Author: Juliet Marilllier
Series: 2nd (Shadowfell)
Published: July 9th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via Netgalley (and Edelweiss because I REALLY wanted it lol)
Description: 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 knows.
I Give This ...
I really love fantasy, particularly young adult (maybe because it's less complex?). Shadowfell really filled that niche and there was never any doubt that I would read Raven Flight. Oh my...I think this was better than the first!
It started off a little slow. We spend some time with the rebels in Shadowfell. Neryn may be a caller, but she's definitely no warrior. She must train both physically and mentally for the battle that is to come. She must also learn to accept her gift and understand how to use it properly. When the decision comes, Neryn is directed to the West. She must track down the Hag of the Isles and learn all she can from her. The journey there is exactly how I thought it would be, loaded with danger. Tali has been sent as her guard and companion but Neryn has plenty to offer in the way of protection.
When they finally arrive and meet the Hag is were I felt the story became a little bogged down. Neryn is put on a deserted tiny island with nothing (no food, water, or shelter). She undergoes a gruesome test to prove her worth. It seemed overkill and harsh. And then it felt like a lot of pages are devoted to her training. Granted I think the Hag taught her a lot. Neryn needed to be willing to call on the Fae and understand that if they came, they were more than willing to die for the cause. She seemed a little at odds with this idea. Almost like she didn't want to impose her will on others, even if that's not what she was really doing.
I was beginning to wonder at this point if we were only going to have time to meet the Guardian of the West. I didn't see how it was possible to reach the North before winter and for Neryn to learn what she needed to know. Never doubt the Fae because they have ways that we do not. When Neryn reaches the Lord of the North, she must wake him. Turns out he's in a self induced slumber, and has been for centuries. I loved the descriptions in this part of the story. Neryn learns all about the Lord and how he came to be this way and what it will take to get him to wake up. When he does, her training with him seems short. But, his affinity seems to be with the Earth. Neryn seems to have a natural connection with the Earth and there's not much he could teach her that she couldn't already do. But, he will prove to be a worthy ally!
There are also some extreme intense scenes that I loved. The men on the river who questioned who they were was a particularly awesome scene. As was the one with Flint, the King, and Tali. I was completely enthralled while I read that part. I had to know how that was going to work itself out. And the ending...OH MY GOSH! Totally not was I was expecting. I admire the author for taking that dramatic step. I can not wait to read the next one!!