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I have to say Juliet Marillier is one of the Greats of the fantasy realm!
Her intelligent and whimsical writing never fails to fascinate and sweeps me away to another time and place all her own making. Her poignant stories are always chock full of strong characters, deep mystery and old magic...
This is traditional fantasy at its best as we follow Neryn on her quest to become a Caller strong enough to stand against the tyranny of their unjust King Keldec. Her journey is filled with tests and hardship, she makes many friends along the way but also encounters fearsome enemies.
This story is so beautiful in ways I had completely forgotten, for example the love story is slowly realised and the feelings portrayed between the characters are deep and true - the lust is there but expressed through a caress or dear word and so honest that a warm glow emanates from the pages. The natural growth of trust through friendship and understanding that turns into a love so strong and undeniable - reminding me of all Juliet's stories I have read and loved over the years showing me what love truly is and how to recognise it, in fact, I am positive that Juliet's writing has made me a better, stronger version of myself and lead me to the love I have today with my amazing fiancee.
While this is technically a YA novel I have found it just as deep and riveting as any of her adult offerings and I would have no hesitation to recommend to all audiences from the age of 14 and above. Book 2 Raven Flight has just hit the shelves this week, so if like me you are new to this series you get two books to dive right into before our torturous wait for book 3 The Caller.