Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Alina is a perfectly ordinary orphan living in the war-torn nation of Ravka. But when she travels into the Shadow Fold, a dark place filled with monsters that divides Ravka and is the nation’s greatest weakness, everything changes. To save her best friend and fellow orphan, Mal, she summons power she didn’t know she had, and when her power is discovered, she is whisked off to the capital to join the magical elite Grisha. There, she is given every privilege and becomes the favorite of the most powerful magician of Ravka, the Darkling. But nothing is as it seems, and with darkness looming over Ravka, Alina must learn to control her power and escape control by others, including the Darkling.
This book was awesome. It’s fantasy, and pleased me down to the depths of my fantasy-loving heart, but not a fantasy so confusing as the scare off non-fantasy readers. It’s also a Russian-based fantasy, which creates a really great magically unique world.
The story arc in this book was brilliant, and everything tied in very neatly by the end, including the title. Seeing things from Alina’s point of view put us right in the story, naïve and learning, just like Alina. All of the characters were complex, with more to them than expected, and I loved Alina and Mal most of all. And of course the Darkling was fascinating.
In an interview with Amazon, author Leigh Bardugo said, “The message at the heart of the story is basically that the things that you fear most in yourself, the things that make you different, are also the things that give you power. And that embracing them can make you beautiful.” THIS IS WHAT YA IS ALL ABOUT!
Pick this book up; you won’t be disappointed.