Shadowfell by Juliet Mariller.
Book Summary: 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.
Okay, once again: I wanted to read a book because of its fantabulous cover. I'm kind of stuck between the choices of 4 stars or 5 stars. Um. I'll just go with 5 just because.
The main character, Neryn, is kind of annoying and rude and everything. Even if I can understand her difficulties, I think that she would have been better off as a guy character because her attitude and personality is just so boyish I thought she was a boy in the first few pages. Until the father was like, "Daughter." And I was like, OH.
Shadowfell has a lot of adventure in it. It reminds me a lot of Kristin Cashore's Graceling (but of course Graceling is so much more amazing).
I haven't read a first-person narrated book in a while, so I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
The author actually created a really good plot. Also the dramatic chapter-endings. Keeps the reader reading.
So, even if the character of Flint, (main male role) doesn't narrate the story, he's really important and I would like to talk about him. He's, first of all, not exactly my idea of attractive. I mean, his eyes have depth and everything but judging by how the main character looks on the cover, they don't make a cute couple. And he's 5 years older than her. It's so awkward though. Despite that, he's actually a really sweet and gentle guy (still keeping his masculinity, if you're wondering) that cares for Neryn the whole time. But what annoyed me was that he kept leaving her and telling her to stay put when he was the one that didn't take responsibility for her and take her along. Even so, Neryn still got known as "Flint's girl." Screams awkwardness.
However, even if I don't LOVE either character very much, I still like them. In the end, I figured out that they actually make a really cute couple. The romance progressed out slowly, and they finally showed some affection at the end. And then the freaking story ends.
So, the title. Shadowfell. In the story, it's quite a big part. It's actually a place that Neryn has to get to for specific reasons.
Anyways, this is marked as Fantasy for a reason. Neryn can see spirits and she has magical powers. I think it enhanced the story just a little bit more. (:
The ending is so dramatic. Not quite cliffhanger--- but really, really, really really really dramatic. Now I want the rest of the books in this trilogy. Oh gosh, please don't be a love triangle. I just know that there's going to be more romance in the rest of the books.
Anyways, that's all I really have to say. I actually liked this book well enough to finish it in one sitting.
Note: Since this is an ARC galley version of this book, the quotes might not match the published version's.
"They went through my bag and took away the knife Flint had given me."
"He folded his arms, and his steady gaze met mine, shocking in its familiarity."
"You lied to me."
Oh C-c'mon, you got it wrong. It's backwards.
"You said you could look after yourself."
"..Flint took to coming with me and holding me up, his gaze averted..."
Oh. He's holding her up so she can pee. This is really awkward.
"Not even out to the privy- you can use a bucket."
He's going to force her to pee in a bucket?!
"I will come back," Flint said. "I give you my word."
Tsk tsk. Don't be so sure.
"Do not trust him!"
"And I dreamed of you, Neryn."
"Don't touch me!"
Oh my goodness.
"Neryn, listen to me!"
"Get away! Leave me alone!"
"He took one last look up toward the wood, and then he was gone."
Oh gosh. Is he really that easy to chase away?
"I don't need you. I don't want you. I'll get to Shadowfell on my own."
"A hand came over my mouth, strong, leather-gloved, stifling any sound."
"I don't care if the lock of hair belongs to you or..."
"If you wish, I will return it to you now."
Hey, I took off some of your hair. Want it back?
"I am not worthy to be your friend."
SHUT UP FLINT. TAKE HER HAND AND RUN OFF INTO THE SUNSET.
That's it! What did you think of this review? (: