I don't always have the best luck with fairy books, let's just get that out of the way. I have tried a fair number and have yet to really fall in love with any. I requested Shadowfell from NetGalley (thank you Random House Children's Books) because, though it mentioned fey, it sounded so mysterious. I was intrigued.Shadowfell starts off with a punch. The first few chapters had me very excited. Neryn finds herself in an unimaginable situation when she is betrayed in a horrific way and saved by a stranger who could mean her all manner of harm. I immediately liked Neryn and fell in love with the world Marillier created. Not because it is such a strange and wonderful land but because it is deeply flawed and horrible. I wanted to escape it with Neryn and Flint, her dark and quiet savior. Unfortunately, shortly after these first few amazing chapters, Neryn's journey takes a turn. The story progresses slowly for several chapters while Neryn travels. I found myself missing the interactions of more characters. She meets a few here and there but none carried the same intrigue for me. I can only read about a character traveling through the woods on their own for so long. Hence, the rating of 3.5 instead of 4 stars. About 60% of the way through the story, the pace picks up again. The relationships between Neryn, Flint (who is a new fictitious crush of mine) and the Good Folk begin to deepen. There are a handful of characters that enter the story near the end of the book that, for me, have amazing potential. They grabbed my interest right away and I hope they develop more in the coming books. I want to know all about them and how they ended up where they are. But none more than Flint (swoon). He is such a mystery, I have a feeling his story will be tortured and tragic. As Neryn learned more about herself, her past, and her powers, I began to like her more and more. She's got a quiet strength about her. It's not in your face, in fact she's quite feeble through a good portion of the book. But it's there and I think at the right time she will really shine.