My friend Emily told me I had to read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (the first novel in the Grisha series) and WOW. She was right!! When the novel started, I didn’t think it was going to be anything special, but the story is such a breath of fresh air.
Alina Starkov was orphaned as a child, so naturally, when she came of age, Alina joined the regiment. Alina’s best friend Mal is with her regiment on the edge of the Shadow Fold. Their country, Ravka, has been ravaged by war as the Shadow Fold [an impenetrable darkness] is steadily expanding. In a life and death situation, Alina releases the light within herself to save Mal’s life. All of a sudden, Alina is important, she’s something special… the Grisha are calling her the Sun Summoner and she finds herself being taken from the regiment and Mal. The Darkling [leader of the Grisha] takes Alina to be trained at the Grisha school. As she masters her skills, Alina wonders if everything truly is as it seems. Can she really be Ravka’s last hope?
GREAT storytelling. Leigh Bardugo just has a way with words. It’s comfortable, yet almost elegant. I couldn’t put this one down… I think I read it in a day! Alina is an easy protagonist to relate to… she is every woman. Would definitely suggest this novel to fans of YA dystopia/fantasy!!