Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier. The First Book in the Shadowfell Series.
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $16.99
Review: "Keldec was crowned king in the year of my birth. By the time I was old enough to begin understanding what canny meant, I learned that fear turned friend into foe in an instant, and I learned to keep secrets," Neryn said. Shadowfell is a land far, far away, but this story is definitely not a fairytale. Juliet Marillier's book is not your typical lighthearted read.
The people are under the rule of a monstrous king called Keldec . He has spies and minions set all around his kingdom, and one wrong word could send you to your doom. There is some hope left though. There are some people in hiding with special abilities that could turn the tables on Keldec and his rule. One of those people is Neryn. She is off on a dangerous quest to make things right and take back her kingdom.
If you like books that are depressing and terrifying, then Shadowfell is the book for you. The book had details that were somewhat disconcerting. It was death scene after death scene, to the point that I didn't want to finish the book. Without giving away all of the story, I can say that there were at least seven characters that died without mentioning the battles that took place. The author may have been trying to give a clear view on the woeful tale of Neryn's kingdom, but I found it too depressing for me to handle. Many things the main character did ended in a tragedy; many friends she made turned against her, and even her dreams were crushed. The story was definitely meant for an older audience, such as at least 8th grade, because a lot of the concepts were hard to understand. I would strongly advise kids under age 10 not to read this book. A large number of the characters had accents, up to the point I just could not understand them and had to skip over that section of dialogue and hope that I didn't miss anything important. There was a character that I found out later was telling Neryn something important that would benefit her future, but I couldn't understand him. The accents definitely made the story seem real, but I would prefer to understand what I was reading. This novel definitely had adventure, but it was also very sad and heart wrenching. If you consider reading this book, don't be surprised by the details and situations you come across. The story was definitely powerful, but not exactly one of those books I would want to read over and over again. Overall, the book was very well written, but not suited for people looking for a lighthearted read.
Review written by Krista (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Shadowfell for this review.
Have you read Shadowfell? How would you rate it?