Series Review: Shadowfell and Raven Flight

I love Juliet Marillier. Her writing and characters are always so well done. The circumstances also feel realistic to me under whatever situations the characters find themselves in. She also does such a great job in her story-book world-building. That's why I continue picking up her books and giving them a try every time.

I would say that this series is probably not for readers who don't really like fantasy or who read page-turners. Both of these books are rather slowly paced with some climatic points here and there. There also isn't a lot of romance. The chemistry is there when the two main characters are together, but they take a while to figure things out and when they do, they aren't together very much.

Both my reviews are going to be a little on the shorter side for these two. Let's get to it.

Shadowfell
(Shaddowfell #1)
by Juliet Marillier
Fantasy
September 11th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers


Goodreads 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.


What I thought:
I've been going back and forth on what to say. I really liked Neryn, but did think she should be a little older. I also really liked Flint. He is just about my ideal fierce protector, commander, lethal assassin kind of guy. I also liked the strange, but interesting Good Folk. They play a major role and take part in much of the story. Human interactions are actually at a minimum for Neryn during her journey. I also liked the chemistry between Neryn and Flint.

I really liked the plot. They live in a country that has gone to ruin because of a powerful and wicked king. Neryn holds a magical power that is ancient and has the posibility to be a great influence. I liked the different forces at work here and how the characters fit in the story. I do wish that it would have been a little more engaging, but I do understand that this was the first book and that the story was being set up.

Overall, if you like Marillier and Fantasy and don't mind the slower pace, then I would recommend this.

Content: Some mild violence and innuendo, but I would consider this clean.
Source: Library

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Raven Flight
(Shadowfell #2)
by Juliet Marillier
Fantasy
July 9th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers


Goodreads summary:
Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec.

Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn's love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favor, no one know.



What I thought:
I felt in some ways that there was a little more going on in this second book than in the first and it seemed to engage me a little bit more as well. Then at the same time I really wanted a lot more interaction between Neryn and Flint, which we get very little of. Of course, I'm a romantic, so I wanted a little more of that same chemistry from the first book.

I still like where this story is going and the characters. I do have to say that I wish Neryn would have been a little stronger and more willing to depend on the Good Folk when she needed to. She doesn't stand up to Tali much when I think she really should have as well. Tali also got on my nerves with all her talk of focusing only on the fight against the king and being rude to Neryn. I just think when life is short, you should live while you can when you can. I also didn't like how little faith she had in the Good Folk when they had already proven themselves so many times. I think Flint was probably the character I liked the most even though he is pretty tortured and we don't see a lot of him. There is a part towards the end that really shocked me. I just didn't think the author would do what she did. There is also a great set-up for the third book.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Flint around a lot more in the third book. I think the next book is probably going to be much more intense, if it is the final book in the series. There is a battle to wage and tasks to complete.

Fans of Juliet Marrilier should enjoy this book, as well as Fantasy readers who like a slower paced book and not much romance.

Here are a couple of excerpts that I liked:

"Another man might have taken vengeance in blood and fire, or made an end of himself. Regan is stronger thatn that. There's a light shining in him, moving him forward: the light of freedom. That's what draws all of us to follow, to take risks, to keep on fighting when we see out comrades fall beside us. But there's no light without shadow."

"Let there be a time in the future, I prayed, when he laughs with his children, and plays on the shore with them, and spends all his nights in loving arms. Let us have that. To whom I was praying I did not know."

Content: Some mild violence and innuendo, but I would consider this clean.
Source: Library

Purchase from:

 
Have you read this series or are planning too?







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