Darkstars Fantasy News

26. Dezember 2010

Preview 2011: Juliet Marillier on Shadowfell

Category: News – Darkstar – 09:04

Seer of SevenwatersTo offer something special to my blog-readers on Christmas I asked several authors whose novels I highly enjoy to tell us a little bit about the projects they will be writing on in 2011.

I am extremely happy that Juliet Marillier was so kind to participate. I love her works since her very first novel Daughter of the Forest. In the US a sequel to her Sevenwaters series came out recently. Today however she gives some great information on her next big project, the Shadowfell series:

Shadowfell is set in the kingdom of Alban (a magical version of Scotland.) Alban is ruled by the tyrannical King Keldec. Folk magic is banned and the Good Folk have been driven into hiding; fear and distrust are rampant among the people. A young woman, Neryn, suffers an unthinkable betrayal. Shadowed by a man who may be comrade or bitter enemy, and aided by an unlikely group of Otherworld characters, Neryn sets out to find the mysterious Shadowfell, home of a fledgeling rebel movement.

In Neryn’s world, human men and women sometimes inherit a ‘canny gift’ from an Otherworld ancestor. Canny gifts are particular skills that go beyond the normal abilities of humankind, such as unusually sharp sight or the ability to go unseen. Neryn has a gift of unusual potency and this makes her a target for the king, who fears magic but also exploits it for his own ends. Neryn needs to learn wise use of her gift while staying out of the king’s clutches; but there is nobody in Alban with the knowledge to teach her.

The Good Folk, the traditional fey residents of the Scottish Highlands, play a large part in the Shadowfell series. They come in all shapes and sizes. Their nature is not to interfere in human dilemmas, but to wait out the time of difficulty in their hidden corners. In order to defeat the tyrant and restore Alban to peace, the rebels must do the seemingly impossible: convince the Good Folk to help their cause.

I love the dark, gritty nature of the story, which is all about rebellion and tyranny. The protagonists are tested physically and emotionally to their limits. The setting in the Scottish Highlands, especially in the first book where we are heading into winter, is very challenging as my characters cross country on foot.

Creating the Good Folk has also been a wonderful experience. I’ve had to stop them all talking in broad Scots dialect, which is too difficult for the reader! This series is much more fantastic and less historical than my previous books and I’m surprised to find I really love that aspect of it. As for why I went for this project, my US publisher asked for something new for young adults from me. I am not at all sure that this series is the kind of thing she meant, but I’m having a lot of fun writing it. I’m writing in a way that will make the books genuinely cross-over in appeal – a good read for the upper end of the young adult age group, and also a good read for adults.

You can find an interview with Juliet Marillier from 2008 here.

Juliets Website: here!


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