Book of the Week: Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo

First line: “The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.”

Booktalk: Alina Starkov is nothing special – yet another penniless orphan in a war-ravaged country. Now that she’s aged out of the orphanage, she and her best friend Mal are drafted into the military and sent across the Unsea – a mysterious, dangerous region where night is permanent and flesh-eating creatures roam freely.

The soldiers are attacked during the crossing, and when Mal falls, something impossible happens: Alina’s entire body is flooded with light, and the creatures stop their attack. When she awakens, her world has changed forever. She is the Sun Summoner, powerful beyond words and destined for greatness. She is sent away from Mal and the only life she’s ever known to live at court and train in the ways of the Grisha – the country’s magical elite.

At first, Alina relishes her new power and her luxurious new life. But something terrible lurks beneath the glittering surface of the Ravkan court, and Alina must defeat it if she wants to survive.

Similar titles: Graceling (Kristin Cashore), Girl of Fire and Thorns (Rae Carson)

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