Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gold Star Review: Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo
Book Description:
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.

Startlingly intriguing, this fantasy takes place in a world that feels both familiar and completely alien. There are details that make this world feel like an out of time Russia, with very eastern styles of dress and customs, but Bardugo has also taken that baseline for the world and added so much that is unique that it couldn't possibly be truly set there.

The horrible demonic creatures that plague the people of Ravka are scary and very alien-like. I kept picturing the weird creatures from the movie Pitch Dark (*shudders*).
Ugh. So creepy and deadly...
I loved the military-esque society that Alina is part of in Ravka.  Led by those who can do magic, but mostly "regular" people.  I'm very intrigued to see what happens to Alina now that her place in society has changed so drastically.  Will she be able to survive being on the run from those she once revered?
This book left me hanging. I felt like I'd just come back from a world that I'd never imagined, but was totally real.  I wanted to dive right back in for more.  For that, a GOLD STAR!

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