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04 May 2015

Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in her Grisha trilogy - a fantasy series set in Ravka, a world with a Russian feel.

Alina Starkov grew up in the dukes home with the other orphans of the boarder wars. She is still inseparable from her best friend Malyen Orestev. When they left the orphanage, they joined the army. Now he is a tracker and she is map maker. They are on their first assignment near the Unsea - a black stain on the country that divides it in two. Crossing the Unsea, or the fold, is dangerous as there are creatures who live in the dark and love the taste of human.

When their group attempts a crossing, Alina has never seen a dark so black. She hears things coming toward their ship. The Grisha, or masters of small science, use their magic to send fire toward the beasts as soldiers use rifles. Alina is terrified when they are attacked. But when one of the creatures attacks Mal, she throws herself in the way and wishes with all her might to save him.

Suddenly, a light as bright as sunlight blooms. The monsters are held at bay. When Alina wakes up they are back in the town they left before attempting to cross. Before she knows it, Alina is thrown into a carriage and sent to the capital. She will be tested and trained to use a power she doesn't belive she even has.

Bardugo has created a great fantasy series. It reminds me a bit of the books of Pellinor by Alison Croggon - which I loved. Alina is a compelling character thrown in over her head and separated from her best friend. She will have to use strength she didn't know she had to survive.

Bardugo, Leigh. (2012). Shadow and Bone. New York: Henry Holt.

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