SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo
What's it about?
Alina Starkov lives in Ravka, a nation torn in two by the Shadow Fold, an area of pure and utter darkness, home to winged monsters who feast on human flesh. Alina has never fit in anywhere or been anyone extraordinary.
But when she and an army regiment that includes her dearest friend, Mal, are attacked by monsters while trying to cross the Fold, a power awakens inside of her: a power that sets her apart from everyone else. A power that, if cultivated in the proper way, could be the key to destroying the Fold and saving Ravka.
Why is it amazing?
First of all, the setting. Leigh has created a stunningly beautiful world inspired by Russian culture. The food, the outfits, the magic...it's wonderful.
Second, Alina. She's the perfect heroine, a girl who knows her faults but not to the extent that she is ever annoying. She's stubborn and strong. She's not the kind of girl who expects to be saved.
Third, the Darkling. The Darkling is the head of the order of the Grisha, the magical kind of Ravka who take Alina in as their own. He is also the villain. But he has enough human qualities that it's difficult to hate him. He has his reasons for his desires, and some of them don't seem half-bad.
Really, please, just read this book. It's the magic of Harry Potter mixed with the stunning world of Russia. You will love it.
Buy it at your local bookstore, or purchase it online:
Barnes and Noble