Shadow & Bone – Leigh Bardugo

Following the common fantasy theme of orphan coming into power and fighting evil, Shadow & Bone is an enjoying read.  Alina and Mal grew up as best friends in an orphanage and now serve in the army.  Mal is a tracker and something of a ladies man, much to Alina’s dismay.  Alina is a cartographer who is truly nothing special, until the day she saves Mal.  Many years before, the evil Darkling created the Fold, a large swath of blackness separating the country in two and now inhabited by the leathery flying volcra that enjoy dismembering anyone that dares to enter the Fold.  The army boards a ship designed to sail across the sand and into the Fold with the goal of crossing before the volcra pick them off.  This is when Alina throws her body over Mal and inadvertently creates a blinding white light that destroy the volcra and ends her Army career.  She enters the Grisha, people with power, and begins training to harness her power.  Alina is the shining hope to save the kingdom by destroying the Fold, but it is never so simple.  One tiny thing keeps nagging at me though – when the ships enter the Fold, everyone is on deck, just ripe for the plucking.  Seems like a thin lower deck ought to have been built so all could go below decks when crossing over the Fold.  I probably missed something in the reading.  In addition to her blinding light power, Alina possesses humor, wit, attitude and perseverance.  The first of the Grisha Trilogy offers plenty of action and a touch of tender romance.

NetGalley review   Publication date 6.5.12

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