How can I best describe Shadow and Bone? Exquisite. Intricate. Compelling.
All those words seem tame when I think of my reading experience thus far with this novel. Leigh Bardugo's debut novel sparkles with life and ferocity. Here's the official description:
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.
And I'm here to tell you it's as good as it sounds. I find myself at once desperate to read more and eager to linger in the world Bardugo has created. The novel's imagery is lush and I'm rather drawn to Alina's dry wit. The story is told from her perspective, and she's a girl you can both relate to and root for. My only complaint? I'm going to have to wait a whole freaking year to read book two.
Shadow and Bone releases June 5, 2012 from Holt/Macmillan. Now go add it to your goodreads shelf!
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy courtesy of Macmillan on Netgalley.
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