Shadow and Bone
Publisher: Henry Holt
Released: July 5, 2012
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Shadow and Bone was the July selection for my YA book club. It's probably not something I would have picked up on my own, so I was a little concerned about whether or not I would like it, but I ended up loving it. The book drew me in right away and if I'd had the time to read it all in one sitting, I probably would have.
Alina and her best friend Mal grew up as orphans and now as young adults they've become mapmakers. During a dangerous exposition into "the Fold," they are attacked by Volcra and under the pressure, a secret talent that Alina has had all along is revealed. Suddenly Alina is swept away from Mal to the royal court, where she is trained in her power and becomes the favorite of Darkling. But everything is not as it seems...
There were a couple things about Shadow and Bone that I particularly enjoyed. First, Bardugo is a gifted writer. She writes beautiful prose and true-to-life dialogue. The whole thing was gorgeously written, which only made me want to keep turning the pages. The second thing was the setting, which felt very Russian. I can't recall ever reading a book that has such a setting before, but I really enjoyed the different perspective. The setting really added to the intense nature of the plot and made the whole book feel very alive and enjoyable.
A happy note for those who hate massive cliffhangers - this book doesn't end with one even though it is part of a trilogy. I will happily continue on with the series knowing where it can go, but not left practically mid-sentence in the middle of action. Amen.
Four stars! Shadow and Bone is pretty popular these days and if you haven't picked up a copy yet, I highly recommend that you do - I think you'll really like it! If you're a fan of Graceling I think you'll love Shadow and Bone.