Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone
By Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Co
Published on June 5, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher

Summary taken from Goodreads:

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.

This book.  THIS BOOK.  I am throwing out my normal format for writing reviews and I am just going to blabber on and on about how much I loved this book.  I knew it was fantasy, but honestly the summary doesn't give much away about the book. It does accurately portray it, but then again doesn't portray how amazingly AWESOME this book is!

This book is pure fantasy.  I loved the "superhero' elements that were part of the main storyline of Shadow and Bone.  This book is hard core and I would love to see it as a movie.  The way that the author writes, especially action sequences are fantastic.  I have noticed that either and author can write action or they cannot- but Leigh Bardugo writes them in a way that I have to read the page 3 or 4 times, simply because I need to experience it over and over again.  This book is like a drug- I finished it (while neglecting my husband and child ) and immediately started over again.

The author is also masterful at bends and twists in the story- she makes the reader fall in love with not one, but two men.  That is the essence of a real love triangle.  There are so many spoilers I could give about why this triangle has a horrific and delicious twist, but I will leave that for the reader to discover.  I will simply say that I found myself talking to the book, "NO, you didn't just do that!" and "GASP I can't believe it- I had to have read that wrong!!!".  That doesn't happen often with a book.

There are few books I put in my absolute favorites list- books that I could read over and over again- Wildwood Dancing, anything by Maria V Snyder, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games (just the first one), and now Shadow and Bone.  If you haven't read it yet- seriously... what is wrong with you?? Put down whatever book you are reading and GO GET IT.  You will not regret it. Fans of Maria V Snyder will absolutely drool over this debut novel.  Just... no more words.... I just want to hug the book.

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