Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier410 pgs.
Target audience: Young adult
Neryn’s only hope is Shadowfell, the famed but never spoken of training ground for rebels intent on freeing the Kingdom of Alban from the twisted and tyrannical rule of King Keldec. Neryn has the ability to see the Good Folk, a power she must keep secret or risk capture by the king’s Enforcers. She travels with her father from town to town and watches helplessly as he gambles away what little money they have left. One night her father goes too far and leaves her an orphan only to be rescued by a handsome hooded stranger, Flint, whose motives remain hidden. When Flint is not around, the voices of the Fey creatures whispering about prophecies and tests become impossible to ignore and Neryn allies herself with them. Her journey to Shadowfell is treacherous and brings her close to death and rescued again and nursed back to health by the mysterious Flint. She longs to confide in him, but he won’t tell her why he’s helping her or where he goes when he disappears. This is the first in a promising new series by a master of the fantasy genre in which strong characters and splendid plotting prevail.