I had written a review I thought was really good, but the stupid computer deleted it.
Dunno if I want to write it again. Lost too long doing this.
Okay, I'll write this all over again. Let's see if my computer is cooperative this time.
I am a huge Juliet Marillier fan, and I develop major crushes on most of her male characters. This book's hero was very crush-worthy, but the storyline itself wasn't the best I've read by Juliet. In my opinion, the story was a bit slow-paced, and that contributed to my rating.
A quick synopsis:
In Alban, Keldec is king. He is a cruel man who has forbidden the practice of magic in his kingdom, unless it occurs inside his circle of trusted subjects.
Under Keldec's rule, everyone lives in fear, and all those who have out of the ordinary gifts are either killed or brainwashed in order to become completely loyal to the king, puppets for his use.
Meet Neryn, a fifteen year-old girl with a precious and dangerous gift: she can see and communicate with the Good Folk.
After her father's death, the only family she had since the death of her grandmother and brother, Neryn decides to travel across Alban, on her way to Shadowfell. It is whispered that in Shadowfell, up in the North, lies a rebel force seeking to bring Keldec down and put an end to his reign of terror and oppression.
Ever since her village was burnt down by the Enforcers, ruthless soldiers who wouldn't hesitate to murder a whole town if his king told them to, Neryn has been running from them. Now, her only chance of refuge is Shadowfell.
But will she have to travel on her own, or can she trust a complete stranger? Flint looks like he wants to help her, but is that really his purpose?
This long journey will put Neryn to the test, and she will discover that her gift may be more powerful than she originally believed, and that Neryn herself may be the key to save Alban.
I don't think it was ever this hard to write a review without spoilers with other books. This one was particularly full of unexpected turns I didn't expect - and I'm usually very good at predicting plot points. However, I will resist to the temptation of including spoilers in my review.
On to the fangirling.
I love FLINT!
Oh, dear God, FLINT. He was always so expressionless, but those eyes, damn, those beautiful grey eyes... I can almost imagine him staring at me with those gorgeous eyes, so tortured and loving. I understand the fact that he didn't talk much. Knowledge is power when torture is common practice to withdraw information from people, and neither Flint nor Neryn wanted to reveal any details about them because of it.
I've got to admit that I wanted to jump into the book and hug Flint all the time. His life is just so hard and he's such a conflicted character... [I'm too close to the edge, so I'll stop right here before I reveal anything I shouldn't.] Flint was the main reason why I kept reading through the more boring parts. I kept waiting for him to show up! That's how great he is.
There were moments in which I just wanted to smack Neryn. Hard. This girl really got on my nerves with all of her insecurities and mistrust towards Flint. She kept running from him, and that was tiring. All he did was protect her, and still she doubted him. I never did, though. I believed in Flint's good intentions from the very beginning.
Still, Neryn grew during her journey. She started out as an immature weak girl, but she ended up becoming a brave and fearless young woman. I am, in a way, proud of her, and want to see her character develop even more, preferably next to Flint ;)
I am expecting "Raven Flight" to be much better than "Shadowfell". I am sure it'll have lots of action and less walking, for a change.
I will definitely be following this series. This new world Juliet has created got me hooked and I think I'll find it hard to let go now.
I advise you to try "Shadowfell", since it is just as great-written as each and every one of Juliet Marillier's books. She is an author who'll never let you down.