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A canny gift


Title: Shadowfell
By: Juliet Marillier

Juliet Marillier’s fantasy fiction employs what is for me an irresistible blend of adventure, romance, and fairy magic. Her Shadowfell series is set in the invented medieval kingdom of Alban, which physically and culturally strongly resembles Scotland. Alban is ruled by a tyrant whose forces are systematically rounding up or killing people who have supernatural abilities. The heroine, a young woman named Neryn, is on the run because of her canny gift. In the first book, Shadowfell, Neryn is seeking a secretive rebel group who may be able to shelter her from the king’s men. Along the way she encounters fairy people, a mysterious stranger, and a god-like being who lays a difficult task before her. The second installment, Raven Flight, describes Neryn's training in both physical and supernatural arts to aid the rebel cause, and her efforts to fulfil the task that is her destiny. Although the structure of these books is similar to many other works of young adult fantasy, Marillier's beautiful writing, character development, and skillful use of first-person narration set them apart. I particularly enjoy her treatment of the fairies, or "Good Folk". They are charming, organic, unpredictable beings, with their own laws and culture. I am eagerly awaiting the third volume, The Caller, due out in the summer of 2014.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction, teen fiction

Posted on Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:53 a.m.

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