Shadowfell, by Juliet Marillier

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What I’d pay for this book: $8

To sum it up:  A young woman is on the run with her father due to her illicit ability to talk to fairies, when her father sells her in a bet.

This book suffered from a terribly slow start, but once it picked up it was quite good.

If you can manage to stick with this book through the first few chapters, the story really gets going. There’s a lot of world and character building that goes on throughout the book, but the first few chapters really thrust you into the story without much explanation, so it took me quite a while to warm up to the main character. This is written in the style of a traditional fantasy tale, with a slow start and a plot that tests the main heroine’s abilities and character to prove she is the hero for whom everyone’s been waiting. I also appreciate the theme of responsibility and sacrifice for the greater good, since the heroine decides to put her own romantic pursuits on hold in order to continue her development and fulfill her role as peacemaker between the humans and the fairies. This is the first in a series and since it really started to get good at the end of the book, I definitely have higher hopes for the next installment.

BottomlineI think this series will be good, but this first book suffered from an awkward, slow beginning. If you’re willing to give it a shot, stick with it through the first few chapters and it will pick up. It’s got potential to be a great, traditional-style fantasy series with a strong female character and good world-building. Got it as an ebook from the LA Library with no wait.

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