3.93 (13,641 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 410 pages
  • 140 x 211 x 36mm | 522g
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Maps
  • 0375869549
  • 9780375869549
  • 102,215

Review quote

Kirkus Reviews Best of Teen's Books 2012
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 6, 2012:
"For those that wish that Tolkien had explored the character of Aragorn more deeply, Marillier provides the next best thing."
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About Juliet Marillier

JULIET MARILLIER is the author of several highly popular fantasy novels for adults, including the Sevenwaters Trilogy and the Bridei Chronicles. She is also the author of the teen novels "Wildwood Dancing" and "Cybele's Secret."
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Rating details

13,641 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 31% (4,290)
4 39% (5,275)
3 23% (3,154)
2 5% (680)
1 2% (242)

Our customer reviews

Neryn is the typical I-don't-see-what's-right-in-front-of-me main character of a fantasy story. That part annoys the crap out of me. Despite her clueless attitude that then swings back and forth to oh-I-must-be-important, I liked the story itself. The fairy like creatures were always entertaining and the other not-so-fairy-like ones were interesting too. How it is forbidden to see them, I still don't get. Yes, you shouldn't be seen with them either...but if the people that will tattle on you can see them too...isn't that a problem? The story was missing the tension of a bad character that was present in the story. There was only the threat of what a bad character would do to her if they found out she could use magic. That gave the story the feel that it was rushing for no reason as there was no immediate threat to her. As this is only the first in the series, I feel that it was trying to set up a lot in the way of the world and the characters, yet a week after I've read the book I realize that the characters aren't memorable enough to have made the first book focus on them. I didn't even remember Neryn's name until looking at the synopsis again. I don't believe that I will be picking up the second book in the series as it doesn't feel like I need to know what's going to happen, nor will I remember what already has occurred. Reviewed by Jessica for Book more
by Jessica
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