And glory of all glories, I stumbled upon Shadow and Bone. If you like fantasy and love stories and magic and characters with a wonderful sense of humor, you must read this book.
Summary (from Leigh Bardugo's website):
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 unlikely 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.
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Why haven't you read this book?
(As always, spoilers in white)
Why I read it: I had been planning to read Shadow and Bone when I first heard about it back in March. In May, I pre-ordered a signed copy of the book as a part of a contest by Leigh's agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe. It sat on my bookshelf for a few weeks while I worked my way through my rewrite and finished a few other books (reviews to come!). I finally picked it up in July. I read it in less than 24 hours.
ZOMG Yes! Most of the book fits into this category. I love the voice. I love how strong Alina is. She admits her weaknesses, her fears, her insecurities. And she grows. Boy does she grow. Spoiler: I love the love triangle. I'm on Mal's side 100%, but there's a part of me that still feels for the Darkling, that hopes for redemption. That's good writing, my friends.
Here's a bit of this fabulous writing (a bit that made me laugh out loud):
How would I have said goodbye to Mal anyway? Thanks for being my best friend and making my life bearable. Oh, and sorry I fell in love with you for a while there. Make sure to write!How can you not love Alina after that?
"What are you smiling at?"
I whirled, peering into the gloom. The Darkling's voice seemed to float out of the shadows. He walked down to the stream, crouching on the bank to splash water on his face and through his dark hair.
"Well?" he asked, looking up at me.
"Myself," I admitted.
"Are you that funny?"
Meh My one meh: I don't really like K's. Silly, I know. But this book has a lot of Eastern European influence especially in the names. So there are a lot of K's.
Bad ass? Absolutely.