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With fur hats, swooshing capes, and epic snowscapes, Leigh Bardugo sweeps you away into a Russian-inspired fantasy world in this adventurous and romantic teen novel. The action builds quickly as orphan Alina and her childhood best friend Mal are torn apart for the first time in their lives when they must cross the Fold - a swath of land covered in darkness and prowled by vicious monsters. Inexplicably, Alina saves Mal from certain death by wielding a weapon she never knew she had, the power to control light. From that point on, Alina is caught up into the world of the Grisha - the elite, magically inclined protectors of the realm--and placed under the thumb of the broodingly powerful Darkling. Alina struggles to come to terms with her newfound power and her separation from Mal but also finds herself drawn to the mysterious Darkling. This book has so much going for it and would be a great recommendation for a wide range of teens, 12 and up. Can't wait to read the sequel!— Julie at Books Inc. Laurel Village
“This debut fantasy riffs on Russian history and folklore. The orphan, Alina, doesn't know that she controls powers beyond her mapmaker trade and is thrust into royalty and the Darkling's inner circle, the magical, elite Grishas. With vivid characters, exciting and twisty plots, monsters, romance, and a fully developed otherworld, this is a high fantasy thriller of the first order. I look forward to more from this talented author!”
— Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life--a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha and the secrets of her heart.
'Danger and duplicity abound (is the Darkling good or evil?) in this lavish portrayal of a country reminiscent of Imperial Russia."--VOYA
"Set in a fascinating, unique world rich with detail, Shadow and Bone was unlike anything I’ve ever read." —Veronica Roth, New York Times bestselling author of Divergent
“Fast-paced and unpredictable, this debut novel will be a hit with readers who love dark fantasy.”--School Library Journal, starred
“Mesmerizing…Bardugo’s set up is shiver-inducing, of the delicious variety. This is what fantasy is for.”--New York Times
"A rich fantasy landscape, an inspired magical structure, and a gratifying emotional hook keep the pages whirring by until a final twist upends assumptions and lands us smack in the middle of a harrowing climax. "--Horn Book Magazine
"Filled with lush descriptions, intriguing magic, and plenty of twists, this memorable adventure offers action and intrigue mixed with an undercurrent of romance and danger.”--Publishers Weekly
“The plotting is powerful…”--Kirkus
"Bardugo weaves a captivating spell with lushly descriptive writing, engaging characters, and an exotic, vivid world. Readers will wait impatiently for the next installment.”—Booklist
“Romantic and magical…Plenty of plot twists and betrayals kept us enjoying this richly-crafted adventure until the very last page. (P.S. A do-not-miss for fans of Graceling.)" --Justine Magazine
“A well-drawn world, full of deceit and mythology, populated by entirely believable characters. Full of truly surprising twists and turns, beautiful imagery and a protagonist it’s impossible not to root for, this is a great choice for teenage fans of George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien.”--RT Book Reviews
“This is one book series you want to get hooked on.” --Seventeen.com
“This gripping debut novel, with a touch of magic and romance, about two orphans thrown together during a century-old war will keep readers burning the midnight oil.” --Shelf Awareness