Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Holy awesome world-building! If you want to get lost in a new place, read this book. Shadow & Bone has a familiar fantasy premise and likable characters, but the real star of the show is the setting. Russian tsarist inspired, with tasty bits of language and food sprinkled throughout, this setting is the most unique and fascinating place I've visited in a book lately.
Alina is a young woman with no ties in the world except to her fellow orphan and house-mate, Mal (yes, that name made me think of Nathan Fillion every time I read it. Which doesn't hurt.). Alina and Mal have joined the army, as many young folk in their war-torn nation of Ravka do--but change is coming. Alina has a secret. A secret so deep, and so powerful, that she has even hidden it from herself.
When Mal's life is threatened, Alina's surprising power emerges, only to be challenged and harnessed by The Darkling (AKA the most delicious villain ever). Follow Alina's journey as she struggles to define her magic, her relationships, and what the future holds.
If you loved Graceling, or if you've read any other fantasy book with kings and magic and lust, you'll enjoy this read.
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