Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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.

REVIEW:

Orphaned at a young age and sent to live in a Dukes home – Alina and Mal have always had each other to depend on – as best friends and as each others family. The world they live in has been at war with each other for centuries, plagued with the dangerous and mysterious shadow fold.

When the Grisha visit their home as children, Mal and Alina are tested to see if they posess any of the gifts that make a Grisha so powerful – but Alinas ultimate love for Mal causes her to supress any powers she has so that they may stay together.

When Alina and Mal are older they are soldiers in the Kings Army – and are sent to the fold. Once there – the vicious creatures that live in the darkness attack their boat. After Mal is brutally attacked by one of these creatures, the powers that lay within Alina rise up and she is revealed to be a sun summoner – one of the only ones known in existence. So powerful and unique that she is whisked away to the castle to train as a Grisha. Under the watch and protection of the Darkling – who is the most powerful Grisha alive – she is thrust into a world so forign that she soon finds that she has more power than she could ever imagine.

This story is fast paced and exciting. It has many twists and turns causing you to question yourself as to what it the truth, are the villains truly the ones to be frightened of? Are the friendships created out of the heart or malice? It blurs the lines between right and wrong, good and evil. I am very excited to see where this story go and I hope that it started to reveal more of the world to use as readers now that certain plot points have been revealed.

I would consider this book fairly clean – there is no coarse language or graphic sexual content (there are some moments). There is minor drinking of whatever version of alcohol they consume. There is a HIGH amount of violence and death. I would consider it suitable for 15 plus.

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