Author: Juliet Marillier
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: Jul 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
The people of Alban are afraid.
The tyrannical king and his masked Enforcers are scouring the land, burning villages and enslaving the canny.
Fifteen-year-old Neryn has fled her home in the wake of its destruction, and is alone and penniless, hiding her extraordinary magical power. She can rely on no one – not even the elusive Good Folk who challenge and bewilder her with their words.
When an enigmatic stranger saves her life, Neryn and the young man called Flint begin an uneasy journey together. She wants to trust Flint but how can she tell who is true in this land of evil?
For Neryn has heard whisper of a mysterious place far away: a place where rebels are amassing to free the land and end the King's reign.
A place called Shadowfell.
A story of courage, hope, danger and love from one of the most compelling fantasy storytellers. (Goodreads Synopsis)
This book has all the clichés you'd expect from a YA fantasy, all the standard characters and plot devices, and yet it has enough originality to stand out from the crowd and some beautifully crafted prose that is a delight to read.
Marillier's greatest strength is her ability to play to convention yet still craft interesting characters, believable dialogue and moments of tension.
I am keen to see what will happen in book two and recommend this series for any fans of this genre who haven't come across it yet.