I was quite impressed with this book. Young adult literature has finally moved past vampires and dystopian societies! Woot! It was refreshing to finally read a young adult fantasy novel that was original and insightful. "Shadow and Bone" tells the story of Alina Starkov, a young woman capable of extreme power if only she can harness it. Alina was raised in an orphanage with her best friend, Mal, and since they've been of age they have been in the Kings army. In a world where kingdoms fight each other and cower from the terrifying pit of darkness (the fold) that divides the land there is little hope of leading a normal life. The Grisha (magical elite) try to keep the peace with their powers but the Border Wars have raged on for over one hundred years. During an attack in the fold, Alina saves her best friend from beasts and in the process discovers a power that had been hidden inside her. She is whisked away by the Grisha where she must learn to cultivate her magical abilities and join their ranks. They think she can help end the war but she soon gets a sinking suspicion that they are trying to use her for their own endgame.
It's truly a captivating read and I for one cannot wait for the next in the series to come out. A stunning first novel from, Leigh Bardugo.