Title – Author: Raven Flight – Juliet Marillier
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Series/Standalone: Series – Shadowfell #2
Format – Source: e-ARC – Publisher via NetGalley
Neryn has finally reached the elusive Shadowfell, a camp of rebels dedicated to overthrowing the evil King Keldec. Now she must seek out the Guardians, who can teach her how to use her powers as a Caller to fight the king. Neryn journeys across the country with Tali, the rebels’ second-in-command and one of their most skilled fighters. Tali frowns upon Neryn’s growing love for Flint, seeing the love as a weakness for both of them. Neryn and Flint both have jobs to do if they’re going to survive the coming war.
I loved Shadowfell, so Raven Flight was definitely one of my most anticipated summer reads. Danger is mounting in this oppressed world as the rebels discover that their time frame for acting against the king is much shorter than anticipated.
Neryn shows incredible strength. Her task is nearly impossible: to locate the four Guardians and convince them to help her understand her powers. These ancient and powerful beings haven’t been seen in centuries. Neryn doesn’t let her fear control her, though. She does what she must to fulfill her role in the rebellion, even when it means being away from her love for even longer. She’s still a bit naive (there’s this one moment where she feels guilty and upset for causing the deaths of some men who stated point blank they were going to rape her companion…I, on the other hand, had no sympathy for them), but you can tell she’s growing into her role as a Caller. She’s starting to understand her powers more, something that’s necessary for the rebels to even have a chance at winning.
The Guardians were one of the most interesting aspects of the novel for me. Neryn meets the two Guardians of the West and the North. I like how, though they are both Guardians, they are very different characters.
My other favorite part of the novel was a total twist where Marillier had me going thinking that one thing had happened when it really hadn’t. I got a bit emotional, there. This moment involved Tali, a character I really grew to love in this book. She’s more fleshed out in this book, with nuances and complications we didn’t get to see in the first one. I really enjoyed seeing her and Neryn’s friendship grow.
Raven Flight is an engrossing follow-up to Shadowfell. With a surprising development at the end of the novel, I can’t wait to see what happens next.