Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

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.
If this review contains spoilers you can see them by highlighting the space between the **

                                                            Rating: 3.5 out of 5
                                                              Series book: Yes
                                       Will I read the next book: Just for Flint...
Shadowfell starts off pretty hardcore.. Neyrn's dad (a sad, hopeless, thing) gambles her off to a stranger in a cloak for three silver coins. He loses. And then the stranger and Neyrn get off the boat and it's soon burned down, her father still on it. That was pretty sad but I was all like "Dickhead! Gambling your daughter like that!" Neyrn soon leaves the stranger to find Shadowfell, the rebel camp. 
Okay, so this plot...It's your typical fantasy, no phones, old language, and meany pants tyrant king. Somewhere along the way a romance with a secretive guy pops up. Girl is super special and can defeat the king. The book in general was super slow, and because Neyrn didn't trust said secretive guy for obvious reasons for half of the book, there wasn't a ton of dialog unless it was with the "Good Folk". *But then she falls in love with him, typical!* I found myself stopping and starting again, sometimes falling asleep. 
But it's main redeeming quality was the world and the characters. It was so descriptive, I felt like I was there. The Good Folk  sounded so hardcore, like man if you tremble while standing on this bridge in the wind over freezing cold water that you'll no doubt drown in, I will push you off. And I love when the talked in what I think is kind of Irish and Scottish, and totally fun to read. 
Favorite quotes:
“Become my friend and you embrace a nightmare.”
“She went on because there was no going back.”
“There is no place here for softness. Let folk in too close and you offer them up as weapons for your own destruction.”
“It seemed to me it would be better to die standing up to a tyrant than to survive as a tool of his will.”
Even the quotes are hardcore.....
SUMMARY OF REVIEW(In case you don't actually feel like reading the review):
Plot: 3 out of 5 Super slow, sorta predictable
characters: 5 out of 5 Flint was almost swoon worthy
Romance 3 out of 5 Where's the fire?

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of
Totally G moderate violence and little to no kissing