Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Katie was pretty excited when she finished this one, find out why:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I actually tuned out a lot of the pre-publication hype surrounding this title. I had already taken home Daughter of Smoke and Bone (see our review)and The Book of Blood and Shadow (see our review) and the prospect of a book titled Shadow and Bone just like some weird mash up that could be skipped.

Wrong.

Do not skip this book. In fact, hurry and place a hold on it right now. It’s suspenseful, fantastical, magical, and even a bit romantic(al). Imagine an old Russia (called Ravka) that has been divided by the Fold, a dark dangerous cloud that hangs over the land, dividing east from west and home to vicious and vengeful creatures. The Fold can be crossed only with great caution and even then most often with great loss of life. Map making Alina Sarkov dreads her crossing, but it is her duty as a party of the First Army. It is only when her best friend is attacked within the Fold by a volcra that a dormant power within her rises up--a power that might put an end to this curse and the war that rages in and around Ravka.
Immediately after her power emerges, Alina becomes a marked woman. Fearing assassins, the Darkling, leader of the Grisha (magical elite), whisks her away to the palace where she becomes a student of her power and leaves her old orphan existence behind. But who in this new world can she trust? And can she tame her power in time to serve her nation? To answer these questions, Alina will have to look deeply into her past and into her heart.

I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say this: This is a remarkable debut novel, a marvel of world building, and a compelling start to what is sure to be a unique and engaging fantasy trilogy. Don’t write it off as a mash up. It’s a standout of the genre.

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