One word can sum up the book Shadow and Bone (watch the trailer here) by Leigh Bardugo (lots of cool stuff lives on this site!): WOW! A friend recommended it to me a couple of weeks ago. And, since I've never gotten a bad recommendation from this woman, I proceeded straight away. I am so glad I did. I devoured this book quickly and proceeded straight to its sequel Siege and Storm (watch the trailer here). This book unfolds in a world unlike any other. Allow me to explain.
Shadow and Bone opens by introducing readers to Alina and Mal, the main characters, during their childhood. Next we are swept to their adolescence. Both are now serving in the First Army in the war torn country of Ravka. After having grown up together in an orphanage, Alina and Mal still cling to their childhood friendship. During a particularly dangerous military mission, Alina is able to accomplish something utterly spectacular. After this, she is identified as one of the Grisha, a member of the country's magical elite led by the Darkling. Not only is she found to have a magical ability, her ability seems to be a one of a kind ability that could quite possibly be the salvation of their country.
Suddenly, Alina is whisked away to the Little Palace where she will receive her Grisha training. This is a new way of life for Alina. There are comforts like she has never known, intrigue she couldn't have imagined, and pressure she has never felt. And, there's no Mal.
The more Alina learns about the Grisha life, the more she wonders if she is really meant to be there. Questions begin to rise. Oh my, times are tense.
Please, please, please read this book. Now. Wait not.