"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."
I really enjoyed this book! The world building in it is great, the voice is wonderful, and Neryn was pretty cool. Not to mention the amount of strain that is trying to decide whether or not to trust Flint. And then yelling at Neryn when she does something that conflicts with your opinion of him, so now you have to go back to the drawing board and start trying to figure him out all over again. I loved the fey, and their personalities. It was faintly fairy-taleish, but it wasn't overpoweringly so. The Irish/Scottish accents of some of the fey was a really nice touch too, although I had trouble reading what Hollow was saying sometimes. The characters seemed to just jump off the page, there was so much life in them. Even the characters that we only meet briefly are extremely well-developed, with enough background that, if the author wanted to, they could have their own book written about them. I also liked that there wasn't the overwhelming amount of overly sugarcoated teenage romance that is usually in YA books. I hope that the library has the next one, too!