Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

 Katie's book today takes the reader on a not-so-average road trip:

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

It’s no secret that we love a good road trip book here at the library, and so it should come as no surprise that that love translates into the fantasy novel version of the road trip, too--the quest.

Neryn is on a quest to find Shadowfell. She can’t be sure it exists and she can’t tell anyone where she is going, but after losing her grandmother, brother, and father, she doesn’t really have any choice left. Shadowfell is rumored to be a safe place for those with “uncanny” (read: magical) abilities. And in the land of Alban where such abilities can get one killed, it’s important she make the journey alone.

But what fun is a road trip without companions? Along the way, Neryn meets members of the Good Folk who seek to help her on her way. They are convinced she has an important role to play in the future of Alban, but it is up to her to figure it all out. But even they can’t save her from hunger and sickness. That duty falls to Flint--Flint who should be her enemy, Flint who she can’t fully trust, Flint who seems to know her better than anyone. 

Flint is an Enforcer for the king, but his loyalties are divided and he struggles daily with the decisions he must make. It is only when Neryn has nearly reached the end of her journey and come in contact with a variety of folk--both human and otherwise--that she realizes the depth of this struggle that he faces and that her future may be just as complicated.

Neryn’s story is far from over. Having discovered her destiny, she must still determine how best to fulfill it if she is to usher in a new era in Alban. At times this book reminded me of Nicklelodean’s Avatar: The Last Airbender--equal in scope, moral conflict, and the search for balance. This is the beginning of another amazing fantasy series and perfect for any reader who believes it is about the journey rather than the destination.

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