Shadow and Bone
By Leigh Bardugo
(Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), Hardcover, 9780805094596, 368pp.)
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
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Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life--a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.
Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, raised in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. She is fond of glamour, ghouls, and costuming, and gets to indulge all of these fancies in her other life as a makeup artist. She can occasionally be heard singing with her band, Captain Automatic.
'Danger and duplicity abound (is the Darkling good or evil?) in this lavish portrayal of a country reminiscent of Imperial Russia."
"Set in a fascinating, unique world rich with detail, Shadow and Bone was unlike anything I've ever read."
Fast-paced and unpredictable, this debut novel will be a hit with readers who love dark fantasy.
Mesmerizing…Bardugo's set up is shiver-inducing, of the delicious variety. This is what fantasy is for.
A rich fantasy landscape, an inspired magical structure, and a gratifying emotional hook keep the pages whirring by until a final twist upends assumptions and lands us smack in the middle of a harrowing climax.
Filled with lush descriptions, intriguing magic, and plenty of twists, this memorable adventure offers action and intrigue mixed with an undercurrent of romance and danger.
The plotting is powerful…
Bardugo weaves a captivating spell with lushly descriptive writing, engaging characters, and an exotic, vivid world. Readers will wait impatiently for the next installment.
"Romantic and magical…Plenty of plot twists and betrayals kept us enjoying this richly-crafted adventure until the very last page. (P.S. A do-not-miss for fans of Graceling.)"
"A well-drawn world, full of deceit and mythology, populated by entirely believable characters. Full of truly surprising twists and turns, beautiful imagery and a protagonist it's impossible not to root for, this is a great choice for teenage fans of George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien."
This is one book series you want to get hooked on.
This gripping debut novel, with a touch of magic and romance, about two orphans thrown together during a century-old war will keep readers burning the midnight oil.