Author: Juliete Marillier
Where I got it: From NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review
Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill--a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk--Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.
During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death--but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban's release from Keldec's rule. Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.
I’ve had Juliet Marillier’s books on my wishlist for forever but this is the first chance I’ve had to pick one up and actually read it, and trust me, I will be visiting this author again!
Neryn has had a tough life. She’s had to hide her ability to see the Good Folk because it could get her killed – or worse – under the regime of Keldec. Not to mention that she’s lost her entire family, and had to travel on her own in difficult circumstances. As she learns more about her gifts in her travels, she must determine who she can trust, and what she’s willing to do for the future of Alban.
Neryn is a fantastically stubborn, strong, and overall practical person, which really appealed to me. I identified with her right away, and really felt the challenge of her doubt and concern, especially as she grew in her gift. This is very much a start of a series or trilogy (not sure which, I just know that there are more books), which was a little frustrating, but only because I’m dying to know more. The book is full of atmosphere, well developed history and worldbuilding, and really interesting lore. Loved it!