The first installment of the Shadow and Bone trilogy, this gripping fantasy pulls inspiration from Old Russia to create a fascinating fictional world. Ravka, bordered by Shu Han and Fjerda, has years been divided by a darkness called the Shadow Fold; but when soldier Alina Starkov’s regiment is attacked during a crossing, she discovers that she possesses the power to keep the dark at bay. The Darkling, leader of the Grisha (an elite group of soldiers that possess magical talents), recruits Alina and starts training her in the hope that she can one day vanquish the Fold.
You will be absolutely glued to this book, the plot is constantly twisting and turning. The main character Alina is very headstrong and during the course of the book has to face a lot of moral dilemmas that challenge her beliefs and her emotional strength. Overall, the fantasy style and interesting, unique characters make this an exciting novel, that leaves plenty room for the sequels. I would recommend this book to teenagers who enjoy fantasy and a story that can truly transport you to another world.
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Reviewed by Josie, age 14