Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: The Caller by Juliet Marillier

Title: The Caller (Shadowfell #3)
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: 9 September, 2014
Source: PanMacmillan Australia. Thank you!

Neryn has made a long journey to perfect her skills as a Caller. She has learned the wisdom of water and of earth; she has journeyed to the remote isles of the west and the forbidding mountains of the north. Now, Neryn must travel in Alban's freezing winter to seek the mysterious White Lady, Guardian of Air. For only when Neryn has been trained by all four Guardians will she be ready to play her role in toppling the tyrannical King Keldec.

But the White Lady is not what she seems. Trapped with Whisper, her fey protector, Neryn is unable to send word to her beloved Flint, who is in danger of being exposed as a double agent. When a new threat looms and the rebellion is in jeopardy, Neryn must enter Keldec's court, where one false move could see her culled. She must stand up against forces more powerful than any she has confronted before, and face losses that could break her heart.

The Caller is the thrilling conclusion to the Shadowfell trilogy.
Review by Nara

Juliet Marillier really does have a lovely writing style. While it's quite descriptive, there's also a very nice flow which makes it easy to read- unlike some other high fantasies which tend to get a bit bogged down by the description. The narrative voice is also quite a strong a distinctive one, which really aids in immersing yourself in the world.

While I can appreciate how the language of the Good Folk added to the world building, honestly, most of the time, it was annoying to interpret. To be frank with you, often if there was a large chunk of dialogue from one of the Good Folk, I just skipped/skimmed it. It took way too much effort for me to translate those weird accents (probably because I'm lazy. I'm sure the majority of people would be fine with it lol). The dichotomy between the colloquial dialogue and the flowery prose of the narrative was a tad jarring as well.
   'We canna gae back,' said Whisper quietly. 'But you could ca' the wee fellow, Neryn. Risky, I ken, wi' sae many fold close by; but Piper's sma'. What's ane wee grasshopper or butterfly crossing a field?'
   Ane bite for a witawoo. I heard the wry voice as if the Lady were right beside me.
I ain't spendin' precious seconds deciphering that code!

Continuing from Shadowfell and Raven Flight, there is still the very meandering "Lord of the Rings" style pace, where not much happens except the characters walking around and completing various minor missions. I didn't mind it too much in this book initially because I thought it was part of the pacing- you know, the whole building up the the epic conclusion.

I must say though, there was definitely a slightly anticlimactic ending after three books' worth of tension build-up. The book did have a great deal more action than previous installations, but the final scenes were nowhere near the epic battle I was expecting. Still, I do think The Caller was a solid conclusion to this well developed series, and I think fans of Lord of the Rings style high fantasies will enjoy this series too.

Liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3.5/5