SHADOW AND BONE (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo (Holt, June 5, 2012)
As seems to have become my standard, I'm going to give you five reasons why you should pre-order this book right now!
1) I couldn't put this book down! From start to finish, the story flowed so well, I hardly remembered I was reading. It kept me up until 2:00 in the morning, and even after I finished, I wished I had book 2 right there waiting! Le sigh. Now I have to wait an entire year!
2) I adore the completely Russian feel to the story. I've always been a sucker for stories involving the cold winters and warm coats and beautiful gala dances of this culture. And the white stag just felt so magical and perfect and was such a rich and wonderful addition.
3) I loved the masks the characters wore in this story. No one was quite who they seemed to be, and even as reveals were made, I was still left wondering what I could believe to be true. It's hard to pull off a reveal and not have it be telegraphed way ahead of time, but Leigh manages to completely make this work.
4) The idea of a girl coming from nothing and having an amazing opportunity presented to her that promises to change her life is not uncommon. But SHADOW AND BONE puts a new twist on this idea, and even when the main character, Alina, is given everything she could imagine, she still has to figure out who she truly is on the inside. I loved watching her struggle with what she wanted versus what she knew her responsibilities were.
5) In short... This book has it all. Magic. Forbidden romance. A completely well-done love triangle. Mystery and secrets. SHADOW AND BONE is a beautifully told story from a great new author and will leave you craving more!
Highly recommended for fans of rich fantasy and romance, seventh grade and up.
GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor
GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers
Source of book: Sent by publisher
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.