[Review #76] Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier Cover - Review - High fantasy, adventure Title: Shadowfell
Series: Shadowfell
Book one
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: High Fantasy
Young Adult
[Goodreads | Book Depository]


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 am a huge fan of Juliet Marillier’s writing and I love nearly all of her books. I think because of this I loved Shadowfell, like absolutely loved it. I’m used to her style of writing and as for the plot this reminded me of her Sevenwaters books and I love that series. So I do have to say that this book felt typical of her. The travelling, the good folk, the element of suspense of wanting to know why Neryn is running from the Enforcers, why she can’t ask for anyone’s help etc. It did feel like I had read this book because of all of those elements. This is Marillier’s style.

Shadowfell is a high fantasy book about Neryn, a fifteen year old girl, travelling to find a safe haven after her father is killed. She has a canny gift, a gift that is against the law and if she were turned over to the Enforcers; the kings men, she would be turned into a loyal follower against her will. 

At first I was a little disappointed to see that this book was mainly about Neryn travelling, but then as I read on I grew more excited to see what troubles Neryn faced. I grew to like Neryn although I wished she would just open up to someone and at times she really annoyed me because of it. The good folk were very interesting and diverse. I loved this world and the magic that it held.

Another thing that I love about Juliet Marillier’s books are the romances. They are always deep and never shallow. You would never find insta-love in Marillier’s books. The romance in this book slowly grows, Neryn has to overcome her fear, doubt and hesitancy towards Flint. Watching  them slowly fall for each other is exciting.

For me Shadowfell was one of those books that I absolutely adored. I was simply enchanted by the world and by Marillier’s writing that I needed to read more and more, and when I had finally finished I felt sad. This book left a lasting impression and had me thinking about it way after I had finished reading.

Similar: Graceling, Shadow and Bone, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Grave Mercy

Miss J

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Discussion: DNF?Shadow and Bone | Warm Bodies | Bitterblue | Half-Blood
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9 thoughts on “[Review #76] Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

    • It is! I love most of Juliet Marillier’s books, her writing and worlds are just so enchanting. I also recommend Heart’s Blood and Wildwood Dancing by her :)

    • It is! I definitely recommend picking it up when you feel like reading a bit of high fantasy :) Wildwood Dancing and Heart’s Blood written by Juliet Marillier are also very good!

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