Sunday, September 9, 2012

Shadow and Bone

Alina Starkov's life hasn't been easy.  Her parents died long ago in the border wars that have plagued Ravka for over a century.  Her only family is her best friend, Mal, a fellow orphan. Now that they are older, her friendship with him has blossomed into love, but Mal only sees her as a friend.

The two friends are headed to the Shadow Fold with the First Army.  Mal as a tracker and Alina as a cartographer.  When they enter this area of mysterious and unnatural darkness on sandskiffs, they are attacked by horrifying creatures.  When Mal's life is endangered, Alina feels a power rising up inside her to overwhelm her body and mind.

When she awakes, she is caught in a whirlwind of activity and questioning from the Darkling, the most powerful magician in the land. Soon she finds herself in the world of the Grishas, magicians who are pampered and talented.  The Grishas and even the King are convinced that Alina has the power to destroy the Fold, but she isn't so sure.  And she certainly isn't prepared for this new world of sophisticated Grishas with their jealousies and intrigues.  Will the luxuries of her new life and the confusing attentions of the Darkling be enough to make Alina forget Mal and take her place among Ravka's elite?

Set in an alternate and magical Russia filled with snow, ice, and furs, Shadow and Bone is dark, twisting, and hypnotic.  Visit this world created by first time author, Leigh Bardugo, and you will be hungry for more.

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