood are the ones I like. I'm currently reading the Bridei Chronicles so the Dark Mirror might get my new favorite. I also very much like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and of course the Study trilogy by Maria V Snyder. I know these are a lot of books but it's just so hard to choose, and I'm not even finished. The Banned and the Banished by James Clemens are also a must read, a very original and interesting story. Lastly, a book that definately belongs to the top is Poison by Chris Wooding, it's such a fascinating story! Lovely blog by the way! :)

  17. Anonymous6:05 AM

    I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE all the books Juliet Marillier has published, but I guess my favorite one is “Daughter of the Forest”, because I read it when I was young and it really fascinated me for the beautiful descriptions and the complexness of the story itself. In most of her books, the real world is mixed with fantasy, and we don’t always find happy endings, but that’s life. It’s not just fairy tales, although I like when all turns out well :DDDD

  18. Juliet is my favorite writer and I love anything of hers, especially Well of Shades, Son of the Shadows, Cybele's Secret and Wolfskin! Apart from that I love Eragon. Oh and the Artemis Fowl series, which is very fun and easy to read.
    I really can't wait for Shadowfell and all other books from Juliet that will come in the future! :D

  19. Juliet is my favorite fantasy and YA author; I particularly love "Heart's Blood" and "Cybele's Secret." Can't wait to read Shadowfell!

  20. My favourite aYA author is Juliet Marillier..."Heart's Blood" was an AMAZING book that I cannot get enough of. Can't wait til Shadowfell :)

  21. I love Juliet Marillier!!!!
    I adore the way she writes, creates characters and tells a story. I think it's awesome how she creates emotions. I feel like I know the characters and live with them instead of just reading a book. It's adorable and wonderful.
    Its hard to say which book is my favourite but I would say Son of the Shadows. I love this book. I have read it a thousand times. Liadan and Bran are such a strong and beautiful lovecouple. The story is great too. My daughter is called Liadan and so I would say, yes thats my favourite, even if I love the whole Sevenwater-Family :)))

  22. Anonymous1:42 AM

    Juliet Marillier is my all time favorite author! I found Cybele's Secret one day and it has been my favorite book ever since. I'm really looking forward to Shadowfell, I can just tell it's going to be amazing like all of her other books have been. I found that once I read Juliet Marillier books, I couldn't go back. I tried Delirium by Lauren Oliver which was a great book, but too predictable compared with Sevenwaters and Wildwood which kept me in suspense the entire time. I can't wait for Shadowfell!

  23. Anonymous2:26 PM

    That's a tough decison. I love so many books! My favorite Juliet Marillier book is Daughter of the Forest but I more categorize that as Fantasy than YA. I guess I'd have to go with, for my favorite YA book, Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday currently, though the Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers is really good too. I have a lot of other favorites that could go under YA but I don't see them as that.

  24. Natalie1:08 AM

    I love the whole Sevenwaters Saga by Juliet Marillier, but my favorites would probably be Son of the Shadows and Daughter of the Forest.
    I also quite like the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

  25. My favorite YA novel is probably Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing. I also enjoy Pullman's His Dark Materials series, Robin Mckinley's The Blue Sword, and Garth Nix's Sabriel. Juliet is by far my favorite author though.

  26. Favorite YA novel? Hmm...I enjoy so many, but Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith sticks out in my mind.

  27. One of my favorite YA novels is Sabriel by Garth Nix. I discovered Juliet Marillier's work 8 days ago while hunting for another Garth Nix story in the "Legends of Australian Fantasy" collection and have subsequently devoured all of her books at my public library. I can't wait for Shadowfell and the next Sevenwaters book to come out -- thanks so much for the giveaway!


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