And then there is Flint, a stranger who won her in a wager, saved her from the king's Enforcers, and said that all he wanted was to give Neryn a choice. But in these dark times of Alban, trust is a foreign concept, and Neryn would much rather make her way on her own than be with this mysterious man.
The journey to Shadowfell is fraught with dangers and perils and misfortunes, but also with unlikely friends. It's a journey of growth, self-discovery and some healing.
So, did I like it? Yes, of course I did. I didn't fall in love with it from the start, but once I closed that last page, I wished to still be in Alban with Neryn and Co., to not have to wait for book 2 to be written/published. I came to love the characters, main and secondary. Actually, one of strengths of this book is the richness of the supporting characters. I absolutely adored the ensemble of Good Folk characters.
Yet, this book feels like it is just the first leg in a very long journey. I am not sure if I should consider this a good thing or bad thing. I think it ties with the fact that it is written for young adults, and for a Juliet Mariller book, it felt shorter than it should have been. Maybe it was just me wishing it had been longer, because as a reader, I always want more.
And for all the downsides of books targeted to young adults, this one it's all that such a book should be. In some ways, I would have loved to have this book as my first contact with fantasy (and Juliet Marillier for that matter). There is magic, but also the price of it, the consequences of actions, and how everything will help you grow. In fact, I think Neryn's growth throughout the book is one of the things that makes you like it so much (besides the Good Folk. And Flint.).
And so, after all this, how much did I like this book? A lot, though it was a gradual love, but like I said before, once I was done with it, I wished I was still there. I will anxiously wait for Raven Flight, hoping there will be more of Flint, of tyrant Keldec, of Good Folk, of Regan and his warriors and, of course, of Neryn.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5