Tuesday, 14 August 2012

“The problem with wanting is that it makes us weak”

Looking for a teen read that is not about love struck vampires / werewolves / other supernatural beings?  Check out Leigh Bardugo's debut novel Shadow and Bone, book one in the Grisha Trilogy.  As teen author Veronica Roth puts it, "Unlike anything I've ever read".  Here's a quick synopsis:
Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future

A really well written and engaging debut.  Bardugo has created a world that is unlike any I've read before and I very much enjoyed visiting it!  Alina is a wonderfully relate able character, the underdog who can't quite contemplate her own worth.  The Darkling is mysterious and seductive and you spend a lot of the novel trying to figure out his intentions and motivations.  Mal, the seemingly unattainable boy, is not physically present for much of the book but he more then makes up for that by the end. A new male to challenge Edward and Friends for the title of 'Literary Crush'!  Can't wait for the next installment!

“I've been waiting for you a long time, Alina" He said. "You and I are going to change the world.”

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